Gardner Museum celebrates “Opening Our Doors Day” with Free Admission on Columbus Day

Isabella Stewart Gardner (Photo courtesy: Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum)
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BOSTON– On Columbus Day, (Monday, Oct. 8) visitors are welcome to explore the beautiful gardens and galleries of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum for free as part of the annual Fenway Cultural District community festival of fun, creativity, and culture on Opening Our Doors Day.

More than 20 institutions in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood come together for this free cultural event. From hands-on art activities to dance to classical and jazz music performances, families, children, and adults can enjoy the Fenway’s rich cultural offerings ( for free all day.

The theme for the day at the Gardner is “Pulling Threads,” inspired by the Museum’s current contemporary exhibition, Common Threads: Weaving Stories Across Time, with activities celebrating a multitude of stories and hands-on textile-inspired programming for the whole family throughout the Museum.

There will be art-making in the Studio, a fashion showcase of local designers curated by Nathalia JMag and electric violinist Josh Knowles improvising a musical response to digital tapestry in the Common Threads exhibition. Artist Steve Locke’s piece on the exterior facade of the Gardner will come to life with songs by the Hamilton-Garrett Music and Arts Academy Choir. There will be a special screening of Eternally Misunderstood, a moving documentary of interviews with young women of color whose lives have been affected by incarceration. And, guests can try their hands at weaving recycled fibers into large communal tapestries with local fiber artist Diane Ivey.

Admission Details:

  • To ensure everyone’s experience at the Museum is pleasant, entry is timed every 30 minutes beginning at 10 am, with the last entry at 4 pm.
  • Admission includes access to the entire Museum, including special exhibitions.

For more information, visit

In the spirit of Isabella Stewart Gardner and her love of textiles, a special exhibition, Common Threads: Weaving Stories Across Time, will open this fall and will feature works by contemporary artists from around the world. These artists, many of whom have been Artists-in-Residence at the Gardner, are redefining textile art through mediums including music, video, and participatory art. The exhibition opens Oct. 4 and runs through Jan. 13, 2019.


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