In 1906, Charles Lang Freer donated his art collection—a connoisseur’s fusion of historic Asian works and American art of the Aesthetic Movement—to the Smithsonian Institution. The Freer Gallery of Art opened on the National Mall in 1923, presenting Asian art and culture to the public at a time when Americans rarely traveled to the East. Six decades later, Dr. Arthur M. Sackler (1913–1987) made possible the construction of the Sackler Gallery, established its inaugural collection, and supported a transforming mission that enabled the acquisition and exhibition of contemporary as well as historic Asian art. Combined, the renowned collections of the Freer and Sackler make the Galleries a dynamic crossroads where "East meets West" and "old meets new." Their depth and quality is the core of our strength in all that we accomplish: exhibitions, research, education, and conservation.
Your generous support will help us sustain the vision of our founders through the twenty-first century and beyond. In each of eight area collections—China, contemporary Asian art, India, Iran, Japan, Korea, Southeast Asia, and American art of the Aesthetic Movement—we have exciting plans based on our strengths, potential, and the needs of our audiences.
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