Freer Auditorium Named After Meyers

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  • The Smithsonian Board of Regents decides to name the auditorium at the Freer Gallery of Art the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer auditorium. Eugene Meyer (1875-1959) and Agnes Ernst Meyer (1887-1970) were friends of Charles Lang Freer, benefactor of the Freer Gallery, and the Meyers also donated Chinese and Japanese art from their own collection to the Freer Gallery.
  • The renaming recognizes a gift of $1,040,000 from the Meyers' daughter, Katharine Graham, chairman of the board of the Washington Post Co.; the Philip L. Graham Fund; the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation; and the Island Fund in the New York Community Trust. The gift will pay for the renovation of the auditorium, including new lighting and electrical systems and improved acoustics, and for the development of public programming.


  • Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919
  • Meyer, Agnes E
  • Meyer, Eugene
  • Graham, Katharine 1917-2001
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Freer Gallery of Art Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium
  • Board of Regents
  • Philip L. Graham Fund
  • Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
  • New York Community Trust Island Fund


Chronology of Smithsonian History


  • The official dedication of the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium takes place on April 28, 1993.
  • Bliss, Susan. "Freer: Auditorium Named for Benefactors Eugene and Agnes Meyer." The Smithsonian Torch (April 1991): 3.
  • Patton, Mary. "Freer Reopens After Major Renovation." The Smithsonian Torch (May 1993): 1, 8.

Contact information

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


February 4, 1991


  • Electric apparatus and appliances
  • Art
  • Benefactors
  • Architecture
  • Lighting
  • Collectors and collecting
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • Gifts
  • Auditoriums
  • Art, Chinese
  • Art, Japanese
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction


Board of Regents

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