Freer Begins Second Trip to Asia

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  • Charles Lang Freer sails from New York City to begin his second tour of Asia. On the way there, he visits Naples, Italy, where he travels to Ischia, Bosco, and Pompeii. He then sails to Egypt. In Egypt he visits ancient Egyptian and Greco-Roman sites, such as Giza, Luxor, and Abu Simbel, as well as Islamic ones, including several mosques. He travels along the Nile as far south as the Sudan. Freer decides that his collection needs to include ancient Egyptian art, particularly sculpture, but he purchases few pieces while in Egypt.
  • Freer sails for Colombo, Ceylon (Sri Lanka), in January 1907. While in Asia, he continues to be interested religious sites. In Ceylon he travels to Buddhist ruins. On the island of Java in the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia), he views tenth-century Hindu temples near Prambanan and the Borobudur complex, where he studies ninth-century Buddhist reliefs. While passing through Singapore, Saigon, and Hong Kong on the way to Japan, Freer adds to his collection of Chinese ceramics.
  • During his second tour of Japan, Freer spends much of his time visiting art collections and viewing the wares of art dealers. By 1907 Freer is a well-known art connoisseur of Asian art. Prominent Japanese art collectors, including Hara Tomitarō and Masuda Takashi, welcome Freer to view their private collections. He sails back to the United States from Yokohama and arrives in San Francisco on July 14, 1907.


  • Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919
  • Tomitaro, Hara
  • Takashi, Masuda
  • Freer Gallery of Art


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • In 1906 Charles Lang Freer donates his art collection to the Smithsonian Institution, and it later becomes the Freer Gallery of Art.
  • Lawton, Thomas 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. 66-74.

Contact information

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


November 1906


  • Description and travel
  • Art
  • Sculpture
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Pottery
  • Ceramics
  • Art, Egyptian
  • Art, Buddhist
  • Art, Asian
  • Art, Japanese
  • Art, Chinese
  • Travel
  • Art dealers


  • Sri Lanka
  • Japan
  • China
  • Egypt
  • Italy
  • Abū Sunbul (Egypt)
  • Dutch East Indies

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