Freer Gallery Celebrates Centennial of Founder's Birth

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The Freer Gallery of Art commemorates the one-hundredth anniversary of Charles Lang Freer's birth. The celebrations include the presentation of the first Charles Lang Freer Medal, a lecture by the recipient of the medal, and a reception. According to the Smithsonian "Torch," the Charles Lang Freer Medal recognizes "distinguished contribution to the knowledge and understanding of Oriental civilizations as reflected in their arts." The first medal is presented to Osvald Sirén, professor of the history of fine arts at Stockholm University and expert in Chinese art at the National Museum in Stockholm, Sweden.


  • Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919
  • Sirén, Osvald 1879-1966
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Charles Lang Freer Medal


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • Freer's birth year is now established as 1854, not 1856. See Thomas Lawton and Linda Merrill, Freer: A Legacy of Art. Washington, D.C.: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution in association with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1993, p. 254.
  • "Freer Medal Established." The Smithsonian Torch, no. 12 (Feb. 1956): 1.
  • Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1956. Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956, p. 95.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20024-2520,


February 25, 1956


  • Anniversaries
  • Awards and Honors
  • Benefactors
  • Awards
  • Donors
  • Lectures and lecturing
  • Medals

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