In the Spot­light

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Maybe it’s a sign of the times: Some pri­vate gal­leries are now try­ing to take the fo­cus off of vis­i­tor num­bers and so­cial me­dia. In­stead, they are choos­ing to limit ad­mis­sions in an at­tempt to bring qual­ity back to the ex­pe­ri­ence of view­ing art.

The Glen­stone Mu­seum near Wash­ing­ton, DC, does just that. Its re­cently ex­panded site in Po­tomac, Mary­land, is enor­mous. Still, bil­lion­aire col­lec­tors Mitch and Emily Rales ex­pect to wel­come just 400 vis­i­tors a day, re­ports The Wash­ing­ton Post. (The Hir­sh­horn, a pop­u­lar gallery in down­town DC, re­ceives 2,500 daily.) Via an on­line reser­va­tion sys­tem, vis­i­tors to the Glen­stone are given gen­er­ous time slots for con­tem­plat­ing post-world War II art by such greats as Louise Bour­geois, Jasper Johns, and Richard Serra. Thomas Phifer, ar­chi­tect of the ex­pan­sion, says the idea is to avoid the “Mona Lisa mo­ment,” when peo­ple and their phones so over­whelm a gallery that its art can no longer be ap­pre­ci­ated.

Ad­mis­sion is free — in a sense. The Glen­stone is set up as a char­i­ta­ble or­ga­ni­za­tion, ex­empt­ing it from fed­eral tax, a model used by many other pri­vate mu­se­ums, re­ports The New York Times.

Ex­pe­ri­ence art such asMar­cel Duchamp’s Bi­cy­cle Wheel (be­low) at the Glen­stone Mu­seum

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