Isabella Stewart Gardner Expansion Opens
If you haven’t yet had the chance to visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which happens to sit just next door to MassArt, take some time to visit on your next trip to Boston. Built as a means to display Boston arts patron Isabella Stewart Gardner’s extensive collection of art and antiquities, the museum opened its doors in 1903. Until recently, the Gardner Museum stood exactly as it did when it was opened, almost completely unchanged. This lack of change was due to her will, which created an endowment of $1 million and outlined stipulations for the support of the museum, including that the permanent collection not be significantly altered.
Two years ago, the Gardner Museum embarked on a monumental expansion project, led by renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano. Their goal was to leave the original museum intact, but build an extension off the back that would create a new concert hall, greenhouse (for the extensive collection of flowers and plants that routinely rotate in the famous courtyard), and a special exhibition space. There is also expanded space for their renowned artist-in-residency program. The new building opened last week to the public to great critical acclaim, and it is truly worth a special visit.
We at MassArt feel so lucky to have so many extraordinary cultural, educational, and artistic landmarks surrounding the college. We are even more pleased to see the emphasis placed on contemporary art and architecture, as evidenced by the Gardner Museum expansion and the recently renovated Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. MassArt serves as the educational precursor; our young alumni and students are the next generation to truly participate in and be nurtured by this support of contemporary art, architecture, and design.
You can read more about the extension and preservation project at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum here. To visit the Museum, you must purchase advance timed tickets, and can do so here.