Eye of the Beholder: Masterpieces From the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum | 2003 | ISBN: 0807066125 | English | 272 pages | PDF | 49.5 MB
The official companion book to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum’s hundredth anniversary celebration During her lifetime (1840–1924) Isabella Stewart Gardner was at the heart of Victorian Boston’s liveliest salon. Henry and William James, Henry Adams, Oliver Wendell Holmes, John LaFarge, James McNeill Whistler, Bernard Berenson, and John Singer Sargent all gathered at Fenway Court, in the company of works by Giotto, Fra Angelico, Titian, Raphael, Rubens, and Rembrandt. One hundred years after its completion, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum remains as intrepid and idiosyncratic as its creator. The embodiment of one woman’s vision, the Venetian palazzo turned inside out and its wildly eclectic collection of twenty-four centuries of paintings, sculpture, furnishings, and books nonetheless speak very personally to all who enter. At once grand and intimate, the garden courtyard and the terrazzo galleries invite discovery: every visitor (and there have been literally hundreds of thousands), it seems, has a secret corner of the Gardner. In celebration of its centenary, the Gardner Museum has asked artists and thinkers of our own time to go public with their private visions of the Gardner. In this book, filled with 120 color plates, their voices are joined and juxtaposed with those of Mrs. Gardner’s contemporaries, allowing readers to see the Gardner’s most beloved works through the eyes of such nineteenth- and twentieth-century thinkers as William James and Bill T. Jones, T. S. Eliot and Henry Louis Gates Jr., Julia Ward Howe and Sister Wendy. Robert Campbell takes as his subject the museum’s architecture, while Wayne Koestenbaum offers a homoerotic reading of works in the collection. Beautifully designed and extravagantly illustrated, Eye of the Beholder offers a richly textured exploration of one of the world’s great art collections.