hello & happy spring!
It seemed like spring was finally here a few weeks ago. The temperature was higher, there were buds on my lilac trees and the crocus and daffodil bulbs were peeking through the frozen earth, then BAM, more snow! To save myself from crying I decided to get out of town with a friend. We took a road trip to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. I had always heard wonderful things about this Museum, but honestly my interest only peaked after reading The Art Forger, a novel by B.A. Shapiro. I was left intrigued not only by Isabella’s wild spirit, but by the mystery of the famous art heist at the Museum in 1990. Thirteen famous works were stolen by a pair of thieves disguised as Boston Police and never recovered. The empty frames still hang in the gallery with the hope of their return. I enjoyed learning more about the stolen works on this virtual tour and think you will too.
There is so much to love about the Museum, but my favorite part was Isabella’s gorgeous Victorian courtyard garden. It was designed to be viewed from every level of the Museum and is sprinkled with Isabella’s beautiful collection of sculptures. It is so peaceful and serene, providing a great place for contemplation and a break from the busy city. The gardens change with the seasons and new flowers are grown in greenhouses specifically for the garden. I was impressed to learn that Isabella was the first American woman to graduate with a degree in horticulture. She saw the value and beauty of nature and made the garden an intricate part of her artistic vision. You can learn more about the garden here.
“Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace.
This visit was just what I needed to revive my spirit and expand my color palette. The painting above is one of several small works on paper I am currently working on in the studio. You can see more and follow my progress on Instagram. I always love learning about new places and would love to hear what your favorite gardens are. Share with me in the comments below.
Sending you an adventure of your own and hint of spring!
p.s. If you want to learn about the art heist and how I saw the Museum from an art perspective, hop on over to LauraTwoTina and read the letter I shared with Tina HERE.