|Media only: Brenda Kean Tabor: 202.633.0523
Barbara Kram: 202.633.0520
Public only: 202.357.2700
This holiday season, the shops at the Freer Gallery of Art (Independence Avenue at 12th Street, S.W.) and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (1050 Independence Ave., S.W.) are brimming with unusual items suitable for the discriminating shopper in search of elegant, out-of the ordinary gifts. Gift-wrapping in decorative Japanese washi paper decorated with origami cranes is available on select Saturday and Sunday afternoons for a small fee. All sales in the shops support the acquisitions, exhibitions and educational programs of the Freer and Sackler galleries.
Together with their continuing selection of world music CDs, books, cards, calendars, jewelry and toys, new items of particular note include:
- Hand-embroidered, vibrantly patterned merino wool jackets from Kashmir ($250 – $495) as well as two sizes of Kashmiri embroidered and paisley shawls ($84 – $145)
- One of a kind antique, hand-painted chests and tables from Tibet ($745 – $4,840)
- Eight styles of Tibetan carpet. Woven in an array of lush jewel tones in both contemporary and traditional designs, and made from the finest Tibetan hand-carded, spun, and dyed wool, these hand knotted rugs are available in standard sizes or can be fabricated to buyers’ specifications ($55 – $80 per square foot). Available for shipping.
- An extensive line of Tibetan jewelry ($20 – $1,200)
- Purple-red glazed Chinese Yaobian porcelain vases ($27 – $88) and Chinese Yixing teawares ($20 – $136)
- Brightly colored Cambodian silk evening bags, cosmetic bags and jewelry rolls ($18.99 – $33.99)
- Contemporary oriental calligraphy “Peace” T-Shirt, tote bag, and glass-matted print, designed
- by artist Sybil Shane and featuring the Chinese ideogram for “peace” in black, outlined in gold, against a striking red background. T-shirt ($25.00. Sizes: medium, large, and extra-large); black cotton tote bag ($28.00); 16″x16″; 8″x10″ glass-matted print. ($30.00)
New products based on the work of ex-patriate American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834 – 1903) include:
- Two silk scarves ($50 and $90) and a silk shawl based on “Variations in Blue and Green,” an oil painting in the Freer’s collection ($90)
- An umbrella ($35) based on design elements drawn from “Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room” 1876 – 1877
New, Whistler-related ties, videos and books are also available. New books include:
- “The Zen Monastery Cookbook-Stories and Recipes from a Zen Kitchen,” compiled by the monks at the Zen Monastery Practice Center, under the guidance of Cheri Huber. The funny, inspiring stories from the monastery’s cooks and cook assistants, make this more than just a compilation of wonderful recipes. ($16.00)
- “Buying Mittens” by Niimi Nankichi. This classic Japanese children’s story-the tale of a young fox and his first snowfall-is beautifully illustrated by Kuroi Ken. In an exquisitely transformed world, mother and child leave the forest one snowy night to buy mittens in town. Tender, warm, and lovely, “Buying Mittens” has been a favorite of children and parents for more than 60 years. ($16.95)
The Freer and Sackler galleries together form the national museum of Asian art for the United States. Hours are 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily (except Dec. 25) and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, call (202) 357-2700 or TTY (202) 357-1729, or visit the Web site at asia.si.edu.