I made another first time in a long time visit to a Boston institution with a day out at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Unlike the Museum of Fine Arts, there is only one work of art at the Gardner Museum, a collaboration of Mrs. Gardner and thousands of painters, sculptors, designers, architects, and gardeners. This was my first visit since the opening of the new Renzo Piano wing, which is impressive, but seems mostly a utilitarian annex to the historic museum. It was also the first time I’ve been to the museum since photography is allowed, although only of the courtyard on the main level. Plenty of scofflaws took photos from the upper levels too, but were only stopped by the guards when using flash. I followed Mrs. Gardner’s preference of immersing myself in the art and beauty.
Come out this Sunday October 30th at 2pm for a guided walking tour of Boston’s Avenue of the Arts lead by Boston By Foot guides (including yours truly). The tour begins in front of The Church of Christ, Scientist on Massachusetts Avenue and the cost is just $15/person. If you become a Boston By Foot member admission is reduced to just $5 and you get lots of other benefits as well.
Have you ever wondered why so many cultural institutions dedicated to fine arts, music, education, religion, and sports are clustered in one area in Boston? As we walk along this cultural corridor we’ll explore the history of Huntington Avenue and learn about:
- landmarks created by two of the most remarkable women in Boston’s history: Mary Baker Eddy and Isabella Stewart Gardner
- not one but two acoustically perfect concert halls
- not one but two historical figures named Eben
- the oldest artificial ice sporting arena in the world
- Boston’s lost opera house
- the many innovations and contributions of the YMCA
- the site of the first World Series game
- expansion and development at Northeastern University, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
- and much, much more
I’m particularly proud of this tour because I originated the idea and collaborated on the research and manual writing. So please come out and join us to learn more about this fascinating Boston district.