Illuminated manuscripts, a photograph of Walt Whitman, and even a lock of Nathaniel Hawthorne's hair: these are just a few of the treasures in the vast collection of books, letters and memorabilia that Isabella Stewart Gardner amassed.
Gift at the Gardner offers an eclectic array of books: from art history to poetry, beautifully bound literary classics and more, start your own literary collection with our featured titles today!
$36.00Bharti Kher, 2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Gardner, was enriched and recharged by spending time thinking and living amongst the Museum’s extraordinary building and art treasures.
$26.00Blood, Bones, & Butter meets A Devil in the Kitchen in this funny, fierce, and poignant memoir by world-renowned chef, restaurateur, and Top Chef judge Barbara Lynch (Gardner Artist-in-Residence, 2014), recounting her rise from a hard-knocks South Boston childhood to culinary stardom.
$14.95A new exhibition program, Close Up, features a single work in Isabella Stewart Gardner’s collection. Removed from the historic Palace and displayed in Hostetter Gallery for a short time, it is the subject of lectures, in-gallery presentations and a publication. To inaugurate the exhibition series, we chose a painting close to Isabella’s heart, an altarpiece of The Annunciation by Italian Renaissance painter Piermatteo d’Amelia, traditionally found in our Raphael Room.
By Nathaniel Silver, Associate Curator at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Published by Applewood Books, 2016
5.5 x 0.2 x 8.2 inches
$27.00From the eponymous young sculptor in Roderick Hudson to vital scenes in the crowded galleries of The Wings of the Dove, Henry James’s iconic novels reflect the significance of the visual culture of his society. In this edifying volume, novelist and critic Colm Tóibín joins art historian Marc Simpson and Declan Kiely of the Morgan Library & Museum to reveal how essential the language and imagery of the arts—and friendships with artists—were to James’s writing.
The authors consider the paintings, photographs, drawings, and sculpture produced by artists in James’s circle, assess how his pictorial aesthetic developed, and discuss why he destroyed so many personal documents and what became of those that survived. In examining works by figures such as John La Farge, Hendrik Andersen, and John Singer Sargent alongside selections from James’s novels, personal letters, and travel writings, Tóibín, Simpson, and Kiely explore the artistic and social milieu in which James lived and out of which he created his fiction. They also show him to be a writer with a painterly eye for colors and textures, shapes, and tastes, and for the blending of physical and psychological impressions. In many cases, the characters populating James’s fiction are ciphers for his artist friends, whose demeanor and experiences inspired James to immortalize them on the page. He also wrote critically about art, most notably the work of his friend John Singer Sargent.
A refreshing new perspective on the work of a master novelist who was greatly nourished by his friendships with artists, Henry James and American Painting reveals a James whose literary imagination seemed most at ease with the image, the nuance of light and shade, and the artistry of creating fully realized portraits of his characters.
By Colm Tóibín, Marc Simpson, and Declan Kiely
Published by Penn State University Press, 2017
8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
Beyond Words accompanies a collaborative exhibition held at the McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College; Harvard University’s Houghton Library; and the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum. Featuring illuminated manuscripts from nineteen Boston-area institutions, this catalog provides a sweeping overview of the history of the book in the Middle Ages and Renaissance, and serves as a guide to their production, illumination, functions, and readership. Entries by eighty-five international experts document, discuss, and reproduce more than two hundred and sixty manuscripts and early printed books, many of them little known before now. Beyond Words also explores the history of collecting such books in Boston, an uncharted chapter in the history of American taste.
Of broad appeal to scholars and amateur enthusiasts alike, this catalog documents one of the most ambitious exhibitions of medieval and Renaissance manuscripts ever to take place in North America.
Edited by Jeffrey F. Hamburger, Lisa Fagin Davis, and Anne-Marie Eze
Published by McMullen Museum of Art, Boston College, 2016
9 x 1.1 x 12 inches
$14.99Very little is known about the life of Simone Martini; but it is thought that he was born around 1284 in Siena, and that he probably learned his trade in the workshop of Duccio di Buoninsegna. He found fame with his painting of the Maesta in the Palazzo Pubblico in Siena, completed in 1315.
Available exclusively through Gift at the Gardner, The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is thrilled to offer a limited re-print of an "indispensable edition."
When Isabella Stewart Gardner agreed to sponsor the career of and aspiring young writer named Bernard Berenson, neither dreamed that together they would build one of this country's most impressive collections of Italian Renaissance painting. The correspondence between Bernard Berenson and Isabella Stewart Gardner offers fresh insight into the origins of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and gives voice to an enduring friendship that created and nurtured it.
The more than eight hundred letters included in this volume record the evolving relationship between two singular personalities: a flamboyant socialite known for lively eccentricities and her engagement with the arts; and the brilliant connoisseur and America's leading expert on Italian Renaissance painters. Their correspondence spans nearly four decades and presents a vivid portrait of their passionate interests, their perennial travels and their liaisons with artists and intellectuals on both sides of the Atlantic, including Edith Wharton, Walter Lippmann, Sarah Bernhardt, John Singer Sargent, and George Santayana.
Mary Berenson, who abandoned her comfortable and conventional first marriage to become protégée and, later, the wife and close collaborator of Berenson, becomes correspondent after 1901. Indeed, Mrs. Gardner's hunch that she now had "two friends instead of one" is borne out in the lively series of letters from Mary, who comes to play an increasingly vital role in her husband's multifaceted achievements.
The reprint of this indispensable 1987 edition includes a new preface co-authored by Dr. Machtelt Bruggen Israels, guest researcher, University of Amsterdam, and Dr. Carl Brandon Strehlke, curator emeritus, Philadelphia Museum of Art. Together they explore the relationship between Isabella Stewart Gardner and Bernard Berenson that emerges from the correspondence. Meticulously edited and annotated by Rollin van N. Hadley, former director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, these elegant and entertaining letters continue to be an enduring resource for art historians and others concerned with the development of connoisseurship and the evolution of taste. At the same time, they pay tribute to a remarkable museum and the very personal visions that brought it to life.
Edited and annotated by Rollin van N. Hadley, former director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Published by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2016
9.1 x 1.8 x 6.4 inches
$145.00Edited by Carl Brandon Strehlke and Machtelt Brüggen Israëls, The Bernard and Mary Berenson Collection of European Paintings at I Tatti surveys the 149 works assembled by the Berensons for their home in Florence from the late 1890s through the first decades of the twentieth century at the time that they were making their mark on the world as connoisseurs.
$18.00The subject of John Singer Sargent’s most famous painting was twenty-three-year-old New Orleans Creole Virginie Gautreau, who moved to Paris and quickly became the “It Girl” of her day. A relatively unknown artist at the time, Sargent won the commission to paint her; the two must have recognized in each other a like-minded hunger for fame.
Unveiled at the 1884 Paris Salon, Gautreau’s portrait generated the attention she craved—but it led to infamy rather than stardom. Sargent had painted one strap of Gautreau’s dress dangling from her shoulder, suggesting either the prelude to or the aftermath of sex. Her reputation irreparably damaged, Gautreau retired from public life, destroying all the mirrors in her home.
Drawing on documents from private collections and other previously excluded materials, and featuring a cast of characters including Oscar Wilde and Richard Wagner, Strapless is a tale of art and celebrity, obsession and betrayal.
By Deborah Davis
Published by TarcherPerigee, 2004
5.4 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
$36.00During his 2012 residency at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel (born 1964) delved into the archives of the magnificent garden that Isabella Stewart Gardner cultivated around her residence.
$45.00An in-depth study of one of Boston’s treasured cultural landmarks, the pioneering patron behind the collection, and the Pritzker Prize–winning architect who modernized the Gardner Museum’s vision.
$40.00Composite Landscapes examines one of landscape architecture's most recognizable forms: the montage view. The volume gathers work from a select group of contemporary artists and a dozen of the world's leading landscape architects. These composite views reveal practices of photomontage depicting the conceptual, experiential, and temporal dimensions of landscape.
10 x 1 x 12 inches
$21.95This publication re-evaluates the artistic achievements of the Swedish painter Anders Zorn (1860-1920). Bringing his subjects to life with broad brushstrokes, Zorn experimented with different subjects and styles, painting portraits of high society, self-portraits and fellow artists' in their studios, and genre scenes of modern Parisian and rural Swedish life. Moreover, he was crucial in disseminating Swedish art, connecting Scandinavia with Western Europe and with the United States. If we follow the breathless media coverage during Zorn's multiple stays in the States, we might well come to the conclusion that he seduced the nation. America was entirely taken by this "Prince of Art," who exhibited widely, showcasing his sweeping portraits of socialites, unashamed nudes, and brilliant genre scenes.
$18.00Born of Japanese and Korean descent, Mona Higuchi is an American artist whose work speaks quietly of dislocation, identity and history.
Seven experts discuss the impact of a few important Americans who, through force of personality as well as the nature of their art collecting, helped shape the culture of their times and some of the collections we enjoy today.
In their essays, experts discuss the development of American culture and cultural institutions through the key leadership role of women and other mold-breaking individuals, and present new scholarship on collecting, patronage, philanthropy, and arts management.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Published by the Trustees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1997
7.5 x 0.5 x 10.2 inches
$18.00This one-off magazine was conceptualized and designed by Dutch artist Melvin Moti (Artist-in-Residence 2010), with additional contributions by artists Runa Islam and Douglas Ross.
By Melvin Moti with Douglas Ross and Runa Islam
Published by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2012
8 x 0.3 x 7.25 inches
If Rembrandt's career had ended in 1631, before the 25-year-old artist moved from his native town of Leiden to the booming metropolis of Amsterdam, how would history remember him? This is the theme of Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt.
Rembrandt's work in Leiden was already extraordinarily creative and intensely dramatic. In the years 1629 to 1631, the artist struggled to master different genres and techniques. He worked with Jan Lievens and took his first known pupil, Gerrit Dou. By the time he decided to seek his fortune in Amsterdam, his work had already achieved a unique and profound sense of color, light, and human emotion.
Rembrandt Creates Rembrandt includes contributions by Alan Chong, Arthur Wheelock, Christopher White, and Mariët Westermann.
Published by the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2000
10.1 x 0.7 x 11.9 inches
$22.00Lee Mingwei, an artist who focuses on installations that often require outsider participation to be complete, was born in Taiwan and is currently based in New York City.
$50.00Known for her photographic meditations on architecture, artist Luisa Lambri offers an innovative understanding of the mind and character of collector Isabella Stewart Gardner. Designed in collaboration with the artist, Portrait features a selection of Lambri's lyrical photographic studies of the Museum's unique spaces, a body of work that functions metaphorically as both a portrait of the artist and a portrait of Gardner.
$18.00With an inexhaustible toolbox of techniques, a devotion to drawing and an almost-Surrealist knack for collage and uncanny combinations, the Milan-based artist Stefano Arienti has long been in search of new ways to make a mark while experimenting with free-form narrative.
$15.00Josiah McElheny creates finely crafted, handmade glass objects that he combines with photographs, text, and museological displays to evoke notions of meaning and memory.
With an almost Surrealist sensibility for collage and lyrical combinations and juxtapositions, the artist Su-Mei Tse experiments with free-form narrative to share the works and references that have inspired her on her creative path.
This artist book layers a variety of images with notes and quotes selected by Tse. It was published in conjunction with her exhibition, Floating Memories.
Born in Luxembourg, based also in Paris and Berlin, Su-Mei Tse has gained international recognition with her videos, photographs, sculptures, and installation works, which often incorporate sound and musical components. Her work explores the nature of perception and temporality, and urges viewers towards moments of deep introspection.
By Su-Mei Tse, edited by Pieranna Cavalchini, Curator of Contemporary Art at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
Published by Charta/Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 2010
6 x 0.5 x 7.2 inches
$20.00Aiming to bring an understanding of the contexts of treasures of the past closer to contemporary concerns, three experts discuss Titian's Europa, Rubens's Thomas Howard, Earl of Arundel, Rubens's Rape of Europa from the Prado Museum, and Titian's Francesco Maria della Rovere from the Uffizi.
$14.00A catalog listing and describing the Asian and Islamic art in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
$24.00Portugal established trading centers in India and Sri Lanka through the first direct sea route from Europe to Asia. By the 1500s, the luxury goods being imported from South Asia were highly sought after, creating an evolving trade system that resulted in the development of art and craft work that combined styles and traditions.
Throughout the millennia, myths of the ancient Greeks, altered, amended, and enriched, have served as touchstones of European civilization.
The exhibition Passionate Acts in Greek Art and Myth explores the theme of myths as expressions of emotion and sentiment in antiquity and later periods.
By Hilliard T. Goldfarb, with forward by Anne Hawley, former Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner
Published by the Trustees of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, 1993
10.6 x 8.2 x 0.2 inches
$12.00Lee Mingwei's simple yet elegant installations provide a stage for interpersonal exchange around ordinary human events or activities–admiring an object, making conversation, or writing a letter to a friend or family member.