Renzo Piano Wing Opens at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston

Posted by Rachel Klein on January 19, 2012 at 11:14:49 AM EST | Post a Comment

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Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum—known for its collection of fine and decorative art—debuted its new wing today, designed by Renzo Piano. Exciting features include a 300-seat performance hall, a gift shop and café, classrooms and studios for hands-on workshops, plus space for special exhibitions.

The Pritzker Prize-winning architect's all-glass building allows light to flood into the lobby, and from it, visitors can look out onto the surrounding gardens. And the wing has the added function of supporting the original building, completed in 1902, and modeled after a 15th-century Venetian palazzo.

The inaugural exhibition features a collection of contemporary art from artists who spent time in the museum's artist-in-residence program, and highlight works by Scottish painter and sculptor Victoria Morton, in her first solo show in America.

The Gardner houses more than 2,500 pieces of art—everything from 16th-century tapestries, to rare, guilded manuscripts, to Italian Rococo armchairs—as well as painting and sculpture from masters including Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Degas, and others.

Photo credit: courtesy Nic Lehoux / Renzo Piano Building Workshop

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