Isabella’s Folding Fan of Deception

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The Original Isabella Stewart

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Shen Wei and Piermatteo: Contemporary Inspiration from the Italian Renaissance

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Restoring Bardini Blue in the Long Gallery

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Three Chinese Islamic Altar Vessels

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From Venice to the Fenway: Architectural Elements in the Courtyard

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Inside the Collection Blog

See below to view our most recent stories that dig deeper into our collections. 

  • Knife in a Fan-Shaped Case

    Isabella’s Folding Fan of Deception

    Among the many objects of fascination in the Macknight Room, a place of personal significance to Isabella, is a fan tanto. Read on to learn more about this unexpected find.
  • Isabella Tod Stewart Painting

    The Original Isabella Stewart

    This Mother’s Day, learn about Isabella Stewart Gardner’s beloved grandmother, Isabella Tod Stewart.
  • The Annunciation painting

    Shen Wei and Piermatteo: Contemporary Inspiration from the Italian Renaissance

    A painting from the Italian Renaissance by Piermatteo d’Amelia influenced contemporary Chinese artist Shen Wei.
  • Hall with statues

    Restoring Bardini Blue in the Long Gallery

    If you’ve never heard of the color Bardini Blue, you’re not alone. The special hue adorns the Gardner’s Long Gallery and is a customized creation modified by Isabella. Read more about its rich history and restoration below.
  • A blue and pink bowl with three legs

    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.
  • A drawing of Nasturtiums in the Isabella Stewart Gardner courtyard.

    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.
  • A blue egg shaped pendant

    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.
  • Missal of Pope Clement VII

    Isabella and the Pope

    Learn about one of Isabella’s illuminated papal manuscripts and her audience with a pope.