A Welcome Addition
The famed Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum recently opened a new addition to the existing, ornate, historical space. The modern, Renzo Piano-designed addition -- a 70,000 square foot temple of light and glass -- holds space to showcase art by current and former members of the museum's artist-in-residence program, an impressive performance hall, and a gleaming new studio. It is in this latter space that the museum is holding weekly Education Studio workshops. Visitors of all ages are welcome to participate in workshops, which are drop-in and held on Saturdays and Sundays from 11am to 4:30pm, and included in the price of museum admission.
I recently took my 9-year-old daughter to one such workshop and she thoroughly enjoyed building a three-dimensional freeform building out of a variety of materials. Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult, and I think the workshops are most suitable for children 6 and up. The workshops are themed, such as this weekend's Cupid's Arrow, during which attendees will visit the Titian room to observe Cupids in art before making their own Cupid's arrow with dowels, features, and paints, and The Uncommon Canvas (March 17-18), when participants, inspired by contemporary artist Victoria Morton's works (in the Special Exhibition gallery) will create multilayered pieces of their own from materials such as scrap fabric, tissue, and acrylics.
For a slightly older child, the Gardner is an enchanting place. My daughter was captivated by the internal garden and the story of a fascinating, eccentric woman whose personal selections and assortments have never been altered. Combining a visit with a workshop in the bright new space made for a wonderful weekend morning.
Editor's Note: Unfortunately I couldn't find direct links for the Education Studio workshops. I recommend calling advance of your visit to confirm programming.