Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Reviews

Updated February 18, 2015
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2.5
11 Reviews
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Anne Hawley
6 Ratings

Employee Reviews

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  1. fine institution

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Pros

    nice people, interesting history, good location, near public transportation

    Cons

    challenging financial environment for cultural orgs these days, not as popular with crowds as neighboring institutions

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    stabilize finances and decrease dependence on donations

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  2. 1 person found this helpful

    Only if you're desperate.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Pros

    Merely just a year of experience. The director is leaving--perhaps the culture/attitude will shift.

    Cons

    Low pay, lousy benefits, unfriendly atmosphere. I left after a year despite the fact that I wanted to leave after 3 months. Other reviews are spot on in describing the hostile environment. Managers are passive-aggressive, co-workers will throw you under the bus and the entire structure is extremely hierarchal--speak when spoken to. No staff diversity both in race and gender...be prepared to work with the same person over and over again.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 2 people found this helpful

    Abandon Ship...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I worked at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Pros

    Working amongst some of the worlds great artworks.

    Cons

    A few bad players in key positions make this a dangerous place to work. You could be denied your human dignity if you attempt to resolve any issues through the current HR. For the past several years many good people have abandoned ship. A nasty business model lingering from the 80s/90s seems to be at work here. Managers got on the cheap have little actual experience.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Outside review of current practices, instigated by the Board, or a new Director with experience who will clean house.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
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  5. 2 people found this helpful

    Leadership disconnected from employees

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Development Assistant in Boston, MA
    Former Employee - Development Assistant in Boston, MA

    I worked at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Working for the Gardner means you're working toward a great mission! This is a wonderful institution with admirable programming that goes toward supporting artists, youth, and whoever wants to seek inspiration, edification, or solace within its beautiful walls.

    Cons

    The leadership felt very disconnected from staff. Leadership decisions were never transparent and news or announcements felt "handed down" to the staff rather than shared or discussed. Upper-level staff did not always bother to learn the names of the people supporting them or their teams (not talking about contractors or part time staff, either). On a team-by-team basis, do not expect mentorship from managers, though some will give more time to their direct reports than others. Many will never communicate a clear path toward promotion/advancement or help you to forge such a trajectory.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Your talent is passionate and eager to serve the Gardner. Salary compensation is not the only way to reward and engage a workforce; consider other ways to support development (a few free ticketed performances annually, invitations to attend or speak at industry conferences, team building workshops, get all levels of staff engaged in planning exercises, etc.).

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  6. 3 people found this helpful

    Get in and get out.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Known name on the resume and depending on your manager, you can get some decent experience.

    Cons

    This place is notorious for underpaying its employees, but I knew that going in, however, after a couple of years, no change in salary and no future in position. Problems stem from the top...low morale, stifling, micro-managing and the name of the game is to blame someone else. Very toxic, disappointing experience--the positives I got out of my being there was getting some experience as well as placing more of a brand name on my resume.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  7. 2 people found this helpful

    Won't miss it

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Pros

    A grand collection of art

    Cons

    a very depressing work atmosphere

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  8. 3 people found this helpful

    A lesson in dirty politics in the Art world.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Security Officer in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Security Officer in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum full-time (more than a year)

    Pros

    Health Insurance, overtime ;because people are always calling in sick or showing up late .I did meet allot of nice people but its the dead branches on the tree you have to look out for. They will make you look bad and use you to make themselves look better.They buy pizza for the guards to eat when they have special events .

    Cons

    Upper management creates a near hostile atmosphere, because they think that people who are lower than them are less human. Communications,feedback and training was not satisfactory .Payroll loopholes to take overtime from you. They hire relatives and friends which ends up being a real conflict of interest when the dirty politics begins and other times as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Treat people the same all year long, and not find a poor soul around budget time to fire. Base your opinions of employees on actual performance and not popularity.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  9. 3 people found this helpful

    If you're a fan of doing nothing at all...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Security in Boston, MA
    Current Employee - Security in Boston, MA

    I have been working at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Pros

    Great people to work with
    Job essentially consists of not doing much at all
    Most of the "ground level" managers are great people

    Cons

    You will not be supported when something goes wrong
    You will be forced to work hours that you are not scheduled for
    The senior management is beyond detached from the every day events of the museum
    You will never move forward

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Senior management ignores the importance of security and treats them as if they are sub-human. Perhaps if this disturbing trend could be avoided, you would have happier employees.

    Doesn't Recommend
  10. Summer Internship

    • Culture & Values
    Former Employee - Development Intern
    Former Employee - Development Intern

    I worked at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Pros

    It was a positive internship experience for me, and I learned a great deal about the inner workings of a museum. There was a lot of interaction between departments as well.

    Cons

    The museum was undergoing a renovation at that time, so we were relocated to an off-site office space which made the everyday running more complicated, and it was hard to get a feel for actually working inside a museum.

    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO
  11. 1 person found this helpful

    Beautiful and overall friendly workplace

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

    Pros

    Beautiful place to work. Friendly, young staff. Arts and culture perks.

    Cons

    Relatively small number of staff so little room for career progression.

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