Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Yet another of my favorite museums. I think it must be the inner courtyard in an art museum that seals it for me.

The museum was completed in 1901 but it wasn’t just a museum; Isabella Stewart Gardner made her home on the fourth floor. She acquired art and arranged it in her home/art gallery for the rest of her life. When she died she left the museum to the public with the stipulation that not one piece of art could be rearranged and no art could be added to the collection.

March 18, 1990, 13 works of art valued at a total of $500 million were stolen. Today empty frames hang where the art was stolen, an eery yet hopeful image of a museum that hopes one day to recover the works.