For more than six decades, the Freer Occasional Papers Series has provided a forum for peer-reviewed scholarly works on a wide range of topics in Asian, ancient Near Eastern, Islamic, and American art. The format of the Occasional Papers varies according to subject and ranges from monographs, conference proceedings, and multi-author treatments of a theme or material, to studies in conservation and scientific research.

The original print editions of volumes published before 2008 are now available as PDFs. We are revitalizing many of these seminal studies by adding images and including other supplementary resources. These new special editions are made accessible as they are finalized.


New Publication

Dragon’s Roar: Chinese Literati Musical Instruments in the Freer and Sackler Collections

The gentle sound of the qin zither is familiar from Chinese classical music, and the instrument itself has an extremely long and storied history. This lavishly illustrated volume focuses attention on the seven important qin zithers, which date from the period between the late Middle Ages and modern times, featured in the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. Yang Yuanzheng, one of the leading experts on qins in the world, traces the history of qin instruments, which are currently understood to originate in the Bronze Age, and describes three eras in the development of the qin zither and its cultural environment. He carefully analyzes the construction of the instruments and questions earlier assumptions about their age and origins. Yang’s insights, the cultural significance of the qin zithers and the unique nature of the instruments in the Freer and Sackler make this volume essential reading for art historians and music archaeologists, as well as lovers of this instrument itself.Yang Yuanzheng is professor in the Department of Music at the University of Hong Kong.

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Explore the qin, its influences, and related paintings in Look & Listen: Asian Art and Music, Bell Yung, qin, with Keith Wilson.


The Freer Occasional Papers Digital Repository

Relief of two gilded Buddhist figures seated side by side.

The Grand Empress Dowager Wên Ming and the Northern Wei Necropolis at Fang Shan

A.G. Wenley
vol. 1, no. 1, 1947

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Two women breakfasting in a loggia, dappled with sunlight, described in colorful oil paint with brisk brushwork.Paintings, Pastels, Drawings, Prints, and Copper Plates by and Attributed to American and European Artists, Together with a List of Original Whistleriana in the Freer Gallery of Art

Burns A. Stubbs
vol. 1, no. 2, 1948

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Detail of a chased silver vessel with a unicorn in the foreground. The Unicorn

Richard Ettinghausen
vol. 1, no. 3, 1950

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Whistler self-portrait of the artist wearing a hat, executed in browns and flesh tones.James McNeill Whistler: A Biographical Outline Illustrated from the Collections of the Freer Gallery of Art

Burns A. Stubbs
vol. 1, no. 4, 1950

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2016 Digital Edition: Download

Stone sculpture of a pharaoh's head with one remaining copper inlaid eye.A Royal Head from Ancient Egypt

Georg Steindorff
vol. 1, no. 5, 1951

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Detail of a blue and white ceramic dish painted with a fish in the center.Fourteenth-Century Blue-and-White: A Group of Chinese Porcelains in the Topkapu Sarayi Müzesi, Istanbul

John Alexander Pope
vol. 2, no. 1, 1952

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Magnification equipment focused on a folio page.Abstracts of Technical Studies in Art and Archaeology, 1943–1952

Rutherford J. Gettens and Bertha M. Usilton
vol. 2, no. 2, 1955

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Three lohans look up at a fourth figure crossing a craggy bridge over a waterfall.The Lohans and a Bridge to Heaven

Wen Fong
vol. 3, no. 1, 1958

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Detail of a painting of a Moroccan royalCalligraphers and Painters: A Treatise by Qādī Ahmad, Son of Mir-Munshī, circa A.H. 1015/A.D. 1606

Translated by Vladimir Minorsky
vol. 3, no. 2, 1959

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2017 Digital Edition: Read online |Download


Ink painting on silk of a monkey on the back of an ox.Li Ti

Richard Edwards
vol. 3, no. 3, 1967

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Chinese cast bronze ornamental axe, with blue and green patina.Two Early Chinese Bronze Weapons with Meteoritic Iron Blades

Rutherford J. Gettens, Roy S. Clarke, and W. T. Chase
vol. 4, no. 1, 1971

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Detail of painting of Mughal hunters in brush. Dara-Shikoh Shooting Nilgais: Hunt and Landscape in Mughal Painting

Ebba Koch
vol. 1, 1998

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Detail of western painting depicting a female figure pushing away two male figures.The Jesuits and the Grand Mogul: Renaissance Art at the Imperial Court of India, 1580–1630

Gauvin Alexander Bailey
vol. 2, 1998

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Detail of stone relief depicting the Buddha. A Freer Stela Reconsidered

Stanley K. Abe
vol. 3, 2002

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Detail of painting of boy perched in tree viewing Mt. Fuji, dwarfed by the mountain's foot, slope, and peak, that fill the picture plane.Studies Using Scientific Methods: Pigments in Later Japanese Paintings

Elisabeth West FitzHugh, John Winter, and Marco Leona
New series, vol. 1, 2003

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Detail of Whistler painting of woman in kimono looking at a leaflet.James McNeill Whistler in Context Essays from the Whistler Centenary Symposium, University of Glasgow, 2003

Lee Glazer, Margaret F. MacDonald, Linda Merrill, and Nigel Thorp, eds.
New series, vol. 2, 2008

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The Look of the Book: Manuscript Production in ShirazThe Look of the Book: Manuscript Production in Shiraz, 1303-1452

Elaine Wright
New Series, vol. 3, 2013

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Time and Place Are Nonsense: The Films of Seijun SuzukiTime and Place Are Nonsense: The Films of Seijun Suzuki

Tom Vick
New Series, vol. 4, 2015

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Indonesian musicians in bright orange costumes.Performing Indonesia

Sumarsam and Andy McGraw, Eds.
New Series, vol. 5, 2016

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