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Freer Gallery of Art

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Named after the Detroit industrialist Charles Lang Freer, the Freer Gallery of Art has an international collection of Asian art and the largest collection of the artist, James McNeill Whistler

The work of Whistler was quite influenced by Chinese ceramics and Japanese prints. Freer's interest in Asian art developed with his friendship with Whistler. In the year 1906, Freer donated about 7,500 paintings, sculptures and drawings to the Smithsonian and today the collection has grown to around 25,000 artifacts representing almost 6,000 years of exclusive art work.

The gallery was opened for public viewing in 1923 and was the first fine arts gallery under the banner of Smithsonian Institution. Apart from housing explicit Asian art work, the gallery also features exclusivework by 19th and 20th century American artists. The gallery features art work from all parts of Asia, ancient Egypt and the Islamic world.

At present the main highlight of the museum is the Peacock Room, a wonderful dining room that was painted by Whistler in the years 1876-77. The room is explicitly decorated in green and gold peacock theme. The artifact was bought by Freer in 1904 and was installed in the gallery later.

The Ancient Chinese Jades and Bronze are on permanent display and is one of the greatest treasures of Chinese art that can be seen outside China. An entire gallery has been dedicated to the magnificent views of the River Thames that were obtained from Whistler's residence and his beautiful artwork, "Nocturne" paintings.

The Religious Art of Japan has sculptures that include brilliant animations of Guardians of the Four Directions and a dignified image of a bodhisattva. In the exhibit Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas you can view exclusive Buddhist, Hindu Jain, and Islamic artifacts. There is also an exhibit on Korean Ceramics that are elegant.

The Freer Gallery of Art is located at the southern side of the National Mall complex and is open from 10:00 AM to 5:30 PM every day except on Christmas (December 25). The Freer Gallery of Art is connected by an underground exhibition space to the adjoining Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. There are a few halal restaurants within close reach of the National Mall where visitors can dine.

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