Everything you need to know about visiting the Glenstone Museum in Potomoc, Maryland, where art, architecture and nature collide.
We are always on the hunt for fun things to do in the Washington, DC area and over the weekend Dane suggested we visit the Glenstone Museum. I had never heard of it, but I was excited to check it out. Nestled amidst lush greenery, Glenstone offers a total oasis for art lovers and nature enthusiasts. Whether you’re an art lover, a nature enthusiast or just someone looking for a unique and peaceful outing, Glenstone is well worth a visit and today I’m sharing what to expect and what to know before you go 🙂
What To Know About Visiting The Glenstone Museum
Pricing and Hours of Operation
Before delving into our experience, let’s get the logistics out of the way. Glenstone Museum is unique in that it offers free admission to all visitors. Yes, you read that right—free! This generosity allows art to be accessible to a broader audience, however, due to the high demand and limited capacity, you’ll need to secure a reservation in advance via their website. Glenstone’s operational hours can vary, so check their official website for the most up-to-date information. Typically, they are open on Thursdays through Sundays from 10AM – 5PM, making it a perfect destination for a weekend escape.
What To Expect
Glenstone Museum isn’t your typical art museum. It’s more of an immersive art experience, spanning across hundreds of acres of rolling landscapes, and it seamlessly blends art with nature. When you check in, you’ll be greeted by a beautiful, modernist pavilion designed by Thomas Phifer and Partners, which serves as an introduction to the art and tranquility that awaits you during your visit.
Inside the pavilion, you’ll find a reception area where the staff will provide information about the current exhibitions, guidelines for your visit, and maps of the museum’s expansive grounds. You can also grab a map which is helpful, because this is definitely a “wander around” type of experience.
The museum’s collection features works by renowned artists like Jeff Koons, Robert Gober, and Cy Twombly. The art is displayed in a total minimalist manner, allowing each piece to shine in its own right. As you wander through the museum’s galleries, you’ll immediately notice the intentional architecture, the careful curation of the art, and the play of natural light that enhances how you view each piece. But Glenstone is not just about the art inside; it’s about the art all around you. You’ll find sculptures scattered throughout the property. A highlight for me was Jeff Koons’ “Split Rocker” that is a giant rocking horse head made of flowers.
We also liked Richard Serra’s “Sylvester” in the outdoor sculpture garden. The massive, curving steel structure is a testament to the power of art and its ability to interact with its surroundings, though admittedly when you walk into it, you’ll feel a little bit like “Is this the road to nowhere?” Glenstone also offers a small, serene water garden, which was nice to sit and enjoy in the sun for a bit.
A couple things worth noting before you visit the Glenstone Museum:
You cannot take pictures inside Glenstone galleries or have professional photos done on the grounds.
You absolutely cannot touch any of the art or sculptures. We saw people getting in trouble for this and there are many, many, many curators on site to enforce all the rules.
There are multiple parking lots, so if the main one is full, don’t panic!
Visitors must be over age 12 or closely chaperoned by an adult.