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Individual Media Tours for the Display “Journey of Color”

June 08, 2023

What: Individually scheduled press tours for “Journey of Color”

When: Now open to the public, with new additions throughout 2023

Where: Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, Freer Gallery of Art 1050 Independence Ave. S.W.

Media are invited to join the National Museum of Asian Art on a “Journey of Color,” a display of wayfinding labels in the gallery that highlights 34 objects that will periodically be on view throughout the Freer Gallery of Art that reveal how different cultures obtained, produced and used color to individualize their creations and tell layered, universal stories.

Color draws attention, conveys important visual clues and elicits emotions. At the same time, the perception of color is subjective, and understandings of its meanings and functions are not universal. A color may represent happiness and hope in one culture but anger and destruction in another. One culture may refer to a certain color as observable in nature, while another may not even have a name for it. Color perception can vary not only across cultures but also from person to person.

Whether pulverizing gold, crushing lapis lazuli or grinding cochineal insects, artists across Asia have experimented for millennia with a wealth of minerals, bugs and plants to create eye-catching pigments. Knowledge of substances and techniques traveled across regions and was developed by different communities in innovative ways.

“Journey of Color” is part of the 2023 programming marking the 100th anniversary of the National Museum of Asian Art’s founding. Learn more about the centennial celebrations. #TheNext100

Note to editors: Members of the media can contact Jennifer Mitchell at for more information.

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