Freer Takes Fourth Trip to Asia

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  • Charles Lang Freer makes his fourth trip to Asia. He bases his itinerary on his communication with experts in Asian art. On his way to Asia, he visits Paris, France, and London, England, where he makes important purchases of Iranian art. He also travels to Germany, where he views the Asian art collections of the Kaiser Friedrich Museum (now the Bode Museum) and the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. Freer spends time in various cities in Belgium, Italy, and Egypt, where he purchases a collection of over 1,400 pieces of ancient Egyptian glass.
  • In Asia Freer takes a tour of China, including a month-long visit to Beijing, and also visits Japan. While Freer is in Beijing, he purchases scrolls from Chinese art dealers. He meets the Manchu official Duanfang in Tianjin and views his collection of antiquities, including bronzes and ceramics. Freer is impressed by Chinese culture and art, which receives most of his collecting attention for the rest of his life. In Japan Freer visits temples and attends a memorial service for his friend Ernest Fenollosa, a philosophy professor and curator of Japanese art. By December 1909, Freer is back in the United States.


  • Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919
  • Fenollosa, Ernest F
  • Duanfang 1861-1911
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Kaiser-Friedrich-Museum


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. 76-87.

Contact information

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




  • Description and travel
  • Art
  • Art museums
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Glass
  • Pottery
  • Ethnological museums and collections
  • Ethnology
  • Scrolls
  • Bronzes
  • Ceramics
  • Ceramics and glass
  • Travel
  • Ethnology--Asia
  • Art, Iranian
  • Art, Asian
  • Art, Chinese
  • Art, Japanese
  • Art, Egyptian
  • Art museum curators
  • Art objects


  • Paris (France)
  • Belgium
  • Asia
  • China
  • Japan
  • Italy
  • London, England
  • Germany

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