See below to view our most recent stories that dig deeper into our collections.
Three Chinese Islamic Altar Vessels
While traveling throughout Asia, Isabella acquired three porcelain vessels covered with vine patterns and stylized scriptures. Read how these Chinese artifacts detail Arabic phrases from the central religious text of Islam and give us a greater global perspective.
From Venice to the Fenway: Architectural Elements in the Courtyard
Ever wonder about the architecture of the Gardner Museum’s Courtyard? Read on to find out how Isabella used windows, balconies, and arches salvaged from grand Venetian palazzos to create her own unique vision.
One Hundred Years of Nasturtiums: Arthur Pope and James Prosek
At the Gardner, cascades of blooming vines appear each spring and inspire artists like Arthur Pope and James Prosek. Learn more about these colorful flowers and how their 100-year history is still a celebrated annual tradition.
From Russia with Love: A Gift of Easter Eggs
An intercontinental friendship between Isabella and a Russian diplomat led to an exchange of exquisite egg-shaped pendants. Read how this unlikely bond yielded a symbolic treasure.
Isabella and the Pope
Learn about one of Isabella’s illuminated papal manuscripts and her audience with a pope.
Keeping up with the Cobwebs
Think dusting your home is a challenge? Imagine the effort that goes into keeping the Gardner Museum clean!
Esther: A Biblical Heroine
Esther is one of a handful of female biblical heroes and someone who defied social norms for the greater good, qualities Gardner may have felt drawn to when building her collection.
Bertha Honoré Palmer, Isabella Stewart Gardner, and Anders Zorn
Artist Anders Zorn dubbed Isabella’s friend and occasional rival Bertha Palmer the “Empress of Chicago.” Learn more about their shared friendship and love of the arts.
The Sole American Music: Spirituals During Isabella’s Time
The musical legacy of African American spirituals inspires a contemporary music group one hundred years after Isabella was introduced to the genre.