The Art of Scandal: Life and Times of Isabella Stewart Gardner

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9780060186432: The Art of Scandal: Life and Times of Isabella Stewart Gardner

Immortalized in print by Henry James and on canvas by John Singer Sargent and a legend in her own lifetime, Isabella Stewart Gardner struck out boldly against Victorian repression to develop her own artistic and intellectual interest. Married to a pillar of Boston Brahmin society, which didn't accept her eccentric lifestyle, Isabella Gardner involved herself with the newly emerging Irish-catholic, Jewish, feminist, gay and African-American communities and become muse and mentor to musicians, painters, writers and scholars such as Henry James, Henry Adams, John Singer Sargent, Lady Gregory, Bernard Berenson, Elsie de Wolfe, Charles Eliot Norton and George Santayana. The climax of her life came after the death of her beloved husband in 1898 when she designed and built a Venetian palazzo in Boston to contain her world-famous art collection, where she lived and entertained lavishly and which stands today as the ultimate triumph of her remarkable life.

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