The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, one of Boston’s most iconic and unique art destinations, is now free for MIT students, staff and faculty. An institutional membership underwritten by the Council for the Arts at MIT (CAMIT) provides this increased access. Students, staff and faculty need only provide a valid MIT to enter the world famous museum. The MIT Activities Committee office also provides reduced-rate passes to the museum for non-MIT ID holding guests.
Opened in 1903, the museum houses a diverse array of art amassed by Ms. Gardner during her life as a philanthropist and art collector. Over 2,500 objects, including paintings, sculptures, furniture, metalwork and papers are housed in the museum, which was designed in the style of a Venetian palazzo, complete with a stunning central courtyard that is frequently said to hold its own place of prominence in the museum.
The unusual design provides a unique opportunity to view world-famous works of art in a quiet, intimate and uniquely-lit setting. Ms. Gardner played a central role in all aspects of the museum’s layout, and was adamant that her collection would be for the consumption of the public for all times. Her directions for the installation of the works were so clear and enduring that, to this day, the empty frames of paintings stolen in a 1990 heist still adorn the walls, unmoved by curatorial staff.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum can be found in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, near the current site of the Museum of Fine Arts, which it predates. The museum is accessible by public transit via the E branch of the Green line, or the 39 bus. More information about the museum and its hours can be found at www.gardnermuseum.org.