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Future Exhibitions


Sōtatsu: Making Waves

October 24, 2015–January 31, 2016
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Tawaraya Sōtatsu (act. ca. 1600–40), a fountainhead of Japanese painting and design, is one of the most influential yet elusive figures in Japanese culture. Sōtatsu’s work is instantly recognized by its bold, abstracted style, lavish swaths of gold and silver, and rich jewel tones. Much of the artist’s life, however, remains a mystery. How a working-class owner of a Kyoto fan shop transformed into a sophisticated designer with a network of aristocratic collaborators is still an enigma.

Sōtatsu: Making Waves is the first in-depth examination of this major Japanese artist. The exhibition convenes for the first time more than seventy of Sōtatsu’s masterpieces from collections in Japan, Europe, and the United States, along with homage pieces by later artists that demonstrate his long-ranging influence. Highlights include Waves at Matsushima and Dragons and Clouds, along with fans, albums, hanging scrolls, and paintings. The Freer|Sackler is the only venue for this first major Sōtatsu retrospective in the Western Hemisphere.

Sōtatsu: Making Waves is co-organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Japan Foundation.

The exhibition is supported by All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. Special thanks to Tokyo University of the Arts. Additional generous support is provided by the Anne van Biema Endowment Fund.

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Turquoise Mountain: Art and Transformation in Afghanistan

March–December 2016
International Gallery

The exhibition at the Freer and Sackler Galleries will transform the International Gallery into an Afghan caravanserai, complete with artisan stalls and demonstrations of woodwork, calligraphy, ceramics, and jewelry. Artisans from Murad Khani will be present to share their expertise, allowing visitors to experience Afghanistan's rich cultural heritage and national pride. Videos and large-scale photographs contribute to making this an immersive experience that simulates a visit to Murad Khani. The exhibition will run from March through December 2016.

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Current Exhibitions

Perspectives: Lara Baladi
Through June 5, 2016
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Please note: The Freer Gallery of Art will be closed to the public from January 2016 until summer 2017. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open for the duration of the renovation. Learn more »