WellesleyWeston Magazine

SUMMER 2012

Launched in 2005, WellesleyWeston Magazine is a quarterly publication tailored to Wellesley and Weston residents and edited to enrich the experience of living in two of Massachusetts' most desirable communities.

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Such non-traditional attractions serve to highlight more and more of New England's fine arts institutions, including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, which I visited on returning to the Boston area. There, a recently opened wing designed by Renzo Piano includes an inviting "living room area" graced by comfortable couches and a working fireplace. Jewel in the crown But the real jewel in the crown of the iconic Gardner, whose center court will forever con- tain a unique conflation of classical artifacts graced with greenery (as Mrs. Gardner stipu- lated in her will), is a sparkling new perform- ance space of original design and superb acoustics. Seating roughly 300, it is a work of art and a unique attraction in its own right. As it introduces a new era of chamber music, art song, and jazz to complement one of Boston's most beloved art collections, the very spe- cial character of this compact treasure of a museum is confirmed. North of Boston the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) can also lay claim to iconic status, doing so in ways departing widely from its traditional role as a repository of American decorative arts and China trade artifacts. Yet PEM still possesses great depth in both areas, as well as portraiture and mar- itime art. I have also encountered fascinating displays there of early modernism (Man Ray 175 summer 2012 | WellesleyWeston Magazine

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