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What Isabella Wanted

What Isabella Wanted

"A superb picture book about Isabella Stewart Gardner and the museum she almost single-handedly created. It perfectly captures both her inspired, far-seeing vision and her utterly ruthless determination. I lived around two blocks away from the Museum when I was a kid, and I would have absolutely loved this book."

Alan H.

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Author Candace Fleming
Publisher Holiday House
Publication Date 2021
Section Children's Reference / All Staff Suggestions / Suggestions for Kids / Alan H.
Type New
Format Hardcover
ISBN 9780823442638

From multiple award-winning author Candace Fleming and Caldecott Medalist Matthew Cordell comes the true story of a woman who always got what she wanted: Isabella Stewart Gardner.

For years, the indomitable Isabella Stewart Gardner searched the world for magnificent artwork and filled her home with a truly unique collection, with the aim of turning it into a museum, which she established in 1903.

Isabella always did things her own way. One day she’d wear baseball gear to the symphony, the next, she’d be seen strolling down the street with zoo lions. It was no surprised that she was very particular about how she arranged her exhibits. They were not organized historically, stylistically, or by artist. Instead, they were arranged based on the connections Isabella felt toward the art, a connection she hoped to encourage in her visitors.

For years, her museum delighted generations of Bostonians and visitors with the collections arranged exactly as she wanted. But in 1990, a spectacular burglary occurred when two thieves disguised as police officers stole thirteen paintings, valued at $500 million, including a Rembrandt and a Vermeer. They have yet to be recovered, though a $10 million reward is still being offered for their safe return.

Author Candace Fleming perfectly captures Isabella’s inimitable personality and drive, accompanied by exuberant illustrations by Matthew Cordell.

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