Parallels between the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and the Barnes Foundation

Our recent discussion of the Barnes Foundation has reminded me of my visits to the Barnes. Freshmen year, when I first visited the Barnes Foundation I was intrigued by the parallels between the Barnes and Boston’s Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. I grew up visiting the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum with my grandparents — my sister and I loved the unique building, creatively displayed art and incorporation of nature into the architecture. Both museums originated from a private collection and were organized by the original collector. Both museum’s architecture revolves around a central green space. Both museums mix multiple art forms. However, the Barnes is in a modern, sleek building whereas ISGM is still in the old original house. Its interesting how the two seem so similar to me now that I have learned more about their origins, but from the outside are polar opposites.

Highly recommend the Isabella Stuart Gardner museum if anyone ends up in Boston! If your name is Isabella you can get in for free!

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