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Free First Thursdays


Thursday, April 7, 2022
3 - 9 pm
Throughout the Museum

Join us on the first Thursday of every month for a restorative evening of discovery and community. Museum admission is free from 3 pm through 9 pm. Explore art, architecture, art-making activities, and seasonal horticulture displays in the Palace. The Café is open late for dinner and drinks.

Special program this month

Visiting Curator of Performing Arts Helga Davis hosts SEEDS, a celebration of the plants in the Gardner collection, and explores how these living works of art plant seeds of inspiration in all of us and our communities. The first plant reading is at 4:30 pm and the second begins at 5:30 pm. A tribute to the Museum's many plant species will take place in the lush Courtyard, featuring live music by jazz harpist Charles Overton and his ensemble. At 7:15 pm, Tariq Al-Sabir and his 12-piece band will perform new arrangements compositions of Stevie Wonder's seminal soundtrack Journey Through the Secret Life of Plants in Calderwood Hall.  Seating for the performance in Calderwood Hall is first come, first served for general admission ticket holders. 

Art-making activities in the Bertucci Education Studio are inspired by SEEDS and by the Gardner's iconic annual hanging nasturtiums display. Join Polly Thayer Starr Studio Artist Rayna Lo in the Bertucci Education Studio to explore and draw plants from the courtyard. Decorate and take home your own nasturtium seed packet along with drawing plants from life.


Advance registration is encouraged for free timed entry tickets for Museum general admission.

Registration opens two weeks before the event for the general public and four weeks in advance for members. Reserve your tickets online by clicking the button above.

Limited tickets will be available in-person at the Museum’s main entrance, starting at 3 pm, the day of the event. Please note that day-of tickets are not guaranteed.

Free Admission is generously supported by Fidelity Investments.

Free days are supported in part by the Wallace Minot Leonard Foundation.

The Neighborhood Salon is supported in part by the Barr Foundation ArtsAmplified Initiative and The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Studio activities are generously sponsored by the Polly Thayer Starr Charitable Trust.

Education and community programs receive support from the Vertex Foundation, Rowland Foundation, the Richard K. Lubin Family Foundation, the Wagner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Yawkey Foundation, The Beker Foundation, Liberty Mutual Foundation, GRoW @ Annenberg, The Hamilton Company Charitable Foundation, Thomas Anthony Pappas Charitable Foundation, and Janet Burke Mann Foundation.

The Museum also receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which is supported by the state of Massachusetts.