Thursday, February 2, 2012

Checking out the Gardner

No, nothing to do with tilling the soil, Bostonians all know that "The Gardener" means the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum, which has always had the charm of being the concrete expression of one woman's taste, from a time when one person could buy such things as a Titian, a Cranach, the Regimental Standard of one of Napoleon's regiments and a freshly excavated Roman sarcophagus.  But we have had to agree with several of our recent visitors that during the last few years there has been a certain staleness about the place, amidst the wonders.  At least part of the cause seems to have been the splendid will of Mrs. Stewart, worthy of Soames Forsyth, which has decreed that there shall be no changes, not even loans.  We have been intrigued to hear how the trustees have addressed the problem: by building an annex, and not changing the original building, so we went along to see. The new space impoves the old by vacating the room that used to be used for recitals, and providing a new box like auditorium,  We were allowed into a rehearsalof a piece of music that wasso   avant gard as to be inaccessable, but the acoustics and visibility were wonderful.  Also wonderful are the new rooms which include something called thr "living room", which is a quiet room with comfortable seating where one can simply rest and contemplate matters, before one resumes the quest. It is going to be fun to have lunch in the new patio area adjacent to the new cafeteria, once we are warmer. The Gardiner has always been one of the places we suggest that visitors to Boston should see, and that is even more the case now.