Now On View

Close Up: Sargent On Location

Gardner's First Artist-in-Residence

September 19, 2018 - January 14, 2019
Fenway Gallery & Gothic Room

In the winter of 1903, shortly after the Museum first opened to the public, John Singer Sargent used the Gothic Room of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as a studio. Among the portraits he painted here was one of Isabella's dear friends, Gretchen Osgood Warren, with her daughter Rachel—now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This fall, we will bring the portrait of Gretchen back to the room where it was painted, thereby reuniting it with another great Sargent portrait of Isabella herself. 

Simultaneously, in the Museum's Fenway Gallery, we will exhibit archival material related to Sargent's use of the Gothic Room as a studio. Other items highlight the friendship of the two, highly accomplished Gilded Age women—Isabella and Gretchen—including a book of Gretchen's poetry and a book of autographs paying tribute to Isabella's "priceless museum for refreshment and education."

John Singer Sargent

John Singer Sargent: Gardner's First Artist-in-Residence

Learn more about John Singer Sargent's personal connection to the Museum, and the time he spent living and working the Gardner's magnificent galleries.

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Exhibition Catalog

As the Museum's first Artist-in-Residence, John Singer Sargent fulfilled Isabella's hopes for a new kind of cultural institution in Boston, one that would inspire creativity, cultivate artistic talent, and bring joy to artists and amateurs alike.

Photo at top:  John Singer Sargent (American, 1856 - 1925), Mrs. Fiske Warren (Gretchen Osgood) and Her Daughter Rachel (detail), 1903. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Gift of Mrs. Rachel Warren Barton and Emily L. Ainsley Fund.

Sargent On Location: Gardner’s First Artist-in-Residence is part of the Close Up exhibition series that has been generously sponsored by Fredericka and Howard Stevenson. The Museum is also supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives funding from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.