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Gardner [née Stewart], Isabella Stewartlocked

(b New York, April 14, 1840; d Boston, MA, July 17, 1924).
  • Lillian B. Miller
  •  and Margaret Barlow


American patron, collector, and museum founder. The daughter of a wealthy New York merchant and wife of a prominent Boston banker, John L. Gardner jr (1837–98), she bought her first important painting in 1873—a small landscape by the Barbizon painter Charles Jacque. (All works cited are in Boston, Isabella Stewart Gardner Mus.) In the 1870s she also began to collect rare books, manuscripts, autographs, and etchings, under the influence of Charles Eliot Norton. Although she continued to buy such pieces until her death, after the 1880s books took second place to art. During a trip to Europe in ...

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