From his first Asian art purchase—a painted Japanese fan—Charles Lang Freer was inspired by the beauty of Japanese paintings and ceramics and of Buddhist paintings, metalwork, and sculpture. More than two thousand Japanese works were included in his gift to the nation. From this foundation, the Freer Gallery’s collection has grown in size and scope to include calligraphy, lacquer, prints, and printed books. Japanese art in the Sackler Gallery has focused on graphic arts, ceramics, lacquers, and photographs, including modern and contemporary works. In total, the Freer and Sackler’s Japanese art collections comprise more than fifteen thousand objects spanning four millennia.
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