Anne Hawley

Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum director Anne Hawley at the museum.
Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum director Anne Hawley at the museum.


Age “I can’t tell you that”

Occupation Director of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Residence Cambridge

You’re the head of a museum that’s based around the life of a woman known for good taste and style. Does that influence your style?


Probably what’s influenced me is the very layered textile installations of the museum. We’re so aware of fabric and tapestry and damask because we’re around it all the time. It’s influenced my love of fabrics. I wouldn’t say that it’s influenced my dress only because it was such a different time and place.

You must go to a lot of parties around the city. Is there a trick to not repeating your outfits?

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I get things that are classic, and then over the years, you keep working through them. I think jewelry and accessories can make something very different.

What did you wear when you met with Renzo Piano to persuade him to design a new wing for the museum?

That’s a very interesting question, because Renzo is a very casual dresser. He wore the same sweater for most of our meetings over the seven years. He also had a thing about never paying more than $100 for a pair of shoes. Some of our meetings would be very straightforward, and, in others, I would be trying to persuade him to do something other than what he was proposing. I remember I found this sweater, it was red and black but it had spider webs all over it. I thought that sweater would help me be particularly convincing and strong in those meetings. — C.M.

Interview has been condensed and edited. E-mail comments to