Now On View

In the Company of Artists

25 Years of Artists-in-Residence

October 17, 2019 - January 20, 2020
Hostetter Gallery

Since its inception, the Gardner Museum has been a haven for artists of all disciplines. In her time, Isabella Stewart Gardner nurtured and supported many creative minds—inviting artists to activate the galleries, encouraging them to paint, dance, play music, and read poetry within the Museum walls.

This fall, we're celebrating the living legacy of artists at the Museum with our exhibition In the Company of Artists: 25 Years of Artists-in-Residence, featuring Sophie Calle, Bharti Kher, Luisa Lambri, Laura Owens, Rachel Perry, Dayanita Singh, and Su-Mei Tse. Artists will also activate spaces throughout the Museum and the Historic Palace with participatory artworks and performances, including Sonic Blossom by Lee Mingwei, live portrait drawing with Charmaine Wheatley, storytelling with Gcina Mhlophe, and a three-day film festival.

Bharti Kher, Artist-in-Residence

In the Company of Artists Exhibition Catalogue. Design by Siena Scarff. Detail.

Exhibition Catalogue

This book reflects on the Artists-in-Residence program—from its inception until today—revealing the surprising insights and discoveries that arise when contemporary artists are given space and time to research and develop new work in an extraordinary setting.

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Lee Mingwei: Sonic Blossom

October 16–December 1, 2019

During Museum hours, Lee Mingwei’s Sonic Blossom (2013-present) will bring opera to the Gardner Museum in the form of a spontaneous gift. Donning an elaborate robe, a vocal soloist will select a visitor in the galleries at random, approaching them with the simple question: "May I give you the gift of song?" If the offer is accepted, they will be guided to a specially designed chair and given a personal performance of one of five lieder (art songs) by Franz Schubert.

Sonic Blossom, 2013-present, Ongoing participatory performance installation with chair, music stand, costume, and spontaneous song, installation view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. Photo: Anita Kan.

Photo: Anita Kan.

Sonic Blossom, 2013-present, Ongoing participatory performance installation with chair, music stand, costume, and spontaneous song, installation view at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015.

Meet Our Artists

The Gardner Museum continues Isabella’s bold legacy of supporting artists and celebrating creative talent in all its forms.

Artist Walks

Explore the art of the past with living artists through immersive audio walks.

Image at top: Bleeding Tools, courtesy Su-Mei Tse and The Peter Blum Gallery, New York. Photo: Jean-Lou Majerus.

Exhibition-Related Programming

Saturday Open Studio

Boston Artists at the Gardner

December 14, 2019, 11 am - 2 pm

In connection with the special exhibition, In the Company of Artists, Boston designer and illustrator Sabrina Dorsainvil invites you to awaken your inner artist every Saturday in the Studio.

December 15, 2019, 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Artist-in-Residence Charmaine Wheatley sequentially records encounters with people and places using watercolor, drawing, and conversations. She looks at how people move and breathe, and listens closely to what they say. Sign up to join her for an intimate conversation and a 45-minute portrait sitting.

December 16, 2019, 11:30 am - 12:15 pm

Artist-in-Residence Charmaine Wheatley sequentially records encounters with people and places using watercolor, drawing, and conversations. She looks at how people move and breathe, and listens closely to what they say. Sign up to join her for an intimate conversation and a 45-minute portrait sitting.

In the Company of Artists has been generously supported by Tom and Lisa Blumenthal and William C. and Joyce K. Fletcher. The Artist-in-Residence program is directed by Pieranna Cavalchini, Tom and Lisa Blumenthal Curator of Contemporary Art, and is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Barbara Lee Program Fund. The Museum receives operating support from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, which receives support from the State of Massachusetts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

Media sponsor: WBUR