Working with Artists

The Gardner Museum continues Isabella’s bold legacy of supporting artists and celebrating creative talent in all its forms. As in Isabella’s time, local and internationally renowned artists of today activate the galleries and performance spaces with contemporary artworks, music, dance, poetry, and more.


In Isabella’s tradition, we invite artists to live and work in the Museum as part of our Artist-in-Residence program, which hosts artists from around the world, offering them a dedicated, on-site residential and studio space, unlimited access to the collection, and inspiration to create new visual and performance works for the public.

Visiting Curators of Performing Arts

The Visiting Curator of Performing Arts helps the Museum provide a dynamic, engaging artistic incubator for new and contemporary expressions through dance, music, theater, and spoken word, and builds on Isabella's desire to host multi-disciplinary cultural experiences.

Meet the Visiting Curators

Meet the Visiting Curators

Hilton Als

Pulitzer Prize-wining author and curator Hilton Als is chief theatre critic for The New Yorker and the Museum's third Visiting Curator of the Performing Arts.

Helga Davis

Helga Davis is a vocalist and performance artist, who is our second curator to hold the Visiting Curator of Performing Arts position at the Museum.

George Steel

George Steel, a nationally acclaimed musician, was the Gardner Museum’s first Visiting Curator for Performing Arts.

Neighborhood Salon Luminaries

The Neighborhood Salon is a gathering of Boston’s select cultural producers and taste-makers whose work and agency impacts and inspires the Gardner Museum and its communities.

Polly Thayer Starr Visiting Artist Series

The Museum upholds the high value Isabella Stewart Gardner and Polly Thayer Starr placed on artists’ contributions to the larger community. With support from the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust, Visiting Studio Artists consider their work within the rich cultural context of the Gardner Museum and create drop-in art-making and public studio projects inspired by our collection and exhibitions.


The Choreographer-in-Residence program is part of a bold new initiative to animate the galleries with contemporary performances and integrate dance into exhibitions and programs.

Meet the Choreographers

Meet the Choreographers

All Ready

All Ready are the Museum's current Choreographers-in-Residence.

Peter DiMuro

Peter DiMuro was the Museum's first Choreographer-in-Residence.

See the galleries through the eyes of some of our artists on one of our Artist Walks!

listen now

Image at top: Visitors enjoy a Studio project during Neighborhood Nights: Viewfinder on July 11, 2019. Photo by Steve Osemwenkhae.