The season of fall plays an important role in the stories behind several of the Gardner Museum's well-know works of art.
In the fall of 1888, artist and friend of Isabella Stewart Gardner Denis Miller Bunker visited Mrs. Gardner's residence in Brookline. It was there—among the flora and fauna of Mrs. Gardner's Green Hill greenhouse—that he painted Chrysanthemums, a work that now resides in the Museum's Blue Room. From late September to November, dozens of varieties of chrysanthemums appear in the Courtyard announcing the arrival of fall at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.
Many years later, the Gardners and the Zorns traveled to Venice's Palazzo Barbaro. On an autumn night Isabella went out on the balcony to see a display of fireworks. Coming back into the room filled with guests, she threw open the glass doors and said, “Come out—all of you. This is too beautiful to miss.” This memorable moment would serve as the inspiration for Anders Zorns' Isabella Stewart Gardner in Venice.
Gift at the Gardner presents this autumnal collection, inspired by that fantastic fall feeling.