Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Tombstone Tuesday ~ Isabella Stewart Gardner Mausoleum

This mausoleum was photographed at the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  It is the Gardner family tomb, and Isabella Stewart Gardner (1840 - 1924) is interred inside between her husband, John "Jack" Lowell Gardner, Jr. and her little boy.  The child's bust in the niche at the end of the mausoleum is her son, John Lowell Gardner, III (1863 - 1865).

Isabella Stewart Gardner was a patron of the arts and a collector, and she opened her home in Boston as a museum during her lifetime.  After her death she left provisions in her will for the museum to continue under certain conditions, or it would be sold off and the profits given to the Harvard Medical School.  Her collection of art is now considered priceless, and was the victim of a famous art theft in 1990 when several paintings and objects were stolen.

I'm not related to Isabella, but to her husband's family.  I have several Gardner lines from Salem, Massachusetts.  The closest relationship I have to John Lowell Gardner is 5th cousin five generations removed, which is not very close.
Family Information: John Lowell Gardner, son of John Lowell Gardner and Catherine E. Peabody, born 26 November 1837 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, died 1878; married on 10 April 1860 in Boston to Isabella Stewart, daughter of David Stewart and Adelia Smith.  One child: John Lowell Gardner born 18 June 1863 in Boston, died 15 May 1865 in Boston.
Mount Auburn Cemetery http://www.mountauburn.org/

Gardner Museum  http://www.gardnermuseum.org/ 
Copyright 2013, Heather Wilkinson Rojo


  1. You'd think that they'd clean, polish, and do some upkeep in those places. :-)

    Gardner was quite the lady in her time. She walked a pet lion on a leash through the Fenway, and wore low cut dresses when such baring of flesh was frowned upon by upper-crust society.

  2. We have visited the Isabella Stewart Gardner museum with my sister, when she was alive. It is unusual and very intriguing. I remember reading an article about the art theft. Thanks for telling us about the Mausoleum . . . never knew about her sad family situation -- a son who died very young.

  3. A little about Jack and Isabella.