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The Art of Glenstone

June 24, 2019

Glenstone is pure zen, a minimalist’s haven and a restorative experience. It’s also a private, world-class museum of modern and contemporary art on nearly 300 acres of rolling hills in Potomac, Maryland only 15 miles from DC. The name was chosen for its location on Glen Road and the indigenous carderock stone, still extracted from nearby quarries.

Emily and Mitch Rales (Photo by: Courtesy Glenstone Museum) Emily and Mitch Rales


Co-founded by Emily Rales and her husband, industrialist Mitchell Rales, Glenstone Museum was developed by architect Charles Gwathmey Siegel & Associates Architects and landscaped by Peter Walker and Partners (PWP). The natural setting, designed by Adam Greenspan and Peter Walker of PWP, incorporates major works of outdoor sculpture within unspoiled meadows and woodlands.


When it first opened to the public in 2006, the museum was open only by appointment, a few days a week. 

Approach to the Pavilions a the Glenstone Museum (Photo by: Iwan Baan Courtesy Glenstone Museum) Approach to the Pavilions a the Glenstone Museum

The couple’s growing collection of 1,300 works of predominantly postwar and contemporary art needed a home so in 2013 they announced plans to create a second, much larger building for the museum.  They acquired neighboring land, shaped the landscape and carefully created a deliberatively slow, immersive way for visitors to explore the relationship between art, architecture and landscape.


On October 4, 2018, a 204,000 square-foot structure designed by New York–based architect Thomas Phifer was opened to the public.

Judith Beermann


Phifer’s 11 concrete galleries called Pavilions each display work by single artists, including Brice Marden, Cy Twombly, Charles Ray, and others. Connected by hallways, the galleries encircle a water garden dotted with Monet-like water lilies.


The grounds include a towering 37-foot topiary sculpture, Split-Rocker by Jeff Koons, planted with more than 25,000 live flowering plants.


There are two cafés and an arrival area with a bookshop, both situated away from the main building. 

Water Court at Pavilions (Photo by: Iwan Baan Courtesy of Glenstone Museum) Water Court at Pavilions


Among the prized artworks are key pieces by Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Louise Bourgeois, and Jasper Johns. The Rales' Collection is based on their desire to include “iconic works that have changed the way we think about the art of our time.”

Admission is free but visitors must schedule their visit through Glenstone’s website.


Large Flowers, 1964  ©2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York  Photo: Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art.com (Photo by: Courtesy Glenstone Museum) Large Flowers, 1964 ©2018 The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / Licensed by Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York Photo: Tim Nighswander/Imaging4Art.com

Felix Gonzalez-Torres  “Untitled”, 1992–1995 (Photo by: Courtesy Glenstone Museum) Felix Gonzalez-Torres “Untitled”, 1992–1995

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New Residential Plans For Georgetown Parking Lot

June 11, 2019

Plans to redevelop one of Georgetown’s oldest parking lots at 3220 Prospect Street NW have now changed from retail to a mostly residential building. The 82-space parking lot across from Cafe Milano has been owned by the Weaver family (of W. T. Weaver and Sons Hardware) for generations. Weaver and McCaffrey Interests resubmitted plans to the Old Georgetown Board last week.

Michael Weaver told The Georgetown Dish, “Our previous plan was 100% retail on multiple floors with some underground parking. Due to the current challenges in the retail environment  and the dramatic changes that Uber and Lyft have had on the market place, we feel that it is best to study a fresh approach to the property."

Looking west towards Potomac Street (Photo by: Hickok Cole) Looking west towards Potomac Street

"We made an initial presentation to ANC and OGB boards of a plan that would reduce the retail by over 80% and add residential apartments with parking to the project.  Both the ANC and the OGB have given us feedback and we are currently working on revisions to the plan that we will bring back to our neighbors, the ANC and the OGB.  We are confident the final plan will be a positive addition to Georgetown and we will continue to work towards that goal.”

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Iconic Photography of Alfred Eisenstaedt at Hillwood

June 4, 2019

“It’s not so much clicking the shutter as clicking with the subject that counts.”

                                                       Alfred Eisenstaedt, People, 1973


If you grew up with LIFE magazine, you know Alfred Eisenstaedt. His work graced 90 covers. From sharecroppers and movie stars to that sailor kiss in Times Square on V-J Day, Eisenstaedt’s timeless images are etched in our collective memory of 20th century America.

LIFE covers (Photo by: Judith Beermann) LIFE covers

One of Eisenstaedt’s first assignments for LIFE was photographing a southern sharecropper family. It was after seeing the image of patriarch Lonnie Fair and his wife asleep in bed that magazine magnate Henry Luce recognized the potential for LIFE’s success. “Photographs could tell a story, not merely illustrate one,” remarked Luce.

Lonnie Fair and his wife asleep (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Lonnie Fair and his wife asleep

For only the second time in it’s history, Hillwood Estate, Museum & Garden is exhibiting photographic work. On view at the estate in the Adirondack building from June 8, 2019 though January 12, 2020 is a collection of nearly 50 works from this pioneer of candid photojournalism. 

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Curated by Megan Martinelli, the exhibit is brilliantly arranged into five sections, starting with his career shift from soldier to salesman to LIFE photographer.  The exhibit showcases the breadth of the photographer’s style, and perspective, capturing political luminaries, celebrities, artists, scientists and everyday Americans.

Marilyn Monroe (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Marilyn Monroe

The connection between photographer and American socialite, art collector, and hostess, Marjorie Merriweather Post was a close one, one that extended over many decades.

(Photo by: Judith Beermann)

Eisenstaedt captured life in Washington at Hillwood and in Palm Beach at Mar-A-Lago, Post's other notable residence, most memorably in a 1965 18-page LIFE photo essay.

Adirondack Building at Hillwood (Photo by: Judith Beermann) Adirondack Building at Hillwood

Visiting this show is also a wonderful opportunity to tour the fabulous mansion and gardens of Hillwood.

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