Glenstone Museum in Potomac, Maryland, will begin welcoming the public on October 4, 2018, revealing the results of a five-year expansion that has at last fully realized its founders’ vision of art, architecture, and landscape merged into a seamless experience.
Established by Emily Wei Rales and Mitchell P. Rales, Glenstone opened in 2006 and now includes a new 204,000-square-foot museum building called the Pavilions, designed by Thomas Phifer of Thomas Phifer and Partners; an additional 130 acres of rolling meadows, woodlands, and streams, designed by Adam Greenspan and Peter Walker of PWP Landscape Architecture; an Arrival Hall and bookstore; and two cafés. The original 30,000-square-foot museum building, called the Gallery, was designed by Charles Gwathmey of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects, and opened in a 100-acre setting. With the addition of its new facilities, Glenstone now offers the public a total of 59,000 square feet of indoor exhibition space in two buildings, with all works drawn from its own renowned collection of modern and contemporary art, and 230 acres of serene, unspoiled landscape incorporating installations of major works of outdoor sculpture.
“Mitch and I have been dreaming for years about the day when we’d be able to pull back the curtain and reveal the new Glenstone,” said Emily Rales, director and co-founder of Glenstone. “Now, at last, the art installations and buildings and landscape are complete, and people can finally encounter Glenstone as a whole, as we’ve always meant for it to be seen. We’re excited by Glenstone, and we hope our visitors will share that feeling, now and for many years to come.”
“We’re deeply grateful to everyone who has worked with us to create Glenstone: the great artists who have given us their trust and collaboration, the magnificently talented architects and landscape architects who have been our partners, and the wonderfully dedicated professional staff who have lived this journey with us every step of the way,” said Mitchell P. Rales, co-founder. “Now we’re thrilled to welcome the people who are really the most important collaborators of all: the visitors for whom we’ve built the new Glenstone.”
Admission to Glenstone is always free, with visits scheduled on the website (www.glenstone.org) to ensure an unhurried and uncrowded experience for all.
The integration of architecture with landscape, and both with art, is key to the experience of Glenstone. “We considered the landscape as the inspiration,” Thomas Phifer explains. “The visitor’s arrival is choreographed through the trees and open fields, heightening your experience with the land and revealing the subtle qualities of the site. From your first moments at Glenstone you experience a place with few distractions, the bustle of ordinary daily activities drops away, and your mind and soul prepare for an intimate encounter with art.”