Have you ever been to Boston? I was so fortunate to explore the city for several days last month with Eron Johnson and wanted to share some of the ‘must-see’ places. These stops are filled with some of the best art examples of all kinds that I have had the pleasure of seeing. The city of Boston, Massachusetts, is rich in history and fine art. The art collections in the Museum of Fine Arts, Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston Public Library, Old State House Museum, and the Arlington Street Church are unbeatable. In Boston, you can see a full complement of world art and Americana. In these art institutions, you’ll find many paintings, sculptures, and marvelous artifacts. The exquisite architecture of the buildings is also noteworthy. If you can’t go anytime soon, I hope this piece gives you a little taste that you enjoy.
1. The Museum of Fine Arts is one of the leading art museums in the world. We were here from open to close and enjoyed every second. This museum needs two days. Every art movement from every period of history worldwide is represented here. Founded in 1870, the museum moved to its current location in 1909. The museum is affiliated with Tufts University. It admits more than one million visitors a year. They also have a fantastic brunch! My favorite was a room that was filled with only Monet paintings and a painting I have always wanted to see in person by John Singer Sargent.
2. The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum was founded by Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840 – 1924), an American art collector, philanthropist, and patron of the arts. The museum was incorporated in 1900 and opened in 1903. It was designed to emulate a 15th-century Venetian palace. It features European, Asian, and American art, from paintings and sculpture to tapestries and decorative arts. This place is quite literally stepping into another world and is a CAN’T MISS in Boston. Isabella Gardner placed her portrait by John S. Sargent in the most prominent corner of the final gallery of the museum.
3. The Boston Public Library is a municipal public library founded in 1848. It is also the library for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It is the second largest public library in the United States, behind only the Library of Congress according to the American Library Association. This library is not only visually stunning but filled with incredible art from artists like my personal favorite, John Singer Sargent. The library was a million times more exceptional than I expected and I was so grateful we went inside!
4. The Old State House is a historic building at the intersection of Washington and State Streets. Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798. It is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States. The museum is a favorite tourist attraction. It is also close to a couple of fun Irish pubs where on a Sunday afternoon, you can join a music session or have some delicious Irish cuisine.
5. Arlington Street Church houses one of the only complete matching sets of Tiffany stained glass windows. These windows you can get up close to and look at and even touch. It is a wonderful feeling to be so close to these precious artifacts.
As for eats, Marliaves and Mama Maria are fantastic places to have a nice dinner. If you are looking for casual stops, basically anything in Little Italy was superb from casual to upscale. The red velvet cupcake at Modern Pastry Shop was life changing.