The Freer Gallery of Art opened its doors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. in 1923 to display the Asian and American collections given to the nation by Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919). It was the Smithsonian Institution’s first art museum and houses an outstanding Asian art collection that has continued to grow. Arthur M. Sackler’s contribution of his collection led to the opening in 1987 of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery adjacent to the Freer Gallery. Operated by the same staff, these two galleries together form the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museums of Asian Art.
During his lifetime, Freer acquired just a handful of objects from South and Southeast Asia. Through purchases and gifts from Sackler and other collectors, the collection has developed into a rich and expanding representation of Southeast and South Asian and Himalayan art. The staff works closely with museums and colleagues in the region and has established a training program for bronze conservation at the National Museum of Cambodia. (more…)