Day off work? 50 degrees in January? Let's hit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum!
Boston is home to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Musuem, one of the coolest pre-modern museums around.
Gardner, who lived a ridiculous life of travel, intrigue, and general hobnobbing, amassed an enourmous collection of world art as if she were a Spanish explorer and devout mercantilist. And then she decorated her mansion with it all. The Gardner Museum is that mansion, largely untouched since Gardner’s death in 1924.
Today I checked it out for the first time. While you can see for yourself the kind of lovingly preserved art the museum displays, it was an affirmation for me that I’m a terrible museum-goer—mainly because I like the living people more than the painted ones. I like hearing people’s reactions to the pieces (reactions that today were often, well, really rather dirty—thanks for that comment on the Virgin Mary’s boob) and trying to figure out how it is that this many not-retired people have this much time in the middle of a weekday to go to a museum.
Not including me.