Charles Lang Freer Resource Gateway

in an archival photo, a man in a suit kneels and looks at a handscroll on the floor and draped over a table.

Charles Lang Freer

Museum founder Charles Lang Freer was an American industrialist well known as a collector of Asian art. Among his personal papers are correspondence, diaries, art inventories, press clippings, purchase records, architectural drawings, and photographs relating to his life, travels, and art collecting.

Freer’s correspondence includes letters with friends, artists, dealers, collectors, museums, and public figures. Inventories and purchase vouchers describe his acquisitions of American, European, and Asian art and provide provenance information, prices, and scholarly assessments. Other documents relate to Freer’s gift and bequest to the Smithsonian Institution.