Courtyard, Freer Gallery of Art, by Richard Southall Grant, 1927. Accession 03-018.

Freer Gallery of Art - Moments in History

In honor of the reopening on the Freer Gallery of Art, here's a look at some records that illustrate moments from their history.

 

The Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art opened to the public on May 9,  1923. Designed by American architect and landscape planner Charles A. Platt (1861-1933), the building was done in an Italian Renaissance-style. The Freer is home to the collection of Charles Lang Freer, a railroad-car manufacturer from Detroit, Michigan who had amassed a collection of more than 9,420 art objects and manuscripts.

In January 2016, the Freer closed to the public so that substantial upgrades could be made to the building. Its partner museum the Sackler Gallery of Art closed in July to undergo repairs and install new collections galleries. Both museums recently reopened on October 14, 2017. To celebrate the occasion, the museums held a weekend-long celebration of "Where Asia Meets America" with the grounds being transformed into a night market with food stalls, live music, and performances.

To honor their reopening, here's a look at some records that illustrate moments from their history.

1 of 17

Freer Gallery of Art, by Richard Southall Grant, 1927. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: GRA, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Courtyard, Freer Gallery of Art, by Richard Southall Grant, 1927. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: GRA, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Letter from Charles Whiting Bishop to William de C. Ravenal regarding the damage done to shrubbery near the Freer Gallery of Art building by teenagers, June 7, 1922. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, 1921-1922, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Letter from Charles Whiting Bishop to John Ellerton Lodge describing their journey to China on board the S. S. Shinyo Maru, March 7, 1923. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, 1923, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Excerpt of letter from Charles Whiting Bishop to colleagues at the Freer discussing the progress of their collecting in China, March 24, 1923. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, 1923, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Possible collection acquisitions. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Possible collection acquisitions. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Possible collection acquisition. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Possible collection acquisition. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Southeast corner of city wall, Hsin-ching Hsien, China. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Archaeological dig, Archibald Gibson Wenley in group. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Starting excavations at tomb, From left to right: Dr. F. J. Lan, Charles Whiting Bishop, Mr. Wei, and Kwang-zung Tung. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Uncovering tomb. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Portrait of Mr.Ch'u, assistant of Charles Whiting Bishop. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 3, Folder: Bishop Correspondence, July-November 1925, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Freer Gallery of Art courtyard enclosure study by Hartman-Cox Architects (not implemented), 1980. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 8, Folder: Hartman-Cox, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Correspondence and drawing from Charles A. Platt to John Ellerton Lodge regarding the inscription on the outside of the museum building, 1923. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 16, Folder: Platt, Charles, 1923-1933, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

Near the Yung Kong Caves, from the right: Mr. Wong Pi Yen, Mr. Ch'u, Kwang-Lien, Charles Whiting Bishop, and Archibald Gibson Wenley. Accession 03-018: Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Central Files, 1919-1986, Box 22, Folder: Tung, K. Z., 1927-1947, Smithsonian Institution Archives.

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