Private Group Tours

Discover more of the Gardner Museum’s magic through a personalized guided tour.

The Gardner Museum welcomes adult groups of all kinds. One-hour tours are designed to engage visitors through conversation and close looking, while exploring the Museum’s past and present. Rather than rushing through many objects, we will select a few works of art to engage with deeply during your visit. Museum Teachers will provide a general introduction to the Museum and its founder, as well as facilitating inquiry into three to four artworks or galleries. We are happy to tailor any tour to your group’s particular interest.

The Gardner Museum offers a range of tour themes for guided tours and virtual visits:

Introduction to the Gardner Museum

Explore masterpieces of the Gardner Museum, learn about the history of the Museum’s founder and find out why this is one of the great private art collections in America.

Renaissance at the Gardner

Investigate the Renaissance within the context of European art and explore the influence of antiquity and medieval art.Through highlights from the Museum’s collection, students will explore the significant cultural, artistic, and scientific achievements of the Renaissance and reflect on how Isabella Stewart Gardner was inspired by this period in her installations.

Questioning Power

Isabella Gardner filled her Museum with portraits of princes and queens, and was herself a dynamic leader. Learn more about the Museum’s founder through the personalities she collected, and investigate how power has been represented in the art of different time periods and cultures.

ARCHITECTURE: BUILDING ON A LEGACY

Celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Gardner Museum’s New Wing, designed by the acclaimed Renzo Piano Building Workshop. This tour will focus on the architecture and sustainable features of the New Wing and how it relates to the design choices that Isabella Stewart Gardner made when creating the original Venetian-style building. With stops in both the New Wing and the historic Palace, visitors will consider the ways in which space and materials shape our experiences with art.

 

All groups must register at least three weeks in advance. Unless otherwise approved, we request payment in full 2 weeks prior to visit with confirmed attendance numbers. Refunds will not be honored once attendance numbers have been finalized. 

72 hours notice is required for cancellations or to change the date of your visit.

For inquiries about including a visit to Café G as part of your onsite tour, please contact tours@isgm.org before completing the tour request forms below.

For questions about tours, please email tours@isgm.org or call 617 278 5147 Monday through Friday, 9 am–5 pm.

Tour options and pricing are subject to change; please inquire to confirm availability.

Guided Onsite Tours

We can accommodate up to 30 people per tour time, and we will divide into groups of 10 or fewer in the galleries. 

Knowledgeable Museum Teachers who are specifically assigned to your group will engage you through conversation, while also sharing insights and stories about the Museum’s history, collections, and installations. A Museum Teacher will contact you prior to your arrival to discuss the details of your visit. 

Fees

Guided groups are charged $25 per adult or $23 per senior. The charge includes admission and a guided tour. 

Tour Times

Group visits may be scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. The Museum is closed on Tuesdays. Private guided tours are scheduled at pre-set tour time slots: 11:30 am, 12:45 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:30 pm.

Parking

The Museum does not provide parking facilities. In addition to metered street parking, several parking lots and garages are located nearby. Buses must find their own parking.

Email tours@isgm.org to schedule a guided onsite tour. 

Self-Guided Onsite Visits

Groups of under 30 people may choose to visit the galleries on their own. Due to the small size of the Museum's galleries, self-guided groups must be divided into groups of 5 or fewer to explore the Museum. Outside tour leaders and guides are not allowed to lead groups through the Museum.

All groups of 8 or more must register as a group in advance, even if self-guided. Self-guided visits must still make a reservation by contacting tours@isgm.org. All groups of 8 or more must register as a group, even if self-guided. Unregistered groups may be denied entry to the Museum. 

Fees

Self-guided groups are charged $20 per adult or $18 per senior.

Self-Guided Visit Times

Group visits may be scheduled on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. We offer self-guided groups entry time at: 11:30 am, 12:45 pm, 2:15 pm, 3:30 pm.

Parking

The Museum does not provide parking facilities. In addition to metered street parking, several parking lots and garages are located nearby. Buses may drop off and pick up passengers in front of the Evans Way entrance. See bus parking options at Guidelines for tour buses in Boston

Guided Virtual Visits

Virtual visits are interactive, live experiences with knowledgeable Museum Teachers who bring the Museum to you. They are typically one hour long and focus on 3-4 works of art. We can accommodate up to 60 people per virtual visit, and recommend dividing groups into 15 or fewer people per breakout room for the best experience. 

Once your virtual visit is confirmed, we will be in touch with Zoom meeting information and to introduce you to the Museum Teachers who will be working with your group. If you prefer, you may host the virtual visit on the platform of your choice and invite Museum Teacher(s) to join your meeting. 

Fees

$100 base price for the first 15 participants, plus $50 for each additional group of 15 people

Guided Virtual Visit Times

Virtual visits may be scheduled on Tuesdays at 9am, 10am, 11am, 1pm, or 2pm.

Recording

By attending a virtual visit, all participants consent to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum capturing and using still photography and video and audio recordings of the program by the Museum. Participants will not record the program for further distribution. The devices used to record via audio or video that are prohibited are inclusive of, but are not limited to, phones, voice recorders of any kind, video cameras of any kind, and microphones.

Live Boston Classroom

Include a virtual visit to the Gardner Museum as part of your Live Boston Classroom experience and receive a $2 discount off in-person admission to the Museum. Just mention Live Boston Classroom in the visit request form below, under “HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT TOURS AT THE GARDNER?”

Visit https://www.bostonusa.com/livebostonclassroom/ to learn more about Live Boston Classroom.

Email tours@isgm.org to schedule a virtual visit. 

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR GUIDED TOURS

Scholarships for Guided Tours

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum offers limited scholarship funding each year for groups that demonstrate financial need. If you are interested in applying for scholarship assistance, please review the guidelines below and apply at https://forms.gle/wfDVCQpkL9zs3o2B9.

How do I know if I qualify?

Funding is based on need. If you are a nonprofit organization, such as a family-, neighborhood-, for faith-based group, shelter, ESOL or ABE program, 25% of the population you serve should be classified as economically disadvantaged (eligible for Earned Income Tax Credit) and you should have official 501(c)(3) status.

Groups that receive funding must complete a post-visit survey. They may be asked to complete a letter of thanks to our sponsors. 

What does the funding cover?

Funding will cover the per-person admission cost of attending the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for an onsite guided tour or setup and facilitation of a remote guided experience of the Gardner Museum for a virtual tour. Funding is not available for buses, lunches or self guided visits.

In order to extend funds to as many groups as we can, we may offer partial funding based on your group’s needs and our program costs. Groups that receive full funding will have the entire visit cost covered, while those that receive partial funding will be asked to pay $35.00 for each Museum Teacher guiding their onsite or virtual tour. 

We receive many requests from groups, and try to match every request with appropriate funding whenever possible, but group scholarship funds are limited. Funding is awarded on a first come, first serve basis. Submission of an application does not guarantee funding.

How do I know if I received funding?

When we have received your application and visit request, we will check them against our tour calendar and current funding opportunities, and email you to confirm visit dates and funding amounts.