Editors' pick

Freer Gallery of Art - Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian
Freer Gallery of Art - Smithsonian Institution photo
(Detail from James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room/Freer Gallery of Art)
Through 8/16
Through 9/6

Seasonal Landscapes in Japanese Screens

The exhibition of screen paintings features landscapes from the 16th and early 17th centuries made using ink painting techniques assimilated from China.
Through 9/13

Abbas Kiarostami: Five Dedicated to Ozu

Director Abbas Kiarostami pays tribute to Japanese filmmaker Yasujiro Ozu with a 74-minute single-screen projection.
Through 11/2

Fine Impressions: Whistler, Freer and Venice

The exhibition tells the story of how Charles Lang Freer acquired the "Second Venice Set," 26 etchings by James McNeil Whistler.
Through 1/3/16

Bold and Beautiful: Rinpa in Japanese Art

To celebrate the Rinpa aesthetic, the exhibition features 37 paintings, ceramics, woodblock-printed books and lacquers by Korin and later artists inspired by the design movement.
Through 1/3/16

Chinese Ceramics: 13th-14th Century

The exhibition features 12 items from the museum's collection that highlight ceramic production during the Yuan dynasty.
Through 1/3/16

Enigmas: The Art of Bada Shanren (1626-1705)

Featured in this exhibition are examples of Shanren's works, with a selection of paintings and calligraphy dating from the 1660s through his peak professional years in the 1680s and 1690s.
Through 1/3/16

Freer and Whistler: Points of Contact

More than a dozen of James McNeill Whistler's paintings from the museum's collection are on display.
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Editorial Review

The Buzz: Railroad-car manufacturer and art collector Charles Lang Freer donated his collections of Asian art to the United States along with the funds to build a museum. The result is a building next door to the Smithsonian Castle that houses -- along with its neighbor, the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery -- 30,000 pieces of art from the Far and Near East as well as a collection of American art.

The Collections: The museum contains intricate Japanese screens, bronze Buddhas, colorful cloisonne pieces and Chinese paintings, but the true star of the permanent collection is the Peacock Room. Originally designed by Thomas Jeckyll, an English interior architect, the Peacock Room was once the dining room of a wealthy British ship owner. The room features leather wall hangings of peacocks in deep blue and gold (painted by James McNeill Whistler), Chinese blue-and-white porcelain bowls from the Qing dynasty and wooden shutters depicting four voluptuously plumed peacocks.

Programs: Together with the Freer, the Sackler hosts an ongoing series of public programs. Concerts, films (from classics to anime) and special lectures are held most weekends in the Meyer Auditorium. The museum also organizes ImaginAsia, programs for children ages 6 to 12.

Extras: Both museums offer gift shops with Asian art, jewelry, posters, T-shirts and items for children. Neither has a restaurant.

(Updated July 10, 2007)