Freer Gallery of Art

The Freer Gallery of Art is a major art museum and part of the Smithsonian Institution. The collection includes art from East Asia (China, Korea, Japan), South Asia, India, Southeast Asia, Egypt, Greece, the ancient Near East, as well as American art. Together with the Sackler Gallery is the Freer Gallery, the Smithsonian Museum of Asian Art The gallery opened to the public in 1923. It is located on the south side of the National Mall in Washington, DC

Among the favorites of visitors include Chinese porcelain and Chinese painting, Korean porcelain and earthenware, ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern archaeological objects, Japanese folding screens, Indian and Persian manuscripts, and Buddhist sculptures from different regions and eras. The art works of the gallery range from the Neolithic to modern art, with a variety of painted works of art mainly from the Song Dynasty, Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty of China.


The gallery was by Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919), a manufacturer of railroad cars from Detroit, who gave the United States its collections and a financial donation for the construction of the building, founded. The designed in Italian Renaissance style gallery was built with granite and marble. She was influenced by the Italian palazzo, the Freer had seen during his travels and designed by the American architect Charles A. Platt. When it was opened in 1923, it was the first museum of the Smithsonian, which was dedicated to the visual arts. The Freer was the emerged from the legacy of a private collector also the first Smithsonian museum. A condition of the donation was that Freer until his death retained full control over the collection. The Smithsonian hesitated at first due to the pad, but the intercession of President Teddy Roosevelt was carried out the project. In the following years, the collections grew, through donations and purchases, almost three times the size of Freer's legacy.

A highlight of the Whistler - work is the peacock room, one for the British shipowner FR Leyland -designed dining room. In 1876, Whistler decorated the room rich with a blue and gold peacock pattern. After the death of the owner Freer purchased the entire room up, shipped it to the United States and put it in the Freer Gallery.

The maintenance of the collection began before the museum existed when Charles Lang Freer stopped the Japanese paintings restorer for the care of his works and to prepare for their future home as part of the Smithsonian Institution. 1932 introduced the Freer Gallery of Art, type a full-time, Japanese restorer and created so that the subsequent East Asian Painting Conservation Studio. The specialist laboratory and the first use of scientific methods in the study of art at the Smithsonian began in 1951 when the chemist Rutherford J. Gettens the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University, moved to the Freer Gallery. The East Asian Painting Conservation Studio and the laboratory were merged in 1990 to the department Conservation & Scientific Research.

The Freer Gallery is also a major research institution. The archives of the Freer Gallery includes, among other things, the extensive heritage of working in Persepolis, Pasargadae, Samarra, Paikuli and many other places significant archaeologist and excavator of Ernst Herzfeld (1879-1948), the personal estate of Charles Lang Freer, as well as extensive documents from the estate of the classical archaeologist Myron B. Smith (1897-1970) and a large part of the estate of photographs by Antoin Sevruguin ( c.1830 - 1933).




Ancient Near East