I went to the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum yesterday. It's a lovely place with a gorgeous garden atrium and a fine collection of Sargents, who is one of my favorite painters. I had never seen his watercolors in person before, so that was a treat.
I was sad that both lighting and hanging of pieces precluded you from really seeing some of the art. A beguiling line of tiny Whistlers were way across a room, behind furniture and a rope, and in dim light. You just couldn't see them at all. Some of the Sargents were also high and dimly lit. I understand staying true to the spirit of the founder, but I wish they could improve the lighting a bit.
Also the second floor was completely closed for renovations, and the paintings don't go on alternate view until the day after I leave. So I missed the Dutch collection (what's left of it) among others. But overall it was a lovely place to wander around and see art.
One neat thing was that they have an artist in residence program. There was a really lovely exhibit of the latest one. She had done tiny, text heavy drawings of the musuem, and they fit into various small boxes. Lots of them had a library stamp on them for the date. Brilliant. Nicely in the urban sketcher style. I did a very quick sketch to remind myself of the overall feel.
Martha Kelly is an artist and illustrator who lives and works in Memphis, Tennessee.
Get studio email updates from Gideon and me.
To subscribe to this blog, by email: