With its 2018 expansion, Glenstone Museum went from a little-known Potomac gallery to one of the country’s largest private contemporary art museums and put Montgomery County on the map as a world-class modern art destination. The October opening unveiled pastoral grounds, a stunning concrete and glass museum building and a remarkable collection of art. The concept of the expansion, which cost $200 million and took five years to complete, is a holistic experience of art, landscape and architecture. When Emily and Mitchell Rales first opened the museum in 2006, a single 30,000-square-foot building sat on 100 acres. Now, Glenstone boasts a 204,000-square-foot building called the Pavilions and an additional 130 acres of landscaped grounds. There’s also a new arrival hall and two cafés.
The inaugural exhibition features 65 pieces by world-famous artists such as Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Nine gallery rooms in the Pavilions feature work by single artists, including striking pieces such as Robert Gober’s prisonlike installation, Michael Heizer’s giant sculpture of rusting steel beams seemingly collapsing into a deep pit, and Pipilotti Rist’s video installation, which was referenced in a 2016 Beyoncé music video.
The expansion also added two outdoor sculptures (Heizer’s Compression Line and Gober’s Two Partially Buried Sinks) to the eight already installed throughout Glenstone’s 230 acres. Some, like Jeff Koons’ monumental floral sculpture Split Rocker, are hard to miss; others, such as Andy Goldsworthy’s Clay Houses, require a walk through the wooded landscape to locate.
10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; admission is free, online reservations required; 12100 Glen Road, Potomac; 301-983-5001; glenstone.org