Third Thursday at the Gardner Museum

The other week I had the best Thursday night I can remember in the recent past!

And it's an adventure I hope to replicate as many times as my schedule allows.

Have you ever been to a museum or gallery 'after hours'?

I'm not talking a private showing or exhibition premiere for VIPs and the press.

I mean a special event dedicated to opening the doors to patrons just a few hours longer than usual.

If you typically frequent these shindigs then this is right up your alley, if you haven't — you'll soon be marking them on your calendar!

As you know, the Gardner Museum is one of my favorites and while I never need an extra excuse to visit the collection, July's Third Thursday was the best excuse to stay in the city just a bit longer.

Third Thursdays at the Gardner mean the doors are flung open until 9pm to allow guests to indulge their senses and enjoy an early start to the weekend.

With no extra 'special event' costs, you can breeze into the museum with a regular ticket in hand and enjoy a slew of activities, view of the entire collection, and the live music in the courtyard.

I slipped up to the exhibition space in the new wing to view Life, Death, and Revelry of the Farnese Sarcophagus — complete with timeline and 3D film before diving back into the palazzo.

A jazz trio filled the courtyard with music as guests strolled around with the special cocktail of the evening — it was a true delight!

The best part was viewing the collection in the early summer evening sun, where golden light pools through the windows and literally brings a new light to the items on display.

The magic and whimsy of the evening certainly made me think this is exactly what Isabella aimed for during the many parties she was known for throwing here — engaging the senses in every way possible to enhance the art-viewing experience.

I fully recommend you visit the Gardner for their Third Thursdays, which happen every third Thursday of the month year round!

It's the perfect way to spend an evening with your friends, for a date spot, or even to while away the late afternoon yourself.


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