These are two of my favorite art galleries in Washington DC. They are usually referred to together and are connected together by an underground tunnel. They house a fine collection of Asian artwork. There are collections of American, Egyptian, Iranian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean art.
They also have neat classes/films/activities on certain days of the month (usually Saturday and Sunday) during which you can learn more about art in a carefully designed forum or venue.
Sackler Gallery: 1050 Independence Avenue, SW.
Freer Gallery of Art: Jefferson Drive at 12th Street, SW
HOURS: 10 AM to 5:30 PM daily, closed December 25th
No matter how many times I visit this building I am always knocked out by their collections. This is Asian art...and some American pieces collected by Freer. There is a room designed and painted by Whistler, which is known as the Peacock Room. You have to see it to believe it. THe room has been built and moved twice before finding its permenant home here in DC. A harmony of blue and gold...metal leaf on leather, canvas, and wood....I guarantee you have never seen its equal.
The building is built around a central garden which is always peaceful and beautifully planted.
Be sure to see the Peacock Room Travelogue...fantastic room
Another Free museum to explore. My travels are on a budget, so being able to enjoy beautiful pieces of art Free always works for me.
HOURS AND ADMISSION
The Freer and Sackler Galleries are open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day except December 25.
Admission is free.
If you're interested in Asian Art, these two galleries are just the place to go. They are connected underground and, together, they form the National Museum of Asian Art with really great exhibits!
Be sure to check Whistler's Peacock Room at the Freer Gallery for this beautiful image of fighting peacocks, similar images on window shutters, and a collection of Chinese porcelain. This was once a dining room in the London home of a wealthy shipowner , and after his death in 1919 it was transported to Washington D.C. and installed in the new Freer Gallery. This room is really a beauty!
My family and I, toured this gallery right after the Museum of African Art. In fact the two are adjoined and if one does not pay attention, they may not know when they finished the African Art and began the Asian. A few people within the Museum seemed lost and did not know how to move from one level to the other, or find their way to the exit.
The museum has an outstanding collection of Asian Art; the Japanese was quite prominent. The museum is opened daily from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm, closed on Christmas day. The Sackler gallery is partner to the Freer gallery. They joined together to form what is now the Smithsonian national Museum of Asian Art. Together they host exhibitions of contemporary art from Asia. On special exhibition while we were there, was the Masters of Mercy: Buddha's Amazing Disciples. This exhibition ends on July 08, 2012.
We saw some group tours, well you have to pre-appoint for the group tours. Admission is Free. No photographs are allowed inside, so I do not have anything to share on the exhibition.
These are two of the finest collections of Asian art anywhere. Between the two of them, they have art from China, Korea, Japan, India, Persia, Southeast Asia, and Central Asia. This museum also has the world's largest collection of the American artist James Whistler, including his famed Peacock Room. This was a London dining room designed by Whistler in the 1870s, that was disassembled and shipped here piece by piece.
One oddity about this collection is that most of it is stored underground. The top floor is actually the ground floor. A must-see for lovers of art.
I wondered what this pavillion was at the opening to the Smithsonians gardens behind the castle. The Freer Gallery is wonderful and I shall return often.
To access this substerranean world of art, enter at the pavillion, pass through security, and go down the circular stairway. There are three (or are there four?) underground levels of Asian and African art!
Watch for more pictures!
Another of the museums under the Smithsonian umbrella, this one concentrates in Asian, including Middle Eastern art. Three American artists collected by Freer are also included (Whistler, Tryon, and Dewing). The galleries are relatively small and thus not so overwhelming as some of the other branches of the Smithsonian.
The Peacock room was originally a room in the home of british shipping magnate Frederick Leyland to show off his collection of Asian pottery, mostly in blue and white. The initial design was made my Thomas Jekyll and later additions were made my James Whistler, the American painter living in England at the time.
Charles Lang Freer, who later founded the Gallery named after him, acquired the main painting in the Peacock Room and later bought the entire Peacock room and had it reassembled for his mansion in Detroit. After Freer's death in 1919 the Peacock Room was moved in its entirety to the museum in Washington DC, where it resides today. The main difference from the original is that the Peacock Room holds more of Freer's collection of Asian pottery not just the blue and white motif in the original.
A research physician and medical publisher from New York, Dr. Arthur M. Sackler was fascinated by the Asian world. During his lifetime, he collected more than 1,000 works of art, including many ancient bronze, ceramic and jade pieces. Among the highlights of his gift were early Chinese bronzes and jades, Chinese paintings and lacquer ware, ancient Near Eastern ceramics and metal ware, and sculpture from South and Southeast Asia Upon his death in 1987, he donated these gifts to the Smithsonian along with $4 million to build a gallery to house them.
Since 1987, the gallery's collections have expanded to include the Vever Collection, an important assemblage of the Islamic arts of the book from the 11th to the 19th century; 19th- and 20th-century Japanese prints and contemporary porcelain; Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean paintings; arts of village India; contemporary Chinese ceramics; and photography.
International loan exhibitions have included Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the 15th Century; Yani: the Brush of Innocence, featuring paintings by a 14-year-old Chinese prodigy; When Kingship Descended from Heaven: Masterpieces of Mesopotamian Art from the Louvre; Court Arts of Indonesia; Korean Art of the 18th Century: Splendor & Simplicity; and A Basket maker in Rural Japan.
The Sackler Gallery is connected by an underground exhibition space to the neighboring Freer Gallery of Art. Although their collections are stored and exhibited separately, the two museums share a director, administration, and staff.
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