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Isabella Stewart Gardner papers, 1760-1956

Gardner, Isabella Stewart, 1840-1924

Collector, Art patron

Collection Information

Size: 40 Microfilm reels

Summary: Letters, business records, diary, and photographs.
REEL 380-413: Primarily correspondence, mostly Gardner's own, but including family correspondence and Gardner Museum correspondence.
REELS 631-632: Personal papers of Gardner and some records of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum including dealers' files containing invoices, notes, cancelled checks, and letters; a record book, "Prices Paid for Paintings," 1917; a record book, "Prices Paid for Works of Art"; 118 installation photographs of the museum as arranged by Gardner, 1924; a diary kept in Egypt, 1874, with sketches; a diary kept in Shanghai and India, 1883-1884; "Directions for my funeral," 1912; and "Suggestions for Running a Museum," 1913.
REELS 696-698: Letters from Bernard Berenson to Gardner, 1887-1924. Letters contain references to literary topics, Berenson's impressions of Europe, various paintings and artists, advice to Gardner on the purchase of paintings and information on their sale.
REEL 846: Checklist of Gardner's letters to Bernard and Mary Berenson, 1894-1924; typescripts of personal and official correspondence (originals found on AAA microfilm reels 696-698), 1887-1924.

Biographical/Historical Note

Isabella Stewart Gardner was an art patron, collector, and museum founder in Boston, Mass. Immediately after graduation from Harvard, Bernard Berenson was hired by Gardner to travel throughout Italy collecting Italian Renaissance art for her recreated Venetian palazzo in Boston. She established her palazzo as a museum of fine European art with stipulations that after her death none of the exhibited works was to be moved or rearranged, but left as she had designed during her lifetime.

Provenance

Microfilm lent by Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for duplicating, 1972-1975.

Language Note

English .

Location of Originals

  • Originals in the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, Mass.