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Journeying into the world of art

For art lovers, Boston's Gardiner Museum is a delightful haven on a cold, raining spring day.

I often took refuge there when the stresses of law school overwhelmed me.

The museum, well-known for its Rembrandts, was styled as a Roman villa with all the amenities to transport one to Rome. Unfortunately - or in that day - fortunately, the museum was not as well-visited as the nearby Museum of Fine Arts.

I was in one of the interior galleries, the one with the lovely self-portrait by Rembrandt, when I saw an intriguing lady. Dressed in black, with a scarf covering her head and most of her face, she intently inspected the artwork.

There was an aura around her. One of great power and self-possession. I wondered who she was.

Was she from Boston's old money families? Though she wasn't dressed fancifully, she carried herself so elegantly that she was likely well-off.

I was intrigued by her. Since she and I and a lone guard were the only persons in the gallery, I did not want to approach and intrude on her privacy. I watched from across the room.

When the lady moved into another gallery, the guard came over to me and asked if I had known who she was. I said that I had not.

He said, "That was Katharine Hepburn. She comes to see the Rembrandt when she's in town."

I knew that 1 had seen art in the living that day.

- Dorothea Boniello

Billings

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