WILLIAM A SLOAN
Blog 395. Glenstone
Updated: May 7, 2022
Glenstone is a place that seamlessly integrates art, architecture, and nature
into a serene and contemplative environment. That’s what the website says.
The grounds are so beautiful and the buildings themselves are incredible, in a minimalist/futurist kind of way. You expect to see someone like Charlize Theron in a post-Apocalypse-good-vs-evil epic, gliding down a long hallway in a cloud-grey jumpsuit, not making a sound, even though the building is designed to echo and she’s wearing 5” high Louboutins. That Charlize has many talents.
Anyway, back to the museum. All kinds of beautiful on the inside and out. Serene, like they say. Contemplative, like they say, and then you step into a huge room and there’s a 5 1/2 foot grey pencil on the floor and you’re thinking,“What?” And by “you”, of course, I mean me. Another room has a 3’ x 3’ x 3’ steel box with an open top, and you’re thinking, “Nice trash can. Is it available in a smaller size?” and then you remember you’re not in Crate and Barrel. Darn.
I don’t mean to mock the high art...okay, maybe a little...but sometimes, the over-intellectualization of it all becomes heavy to the point of crushing and self-conscious to the point of funny. There’s so much of this theorizing I don’t get or appreciate and I went to school for this stuff. I can only imagine what others actually think if they’re being honest with themselves. I mean sometimes you do just connect with something – it touches you and you don’t know why and it’s a lovely thing. But other times you find yourself staring at a thing for a while or you see others doing the same, and what you and the others may actually be thinking is, “Maybe we’ll have pasta for dinner.” And that’s okay, too.
In a way, I wish that sometimes spaces such as these were left empty because they ARE serene in the best possible way, and they ARE contemplative, in the best possible way and the thoughtfulness that goes into the architecture and landscaping is the art.
They do also have a very nice turkey and brie sandwich at their outdoor Patio restaurant, so there’s that.
It is not hard to understand modern art. If it hangs on a wall it’s a painting, and if you can walk around it it’s a sculpture.
– Tom Stoppard