Every Collection has a StoryThe Archives holds records that document the Smithsonian’s people, events, buildings, and research. The history of the Smithsonian is a vital part of the history of American experience, scientific exploration, and international cultural understanding.


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North Exterior Elevation, Freer Gallery of Art, by Unknown, 1915, Smithsonian Archives - History Div, 85-337 or 29413 or AI-29413.

April 15, 1912

In a first preview of the Freer Gallery of Art collections, 175 pieces, out of the more than 4,000 comprising the collection, are exhibited in one of the great halls of the United  States National Museum, now known as the National Museum of Natural History. The American art side of the exhibition includes paintings by James McNeill Whistler, Thomas W. Dewing, Dwight W. Tryan, Abbott H. Thayer, and Winslow Homer. The oriental art side of the exhibition includes Japanese paintings of the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries; Chinese paintings, bronzes, sculptures; pottery from China, Japan, Korea, Persia and Mesopotamia; and glass specimens from Egypt.More

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