Isabella Stewart Gardner


Isabella Stewart Gardner


Isabella Stewart of New York never thought much about ancestry until she married into the Gardner family of Boston. In Boston, she endured a good deal of fairly dull conversation on the subject, so, eventually, she had her Stewart descent traced directly back — all the way to King Fergus I of Scotland, a contemporary of Alexander the Great! ... After having the Stewart lineage engrossed and illuminated in colors on a long scroll, Isabella Stewart Gardner was in a position to make one of her famous, much-quoted remarks. She had listened to a monologue by a Boston dowager concerning that lady’s American Revolutionary ancestry. “Ah yes,” said Isabella. “They were much less careful about immigration in those days, I believe.”

Biographical Note: 

Isabella Stewart Gardner was a U.S. social leader, art collector and one of the foremost female patrons of the arts.

More Information: 

Learn more about Isabella Stewart Gardner.
View her travel albums online. These interesting pages contain correspondence and photographs, music manuscripts and diaries. They are fascinating.

Image Info

The image above is called “Isabella Stewart Gardner” (1888). It was painted by John Singer Sargent.