Glenstone Museum

The Maryland Art Education Conference this year was split into a two day conference, with Friday being a field experience day at different museums around the area and Saturday being conference workshops!

On Friday I attended the Glenstone Museum for my field experience.  This was my first time at the museum and I was blown away. I have been to many museums from Seattle to Boston, and Glenstone is by far the most unique experience I have had a museum.

Glenstone is a private museum, owned by Emily & Mitch Rales.

We envision Glenstone not only as a place, but a state of mind created by the energy of architecture, the power of art, and the restorative qualities of nature. At the core of the museum is a collection of post-World War II art, a very personal project driven by the pursuit of iconic works that have changed the way we think about the art of our time.

Glenstone is open Thursday–Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. with visits scheduled on the half hour until 3:00 p.m., always free admission. They highly recommend reservations, though they do allow you in if there is space available and you have no reservation.

The museum encompasses two buildings, several outdoor sculptures and nearly 300 acres of landscape. To fully experience Glenstone, you should be prepared to spend time outside on foot. There are many beautiful trails to experience.

The artwork inside the gallery is curated in such a way that you are forced to realize you are apart of the experience just as much as the artwork.

Between buildings are many outdoor sculptures, which to me felt like little moments in time that I am put into a different reality. The way the sculptures interact with the environment and myself as a visitor, was really wonderful.

The spiral sculpture and the sound forest were such a dynamic experiences. Words are hard to find to describe the experience.

The food was delicious and locally sourced.

One of my most favorite parts of the museum was visiting the environmental center!

Their Environmental Center is a multi-use maintenance and education facility that offers experiential learning. You can learn about composting, organic landscape management, waste reduction, materials recycling and water conservation—and how to take these practices home with you.

They planted trees, understory vegetation and groundcover flora as part of their reforestation efforts. They plant only native, regionally appropriate species, which require the fewest resources to maintain and provide appropriate food and habitat for local fauna. They use local ponds as well as three new underground cisterns to manage rainfall flow throughout the property and recycle the water for landscaping purposes.

In addition to its water recycling program, Glenstone has committed to restoring the two depleted tributaries of the Potomac River located on the property. In close coordination with Montgomery County, in 2015 they implemented a plan designed to improve water quality, reduce sediment reaching the Potomac, and renew the wildlife habitat for aquatic organisms.

I am definitely planning to visit the museum again! Thank you MAEA for setting up this amazing field experience!

Raine Dawn

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