Last week I was so excited to be included in a group of design bloggers who received a private tour of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. With the amount of amazing museums Boston has to offer this hidden gem sometimes gets overlooked but with it's new addition it has easily taken the spotlight in this town!
Most Bostonians know about the courtyard which is the center piece of the museum! It is an amazing serene oasis is in the middle of the city, while sipping your wine you are easily transported to another place. Their horticultural team is INCREDIBLE, they change out these flower beds nine times a year!
We started the tour with a wine reception in Ms. Gardner's private apartment now let me just tell you how exciting this was since this space is rarely seen by the public! A few pieces remain untouched like this incredible chandelier she brought back from France.
This desk caught my attention because at first I didn't know what it was! See the 2 lion heads? They pull out as arms that the desk top rests on. The ornate details make it a showpiece when not in use!
Next we moved into the Tapestry Room, a large open space which was used for dinner parties and musical concerts. The room is anchored by a larger than life 14th Century French limestone fireplace. This picture doesn't necessarily capture the enormity (no flash allowed!) of this working fireplace but will give you a sense of the detail! It has been painstakingly restored as you can see here.
The team at the Gardner have worked tirelessly to preserve and in some cases replicate the original objects in the room. This sweet yellow chair was created from black and white photos along with notes taken from an employee. It is a puzzle they spend hours putting together where the result are spectacular!
This photo is one of my favorites from the night. We were able to take a peek into the courtyard from the 3rd floor (again rarely open to the public). Take a minute to look at all the detail in the windows and the sweet balconies. Imagine living here?
This year the Gardner unveiled it's new building designed by Renzo Piano. The way he works with the older building pulling it into the new space with glass and subtle materials is a breath of fresh air. As you can see in this image taken by Courtney of Design New England Magazine it feels like a natural transition! For even more images pop on over to the DNE Blog!
Thanks to Matt, Andy and the entire Gardner team for this private tour, I feel so lucky to be able to enjoy this great space any time I want! Sounds like I need to play hooky next week for an afternoon at the Gardner, who wants to join me?!
(images from Jace Interiors and Design NE blog)