Charles Lang Freer, a Detroit businessman, began collecting works by living American artists in the 1880s. In 1890, he met James McNeill Whistler, whose style had been influenced by Japanese prints and Chinese ceramics. Following the artist’s advice, Freer began acquiring Asian art, amassing a fine array of both American and Asian works that ultimately would form the Freer Gallery of Art. The American collection features an unparalleled selection of Whistler’s work, including the famous Peacock Room. Freer also gathered significant holdings by Dwight Tryon, Thomas Dewing, Abbott Thayer, and such Gilded Age artists as Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Willard Metcalf, and Childe Hassam.
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