Freer and Sackler Apps

Freer Thinking audio appFreer Thinking

Embark on a variety of audio journeys through the vast collections of the Freer and Sackler, where Asia meets America. Listen in as artists, researchers, and special guests share insights and discoveries. The in-gallery presentation uses your location in the museums to provide two distinct experiences. You can choose to wander our halls at your leisure, and our host, NPR’s Robert Siegel, will alert you to highlights along your path. Sixty significant objects are featured on the highlights tour, five of which will particularly appeal to kids and families. Or, select a theme and allow us to guide your journey of discovery, weaving together stories that show how artistic expression links us across culture, time, and distance.

Outside the museums, you can listen to the guided tours just like you would any other podcast.

Download the Freer Thinking audio app » (currently available for iPhone)

Listen to the Freer Thinking podcast » (any device)

Sacred Spaces: Tibetan Buddhist Shrines

Sacred SpacesExplore how Tibetan Buddhists encounter and engage with art objects in sacred spaces. Released with the opening of Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia at the Freer and Sackler, this app centers on the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room from the Alice S. Kandell Collection. In the three-year exhibition, the app complements and enhances the immersive viewing experience of the shrine room. At home, the app offers virtual access to the shrine room and acts as a tool for understanding Tibetan Buddhism, its sacred spaces, and the activities and objects therein.

To travel alongside Hyecho, the young Korean monk who traversed the Buddhist world in the eighth century, download the apps Hyecho’s Journey and Hyecho’s World, created by University of Michigan undergraduates.

Download Sacred Spaces for free »


pink and red line drawing of hyecho

A young Korean monk who traversed the Buddhist world in the eighth century is the focus of two additional apps that accompany Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia. Both were created by undergraduates in the Multidisciplinary Design Program at the University of Michigan.

Hyecho’s Journey: Travel alongside the teenage Buddhist monk with games and objects in the Freer and Sackler collections.

Hyecho’s World: Visit major Buddhist sites through an interactive map.


manuscripts appManuscripts from the Islamic World

Home to one of the finest collections of Islamic works on paper in North America, the Freer|Sackler also houses numerous important Qur’ans and individual folios. Their pages offer a fascinating glimpse into the arts of the book from the ninth century to the late 1800s and from North Africa to the Indian subcontinent. Written in a variety of scripts on either parchment or paper and often superbly illuminated, these prized works of art affirm the central role of Qur’anic manuscripts in the artistic heritage of the Islamic world.

This app is an opportunity to see a selection of these works from various parts of the Islamic world, as well as to appreciate different styles of calligraphy and illumination and understand their role and function. We invite you to turn the pages of three Qur’ans and discover how to “read” a handwritten manuscript..

Download Manuscripts from the Islamic World for free » (iPad only)

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