The French Honors Society and art students traveled to Glenstone museum in Potomac on Feb. 7 from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. to experience different types of post-WWII modern art in hopes of students wanting to return to the museum on later dates.
Although the art teachers had been attempting to schedule a trip to Glenstone for a while, they finally got help from a French Honor Society member who would like to remain anonymous. The member, who works at Glenstone, managed to find a time and booked the trip right away. After the trip was booked, the planning became easier than expected.
Mitchell Rales, one of D.C.’s 11 billionaires, established Glenstone and is helpful to those visiting. Glenstone is a free museum for visitors and groups, especially schools. In addition to the free entry, Glenstone also paid for charter bus transportation to and from the school and substitute teachers for a half-day.
Glenstone’s website describes itself as “not only a place, but a state of mind created by the energy of architecture, the power of art, and the restorative qualities of nature.”
The trip consisted of a calming and interesting day of looking at different types of art, including a piece by the French artist, Louise Bourgeois, called To Unravel a Torment. Staff and students also enjoyed a tranquil walk through the grounds while viewing the outdoor pieces. Simple, white umbrellas are provided for on-grounds use to avoid sun or rain.
One piece they visited that is unique is the Forest in a Thousand Years exhibit. The outdoor sound installation is situated in the forest on Glenstone grounds and it encompasses what a forest would hear over the course of hundreds of years. The installation is put into a 28 minute loop that people listen to while sitting on tree trunks.
Before the trip, French Honors Society sponsor Cristina Maass said, “I hope we will get to experience the Forest for a Thousand Years exhibit because it’s so different and unique, and it seems very calming.”
Art students who wanted to go on the trip had to sign up online. The sign up process was easy to complete, as art teachers gave out permission slips in art classes and told students to turn them in as soon as possible. “I am really excited to go to this museum because it is a lot quieter and more relaxed than the other museums in D.C.,” senior AP art student Sarah Fenster said.
The staff is grateful to have gotten the opportunity to go to Glenstone because the museum hosts a limited number of people a day. The overall experience went as planned and students and staff had a fun time. The French Honors Society member who made the day possible said, “I really hope people come back on later dates because Glenstone is an amazing, beautiful place where people can feel inspired.”