Rivals on the Fenway: Isabella Stewart Gardner, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Destiny of the American Art Museum
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Fellowship Work Summary, 2022–23
Andrew McClellan is professor of history of art and architecture at Tufts University. He has written on painting, sculpture and architecture, but especially on the history of museums and art collecting. An overriding interest in contexts, institutional frameworks, the display and reception of art informs five of his books: Inventing the Louvre: Art, Politics, and the Origins of the Modern Museum in Eighteenth-Century Paris (1999), Art and Its Publics: Museum Studies at the Millennium (2003), The Art Museum from Boullée to Bilbao (2008), The Art of Curating: Paul J. Sachs and the Museum Course at Harvard (2018), and Revisiting History in Museums and at Historic Sites (2022). His current project, Rivals on the Fenway, is a book-length exploration of the simultaneous formation and complementary design of Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and Museum of Fine Arts. Drawing on archival sources, this study will offer a new vision of the overlapping trajectories of public and private art museums in the United States.