Isabella Stewart Gardner - Travel Album: Spain and Portugal, Volume II, 1888

Isabella Stewart Gardner (New York, 1840 - 1924, Boston)

Travel Album: Spain and Portugal, Volume II, 1888

Bound album including collected photographs, found papers, and pen and ink annotations , 35.9 x 28.9 x 5.2 cm (14 1/8 x 11 3/8 x 2 1/16 in.)


Isabella Stewart Gardner kept records of her worldwide travels in the form of albums. In 1888, Isabella and Jack Gardner spent three months traveling throughout the Iberian Pennisula in Spain and Portugal. This is the second album from their trip and in it, Isabella introduces photographs of Spaniards among those of Spanish art and architecture.  The photographs of Spaniards that Gardner selected for this volume perform the stereotypes of Spanishness prevalent within her time, exposed through their dark skin and posed in typologies of traditional dress. Her impressions of the country captured within her albums shaped the formation of her art collection and the very walls of her museum with the construction in 1914 of the Spanish Cloister to house John Singer Sargent’s El Jaleo—the painterly embodiment of Sargent’s own trip to Spain.