I am a little late in writing this post but things have been a wee bit hectic. I have not had a chance to tell you about my two exciting museum adventures. Do you remember my post on Glenstone? Well since I wrote that post, I have visited twice. The first time I went with three girlfriends. We had such a wonderful time, the entire visit was composed of laughing, chatting and discovering. It was so enjoyable. We had a delicious lunch afterwards and that was the icing on the cake! I knew I had to go back, I needed to share my wonderful experience. Over the Thanksgiving break I took my kids who also loved the entire adventure. If you live in the Washington D.C. area, you really must put this on your list of places to visit. The museum is free but you have to make a reservation. Glenstone is getting ready to close its current exhibit and won’t reopen until summer 2015 so add it to your 2015 calendar. There is also an outdoor walking tour of the grounds and their outside sculptures. It is a separate tour but you really don’t want to miss that either.
The museum’s current exhibition, Peter Fischli David Weiss, closes December 13, 2014. The next exhibition will open in June 2015 and feature works by late American artist Fred Sandback. Tour reservations and additional information will be available in 2015. Visit http://www.glenstone.org/ for more information. Glenstone was founded by a very successful local businessman and his wife.
My second museum adventure! For years I have been meaning to go to the Kreeger Museum. On the Saturday after Thanksgiving, daughters #2 and #3, my husband and myself finally visited the Kreeger. We were not disappointed. You cannot believe the permanent art collection that was assembled in a relatively short period of time (about 15 years) inside this former home (built by Philip Johnson) that is now a museum. The house sits on five and a half acres and also includes a growing outdoor sculpture garden. It is a little jewel box located right in Washington, D.C. The home and art were owned and collected by Carmen and David Kreeger. The Kreegers lived in the house from 1968 to 1990 when Mr. Kreeger died. His wife moved from the house after her husband passed away. The house cost $1.9 million to build in the mid 1960’s.
Mr. Kreeger came to Washington to work as an attorney for the New Deal administration of Franklin Roosevelt. In 1948, he formed a group of investors who bought into Geico, and in 1957 he gave up his law practice to become senior vice president and general counsel of the company and its affiliates. In 1964, he was named president of Geico, the Government Employees Insurance Company. Six years later he became chairman and chief executive officer. He retained those titles until he retired in 1974. In 1959, Mr. and Mrs. Kreeger began to amass a formidable collection of modern art. Mr. Kreeger became known as an international collector of Impressionist and modern painting and sculpture. He was also a well known philanthropist. After he died in 1990, it took four years for his home to became a museum, which it did in 1994. He founded the Washington Opera and was also president and chairman of the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington for almost 20 years.
It is important to note that the collection represents a shared vision. Mr. and Mrs. Kreeger both agreed on every piece in the museum. The Kreegers’ approach to collecting was a personal one. As David Kreeger said “I never bought art as an investment. I bought it for love and I was lucky. Art that embodies the creative spirit of men transcends the value of money”.
I think the Kreegers had extraordinary taste.
The permanent collection contains paintings, sculpture, outdoor sculpture, Asian art, African art, prints, books and Roman and Pre-Columbian works. It is simply astounding to see the variety and number of works like Picasso, Matisse, Monet, Renoir, Bonard, Cezanne and Chagall that are all exquisitely exhibited together in this small space. It is an astounding to see. By the way, those “big” names are but a small samplings of what’s available. The walls are covered with beige carpet. Why you may ask? So they can effortlessly change the paintings without having to repaint.
The museum’s current exhibition can be viewed here and it is by a Washingtonian. The artist is Emilie Brzezinski and the exhibition is called The Lure of the Forest. Mrs. Brzezinski works with large pieces of wood. Visit her website here. Her husband is former U.S. National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski.
For more information about the Kreeger, visit their website here.
Art fills my soul. In addition to eating lots and lots during our culture filled weekend, we also saw two movies. I will recommend one of the movies we saw, Interstellar. It was worth the time investment of three hours.