Seamlessly integrating art, architecture, and nature into a serene and contemplative environment. Admission is always free.
Glenstone Museum was established in 2006 on three fundamental elements: art, architecture and nature. We pursue artworks of the highest quality from post-World War II artists and display theme in a serene and contemplative environment. The museum is set on a 230-acre former foxhunting estate and includes exhibition space designed by the late architect Charles Gwathmey and outdoor sculpture tours. In 2018, Glenstone opened The Pavilions, a new building designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners and new landscape architecture designed by PWP Landscape Architecture. Admission to Glenstone is always free.
If you’re in the Maryland area and looking for native plant recommendations, our grounds team loves Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum) and Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea). Both of these native plants are vigorous growers and are easily controlled.
You can’t go wrong with Green and Gold - this plant is native, produces yellow flowers, is deer resistant, attracts pollinators, and its seeds are tasty treats for song birds. It also forms dense, low-growing mats in the landscape which can deter unwanted weeds from germinating - an added bonus! The Green and Gold is currently working its magic near the Arrival Hall.
Golden Ragwort sprouts large clusters of bright yellow, daisy-like flowers around this time of year. This plant is highly adaptable and can grow in full sun to full shade! If you’re interested in supporting your local bee population, the flowers attract carpenter bees, cuckoo bees, and various halictid bees. Golden Ragwort spreads by rhizomes and seed, and it can form large colonies in ideal locations.
Today we want to take a moment to say thank you to all our essential staff who keep Glenstone safe, operational, and cared for during our closure. Team members from our Security, Grounds, Conservation, Facilities, and Engineering & Maintenance departments are invaluable for making sure that Glenstone stays in good working order. Thank you! 👏👏👏
Enjoy a glimpse from the window of Room 2 in the Pavilions.
Your weekly updates from our grounds: things are looking a lot more green around here! Iris, thalia, and pickerel rush are breaking the water’s surface in the Water Court. The dogwoods are still holding onto their blooms, leaves are appearing on the trees, and baby blue eyes are attracting pollinators close to the ground. We also have over 100 species of birds who call Glenstone home.
Here's your Friday #MuseumMomentOfZen!
Enjoy a moment of peace from the Water Court.
Your weekly updates from our grounds!
Native flora and fauna are really in full swing this week. Trees are leafing out, and a few baby foxes have even been spotted by a few associates. Jack-in-the-pulpit, golden ragwort, and flowering dogwoods are blooming all over
Watch to the end for a Friday treat. 🦊
How do we keep artworks safe during our closure?
Samantha Owens, our Assistant Conservator, explains:
“A lot of artworks in our collection need regular maintenance and care to keep them in pristine and working condition, so I do occasional wellness checks on particular works.
My day starts by cleaning and filling the sinks in Room 4 of the Pavilions, which houses Robert Gober’s 1992 ‘Untitled.’ This work has a complex plumbing element, so we run the sinks and clean them weekly to make sure everything is in working order.
From there, I’ll walk the Pavilions and the grounds, checking on art and outdoor sculpture to make sure no unexpected changes have occurred, as well dusting and cleaning where appropriate. Birds occasionally make their own additions to Tony Smith’s ‘Smug,’ 1973/2005, so we spot-clean those until our annual washing of the entire sculpture.
Finally, I head down to the Bridle Trail to check on Andy Goldsworthy’s ‘Clay Houses (Boulder-Room-Holes),’ 2007. I’m mostly making sure that no animals or bugs have taken up residence in the houses, but I also check that the clay works remain intact.
As a conservator, I help to make sure that the artworks in Glenstone’s collection stay safe and well-maintained for all our visitors when they return here.”
Today, on #EarthDay50, enjoy a live stream from Room 7 of the Pavilions. We hope that this view of the knoll and the meadows will bring you a little peace and the opportunity to reflect on our shared planet. What's on your mind this Earth Day?
Happy #MuseumSunshine day! Museums are sharing bright images today to try and bring a little light into your social media feed.
Got any particularly sun-drenched outdoor photos from a visit to Glenstone? Drop them in the comments below so we can all bask in some digital sunshine!
Weekly grounds updates from Glenstone:
There has been no shortage of April showers, the Spanish oak near the Gallery is leafing out, and daffodils, crabapples, dogwoods, and redbud continue their spring show. Trees all around our grounds are beginning to show more leaves, and the wildlife of Glenstone continue to take advantage of the temporary absence of visitors.
Tune in here at 4pm for a Friday moment of peace!
Glenstone is never complete without our visitors, but these wild turkeys are enjoying the quiet grounds while we all stay home to flatten the curve. They were recently spotted inspecting our streambed restoration project.
Have you noticed any new wildlife where you live?
Some folks have asked for details on how we curate exhibitions: here’s a look behind the scenes!
In these before-and-after shots, you can see how our curatorial staff work with full-scale models of our artwork to design exhibition layouts.
These examples are from Room 2, the largest rotating exhibition space in the Pavilions. This room has 9,000 square feet of columnless space, meaning that walls are temporary and interchangeable based on the exhibition on view.
Our weekly update from the grounds: daffodils are peaking, crabapples are blooming, ferns are emerging, and the flowering dogwoods all over campus are just beginning to open up.
Did you know that part of Glenstone sits on land that was formerly a foxhunting estate?
These days, quite a few foxes live on our nearly 300 acres, and we are happy to report that no one is chasing them on horseback.
This curious fox was recently spotted by one of the horticulturists on our grounds team, who are on site intermittently through our closure to continue caring for Glenstone’s living landscape.
Join Paul Tukey as he discusses the organic lawn care protocols of the Glenstone Museum in Potomac, MD, with the museum's team of grounds experts standing by to answer questions.
A message from our founders:
We live by the guiding principle that art is essential to life. When we asked what you wanted to see during these unsettling times, the overwhelming response was a request for serenity at Glenstone. And we are committed providing that through meaningful encounters with art, architecture, and nature.
In the coming weeks we’ll be using social media to give you a digital space to take a deep breath, encounter something new, unwind, and think. We’ll be updating you on the flora and fauna that arrive with spring. We’ll share opportunities to have meaningful conversations with our staff (especially our Guides, who miss you all very much!). You will also see behind-the-scenes glimpses into Glenstone’s history, including the architectural design process and the evolution of the art collection. We hope that these offerings will be a source of contemplation for you and a refuge in a stressful time.
Art is still essential to life, and until we can welcome you back to Glenstone in person, we’re looking forward to sharing it with you online.
Emily and Mitch Rales
Many of you have asked for updates on springtime at Glenstone. Here are a few photos from recent days showing what’s growing: the cherry blossoms, redbud, and daffodils were blooming this week; the meadows around the Pavilions got their annual haircut; and the water court is greening up!
If you’d like to learn more about how we manage our landscape, our Chief Sustainability Officer, Paul Tukey will be going live here on our page this Tuesday at 11am to talk about how we manage 300 acres entirely organically.
The architect of the Pavilions, Thomas Phifer, often talks about the architectural importance of shadows as much as light.
As most of us are staying home all day: have you noticed anything about how the light and shadows move through your house?
A lot has been put on hold over the past few weeks, but let’s remember that spring is not canceled.
In fact, we’re starting to see the first signs of spring in the Water Court: cattails are sprouting, thalia growth tips are emerging from the water’s surface, fresh blades of iris are poking above the water, and the pickerel rush is showing a little green! Whether it's been from your window, or on a socially distanced walk, what moments of spring have you noticed so far this year?
Since we had to close the Café and Patio amidst the COVID-19 outbreak, we wanted to make sure our on-site food didn’t go to waste. So we gave Community Food Rescue a call, and we were able to donate a few hundred pounds of perishable and pre-prepared items to Family Services, Inc. Thank you so much to Community Food Rescue and Family Services, Inc. for all the work you’re doing right now!
communityfoodrescue.org Glenstone donates unused food to Family Services, Inc. Even in the midst of COVID-19 , businesses that must close are still thinking about community. Thanks to the Glenstone, based in Potomac, MD, for contacting Community Food Rescue. They closed their museum and cafe to the public and had hundreds....
We have a question for you: what do you want to see?
Our buildings and grounds are closed for the time being, but we’d like to continue to bring you the #MuseumFromHome. What are interested in seeing? What will be meaningful for you in this time? What are you thinking or wondering about art, architecture, and nature right now?
Share in the comments below, and we’ll do our best to deliver what we can for you in this time of social distancing.
Like everyone else, we’re trying to find ways to help during #COVID19. A few days ago, we scoured the storage closets that hold supplies for our security, conservation, housekeeping and services teams and found 17 protective suits, 85 N95 masks, and 3,500 gloves. We happily dropped them off at the University of Maryland Medical Center yesterday.
A huge thank you to all essential personnel who are working to keep us healthy and safe, and to all the other museums currently rallying supplies from their own closets to help out during this time!
Following yesterday’s executive order issued by @GovLarryHogan, we are now fully closed until further notice, including the grounds and outdoor sculptures.
We hope everyone remains safe and healthy during these challenging times and look forward to sharing the art, architecture, and nature with you in the future.
In the meantime, we’ll post here, on Instagram, and on Twitter so that you can enjoy the #MuseumFromHome.
For updates, please check our website: glst.one/covid-19
Following recommendations from Governor Larry Hogan that public transit be limited to essential personnel only, Ride On Montgomery County Transit route 301 will temporarily suspend service to Glenstone.
For full details about our current operating status, visit our COVID-19 updates page: glst.one/covid-19
Out of an abundance of caution for the safety of our visitors and staff, Glenstone will be a self-guided, outdoor-only experience until further notice.
We know that in times of stress and uncertainty, seeking solace in nature can offer therapeutic benefits. For this reason, the Glenstone grounds, trails, and outdoor sculptures will be open to visitors from 10am-5pm, Thursday through Sunday.
Please note that in order to minimize person-to-person contact, the Arrival Hall, exhibition galleries, and dining spaces will be closed. Guides will not be on site for interpretive services.
This is an evolving situation, and we will continue to provide updates on social media and our website: glst.one/covid-19
Now on View in Room 9: Lorna Simpson, “Specific Notation,” 2019
© Lorna Simpson
Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
Now on view in Room 8: the second installation of work by Charles Ray, selected and installed in collaboration with the artist.
Installation view: Charles Ray, "32 x 33 x 35 = 34 x 33 x 35", 1989
© Charles Ray
We are currently experiencing some technical difficulties with our website, but http://visit.glenstone.org is still functional if you would like to schedule a visit through April 30! Our apologies for any inconvenience.
visit.glenstone.org Due to the fragile nature of the works on view, all visitors must be 12 or older and all minors (ages 12–17) must be accompanied by an adult at all times.
Happy to close out a fantastic January by having our 301 bus partnership #featuredinwashmag alongside Ride On Montgomery County Transit! 💎
“Reservations to Glenstone Museum can involve months of waiting. If you’re driving, that is. Visitors who take Ride On Bus 301 from the Rockville Metro can walk right in—no reservation needed.”
washingtonian.com Leave the obvious stuff to the tourists.
We’re happy to announce that Glenstone has been nominated by the USA TODAY 10Best platform as one of the best new museums in the country! 🥳
Here’s the fun part: this is a readers’ choice award, and we need your vote to win!
Click the link below to vote for Glenstone (one vote per person per day), and be sure to check out the competition. We’re in very good company.
We’re humbled and grateful for the attention and recognition we’ve received in recent weeks, but we’re equally grateful to our community of visitors from around Washington, D.C. (and around the world!) for being so supportive of our unique vision and visitor experience. We hope to see you again—or for the first time—very soon.
Vote at the link below:
10best.com Glenstone: Vote for your favorite new museum!
Congratulations are in order again for Thomas Phifer and Partners who received the 2020 The American Institute of Architects for the design of Glenstone Museum. It's been an honor to work with Tom and his team, and we're thrilled to see his work recognized by his esteemed colleagues in the architecture field.
aia.org The AIA is the voice of the architectural profession and a resource for its members in service to society.
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The Robert M. Minkoff Foundation Residency at the Chrysler Glass Studio seeks to identify, support, and document groundbreaking contemporary art projects.