C'est mon plaisir!
December 11, 2015 9:46 AM   Subscribe

Isabella smoked cigarettes, and the newspaper ran stories claiming she had taken zoo lions for a stroll in the park. A dahlia bears her name, and so does a mountain peak in Washington. She once shocked all of Boston Society by showing up to the Boston Symphony Orchestra bearing a headband that declared, "Oh you Red Sox." She invited the Harvard Football team to her home after they beat Yale. She hosted a boxing match at her home and, while the men fought, she danced. She had two large diamonds attached to wires and wore them bouncing in her hair. At the opening of her museum, she served champagne and donuts. The woman courted the world, and the world courted the woman.
posted by ChuraChura (4 comments total) 29 users marked this as a favorite
This is a really neat article! I was sure to go to the ISG museum (on mefite recommendation) when I was in Boston for a weekend last spring, and this article is very helpful context. It is one weird museum, and really overwhelming.
posted by Frowner at 11:28 AM on December 11, 2015 [2 favorites]

The woman courted the world, and the world courted the woman.

And she built just the courtyard to do it in.

The Isabella Gardner Museum is my favorite museum (with the possible exception of the totally unrelated Pitt Rivers). Thanks for this!
posted by cosmac at 12:10 PM on December 11, 2015

I've never been there, but now I need to go. Plus-- champagne and donuts! That is inspired.
posted by tuesdayschild at 3:19 PM on December 11, 2015

My favorite neighbor. I joined the museum the first week I moved to my current apartment, though I haven't visited in a while. When it's 20 degrees outside and the snow is a foot deep, it's such an odd and amazing experience to step into the central courtyard filled with ferns.

Sadly they've cordoned it off so you can't walk out into the center of the courtyard. But if I had unlimited disposable income I'd waste a big chunk of it for the chance to, just once, sit in a nice chair smack in the middle of it, with coffee and a pastry, reading my favorite Waugh, for just an hour on a cold winter's day.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:29 PM on December 11, 2015 [1 favorite]

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