Close Up: Sargent on Locationby Matthew Innis |
In the winter of 1903, shortly after the Museum first opened to the public, John Singer Sargent used the Gothic Room of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum as a studio. Among the portraits he painted here was one of Isabella’s dear friends, Gretchen Osgood Warren, with her daughter Rachel—now in the collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. This fall, we will bring the portrait of Gretchen back to the room where it was painted, thereby reuniting it with another great Sargent portrait of Isabella herself.
Simultaneously, in the Museum’s Fenway Gallery, we will exhibit archival material related to Sargent’s use of the Gothic Room as a studio. Other items highlight the friendship of the two, highly accomplished Gilded Age women—Isabella and Gretchen—including a book of Gretchen’s poetry and a book of autographs paying tribute to Isabella’s “priceless museum for refreshment and education.”