Add a visit to Glenstone to your bucket list. Admission is free to the Potomac, MD museum but an appointment is required. The stellar post-war contemporary art collection of billionaire Mitchell Rales and his wife Emily is housed in a Charles Gwathmey designed building and surrounded by an organic sculpture garden that is tended to by “the godfather of the natural lawn care movement” Paul Tukey. Glenstone might be the first museum to maintain an anti-pesticide sculpture garden.
The 200-acre property was formerly a foxhunting estate. Glenstone opened the doors of its first building (25,000 sq ft) in 2006. A second building (150,000 sq ft! a series of pavilions embedded on a hilltop!) is now under construction (designed by Thomas Phifer due to be completed in 2016). But don’t wait until 2016 to visit. The Rales have selected more than 24 works of the Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss to feature in Glenstone’s fourth exhibition including the duo’s first and famous series of photographs Wurstserie (‘sausage series, 1979) and their most ambitious polyurethane installation The Objects for Glenstone. (It’s the first major exhibit devoted to the duo’s work since the death of Weiss in April 2012.) And if that’s not enough incentive, outdoor sculpture includes work from Andy Goldsworthy, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Ellsworth Kelly, Charles Ray, Richard Serra, and Tony Smith.
Glenstone, View from the North (panoramic), 2006, Charles Gwathmey, FAIA, Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects