Boston, Massachusetts: Overflowing with History and Art
As my flight came in for landing over Boston, I could see a bed of greenery and trees beneath me, spreading like a blanket over a city of red brick buildings. It reminded me of London. To a large extent, there is a lot that England’s capital and this beautiful and vibrant city in Massachusetts have in common with each other. Both are rich in history and are full to overflowing with art and culture. And for both, you definitely need more than a day or two to explore.
Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum
One of the most famous events in the city’s history is, of course, the Boston Tea Party. Appropriately, my starting point in my cultural tour was the Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum. Authentically dressed re-enactors greeted me as I boarded The Beaver. “Lendall Pitts” and three of his comrades told me the story of what transpired on the night of December 16, 1773 and the events leading up to the American Revolution, when Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty, the colonists, tipped 342 chests of tea into what used to be Griffin’s Wharf because of the Tea Tax imposed by the British. Every year for the re-enactment, the East India Brewing Company donates fresh tea to the museum for throwing into Boston Harbor.
Museum of Fine Arts
Next, I stepped into Boston’s vibrant art scene. First opened in 1876, the Museum of Fine Arts is host to more than 450,000 works of art. From master works from the Americas, Europe, Asia, and the Ancient World, to textiles, fashion and jewelry, the MFA is sure to impress. I took in the new Art of the Americas wing. Magnificent works are on display by John Singer Sargent, Thomas Sully and John Singleton Copley, the latter of whom moved to England in 1775, shortly after all hell broke loose during the America Revolution. There are some who say the timing of his departure from Boston was not coincidental.
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum
I then walked to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the Fenway-Kenmore neighborhood. The outside façade of the building is modern in design and boasts a Luisa Rabbia work of art entitled Waterfall. The museum is housed in a stunning 15th-century, Venetian-style palazzo with three stories of galleries and a beautiful courtyard garden.
I started my tour of the intimate museum in the Gothic Room, which primarily contains objects from Europe during the medieval period. In this single room alone, there are stained glass windows, tapestries, rare books and manuscripts. Dominating the room is John Singer Sargent’s portrait of the museum founder herself.
Everything at the museum is kept in the same position that Mrs. Gardner originally placed them. She put things together in a way that was aesthetically pleasing to her, not necessarily with things from the same era, country or even continent. A formidable woman, Mrs. Gardner stipulated in her will that the rooms remain the way she envisioned. To make sure of this, she mandated in her will that every year on her birthday, April 14, a memorial service be held.
This iconic American city gave me a wealth of memories to take back home. I will definitely return for more adventures, and you should, too!