Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art

Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art We preserve, exhibit, and interpret Asian art in ways that deepen our understanding of Asia, America, and the world, located on the National Mall in Washington, DC. #FreerSackler https://www.si.edu/termsofuse

Our collections feature ancient to contemporary masterpieces from Japan, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, and the Near East. In addition, we have an important collection of 19th-century American art, punctuated by James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room. COMMENT POLICY
Welcome to our page! Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit.

Our collections feature ancient to contemporary masterpieces from Japan, China, Korea, Southeast Asia, India, and the Near East. In addition, we have an important collection of 19th-century American art, punctuated by James McNeill Whistler's Peacock Room. COMMENT POLICY
Welcome to our page! Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit.

Open with service changes

🌝 We're wishing a happy #MoonFestival to our friends celebrating today around the world! We hope you're enjoying time wi...
09/21/2021
Carved lacquer food box with scene of the Moon Palace | Freer|Sackler

🌝 We're wishing a happy #MoonFestival to our friends celebrating today around the world! We hope you're enjoying time with loved ones & feasting on tasty mooncakes 🥮. This lacquer box in our #ChineseArt collection likely held the rich sweet or savory pastries: https://asia.si.edu/object/F1968.76a-b/

You can learn the story of Chang'e, the female immortal who resides in the Moon Palace with our #EducatorResource, "Teaching China with the Smithsonian"! Watch a video courtesy of
Smithsonian Folklife here: https://asia.si.edu/learn/for-educators/teaching-china-with-the-smithsonian/videos/moon-festival/

To soundtrack your celebration, we've recently added a performance from 2000 to our #Podcasts all about reflections on autumn, the moon, and more! Listen to "Chinese Music of the Seasons: Bing Xia, zheng" while you celebrate today: https://asia.si.edu/podcast/chinese-music-of-the-seasons-bing-xia-zheng/

The box depicts a scene of the Moon Palace and its denizens gathered together for a festive occasion. Three main characters include the female immortal Chang'e, who stands at the top of the palace stairs with entertainers gathered around her in the courtyard. Nearby are two other well-known inhabita...

In response to the September 11 tragedies, the Dalai Lama called on Tibetan Buddhists around the globe to offer healing ...
09/11/2021
Tibetan Healing Mandala - Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

In response to the September 11 tragedies, the Dalai Lama called on Tibetan Buddhists around the globe to offer healing through meditation, prayer ceremonies, and the sacred healing arts. In January of 2002, twenty Tibetan Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery answered that call here at our museum in Washington, DC.

According to Buddhist scripture, sand mandalas (sacred paintings) transmit positive energies to the environment and to the people who view them. Over two weeks, working in shifts, the monks constructed a seven-foot-square mandala, one of the largest ever created in the West at the time, for the healing and protection of America. Once the mandala was completed, the monks swept up the sand, an act symbolizing the impermanence of existence.

Healing is a process in which art can play a powerful part. During the mandala's creation, visitors were welcome to observe and share their stories in our community journals. Visitors also joined the monks in a procession to the Tidal Basin to pour out the sand. Pouring the sand into the Potomac River dispersed the healing energies of the mandala throughout the world, which we hope can still be felt today.

Photos and a time-lapse of the mandala being created, excerpts from the community journals, and information about how mandalas are used for healing are available here: https://asia.si.edu/exhibition/tibetan-healing-mandala/

#September11

In response to the September 11 tragedies, twenty Buddhist monks from the Drepung Loseling Monastery constructed a sand mandala (sacred painting) at the Sackler gallery. This seven-foot-square mandala, one of the largest ever created in the West, was offered for the healing and protection of America...

09/10/2021
Objects We Love: Seated Ganesha

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to our friends celebrating in India and Hindu communities around the world! 🐘 🕉 In honor of the festival this year, let’s take a closer look at a stone sculpture of the beloved elephant-headed god in our collections with help from one of our docents. Sushmita compares how she sees the object in the museum and how she and other people have experienced similar objects of significance in Hindu culture over the centuries until today.
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“It is incredible how much I have learned about Ganesha in my 22 years of study and experience giving tours as a docent here at the museum. When I told my mom, who lives in Mumbai, about making this video, we were both surprised. Turns out she sings the Marathi “bhajan” (devotional song) I share in the video at her home shrine where Ganesha has always shared space with other deities, and I had no idea! And she didn’t know how the tradition of the present-day Ganesh Chaturthi celebration had started so that was new to her. It was a wonderful way we connected and both learned something new about this beloved deity! When I lived in Mumbai we always visited various celebrations happening all over the city—the festival is a joyous time."—Sushmita Mazumdar
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Learn more about this artwork in our #SouthAsianAndHimalayanArt collection on the museum’s website: https://asia.si.edu/object/S1987.960/
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#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #IndianArt #HinduArt #Ganesha #GaneshChaturthi #HinduFestivals #Sculpture #Elephant #Vinayaka #ObjectsWeLove

Today, the people of Japan are celebrating Kiku no Sekku, #NationalChrysanthemumDay! One of the country's most sacred fe...
09/09/2021
Unseen Art History: September (Chrysanthemum) - Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Today, the people of Japan are celebrating Kiku no Sekku, #NationalChrysanthemumDay! One of the country's most sacred festivals, it's also known as the Double Ninth Festival because it falls on the ninth day of the ninth month of the year.
We're marking the day with a look at the #UnseenArtHistory behind a series of paintings, including one that features chrysanthemum flowers, in our #JapaneseArt collection. Read the #Blog here:
https://asia.si.edu/unseen-art-history-september-chrysanthemum/

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #ArtHistory #Provenance #Chrysanthemums #FlowersOfTheTwelveMonths #WatanabeSeitei #KikuNoSekku #DoubleNinthFestival

Read on to learn about the journey of this hanging scroll from Tokyo, Japan, to Washington, DC, in the second feature of our Unseen Art History blog series, which highlights provenance stories about how objects came to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s Natio...

This #WorldPhotographyDay we’re going behind the camera and into the #Archives! A cover of “Asiatica” from 2008 shows wh...
08/19/2021

This #WorldPhotographyDay we’re going behind the camera and into the #Archives! A cover of “Asiatica” from 2008 shows what a photographer would have seen on the ground glass of a Deardorff camera (an 8x10 view camera used in the 1900s) while capturing a 17th century Oribe ware ewer in our collections.

#DidYouKnow: The #FreerSackler Photo department was the first studio at the #Smithsonian to convert from film to digital, beginning in the mid-1990s. We stopped using film altogether in 1998. When this issue of “Asiatica” was published, we had about 100,000 digital images on our servers, and now that number is approaching 300,000! That is all thanks to the hard work and dedication of our talented photographers, past and present. Every day they document our collections, making these incredible artworks accessible for you at home. From our groundbreaking exhibitions and lively programs to beloved community celebrations, our photographers capture the moments and people at the heart of our museum. Click through to see them in their element, showing their skills behind the lens!

If you want to page through “Asiatica,” you can examine a digitized copy thanks to Smithsonian Libraries and Archives here: https://library.si.edu/digital-library/book/asiatica00freeg

#Smithsonian #Photography #Photographers #MuseumPeople #MuseumPhotography #Photos #Photographs #Camera #FilmPhotography #DigitalPhotography #Asiatica

Try out art activities, word games, and more in our "Present History, a Smithsonian at-home activity guide." Discover ga...
08/16/2021

Try out art activities, word games, and more in our "Present History, a Smithsonian at-home activity guide." Discover game-changing milestones that inspire, excite, and offer moments of reflection. https://learninglab.si.edu/news/celebrating-175-years-of-history

#SmithsonianEdu #Smithsonian175 #Education

Try out art activities, word games, and more in our "Present History, a Smithsonian at-home activity guide." Discover game-changing milestones that inspire, excite, and offer moments of reflection. https://learninglab.si.edu/news/celebrating-175-years-of-history

#SmithsonianEdu #Smithsonian175 #Education

"The motif on this piece is the plant called balloon vine, which blooms in Japan in July and August. I used sketches of ...
08/14/2021

"The motif on this piece is the plant called balloon vine, which blooms in Japan in July and August. I used sketches of the actual plant as the basis for this abstracted design. The most difficult aspect of the process was finding an appropriate way of combining the design with the vessel form. The actual flowers and foliage of the balloon vine are green, but I rendered the design in shades of yellow. The yellow enamel was fired to 850 degrees C., and the entire firing process, including cooling, took about thirty-six hours. Overfiring by just ten degrees causes the enamel to run, so the timing was crucial."—Miura Katsuo, artist (Japan, born 1939)
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Jar with design of balloon vine by Miura Katsuo in our #JapaneseArt collection (https://asia.si.edu/object/S1993.34/).

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #JapaneseArt #Porcelain #Ceramics #Pottery #Enamel #BalloonVine #Plants #Vines #MiuraKatsuo #Japan #Ishikawa

Thank you for helping us celebrate the Smithsonian’s milestone birthday. For 175 years, the Smithsonian has relied on su...
08/11/2021

Thank you for helping us celebrate the Smithsonian’s milestone birthday. For 175 years, the Smithsonian has relied on support from our friends and neighbors to continue our mission. Your curiosity, enthusiasm, and generosity is what allows experts to push the boundaries of knowledge and share their discoveries with the learners everywhere. Thanks for being an important part of the Smithsonian family!

And this was just a warm up—keep your party hats at the ready for our centennial, coming up in 2023. Stay in the know by signing up for our email newsletters: https://bit.ly/3lLAsWa

Thank you for helping us celebrate the Smithsonian’s milestone birthday. For 175 years, the Smithsonian has relied on support from our friends and neighbors to continue our mission. Your curiosity, enthusiasm, and generosity is what allows experts to push the boundaries of knowledge and share their discoveries with the learners everywhere. Thanks for being an important part of the Smithsonian family!

And this was just a warm up—keep your party hats at the ready for our centennial, coming up in 2023. Stay in the know by signing up for our email newsletters: https://bit.ly/3lLAsWa

🥺 Don't mind us, we're a bit misty-eyed paging through our baby book today as we celebrate the Smithsonian Institution's...
08/10/2021

🥺 Don't mind us, we're a bit misty-eyed paging through our baby book today as we celebrate the Smithsonian Institution's 175th birthday! 🥳

#DidYouKnow: The Freer Gallery was the first #ArtMuseum on the #NationalMall? Almost immediately after construction began, it was halted due to the United States' entry in to World War I. The museum was eventually completed and opened in 1923, but unfortunately Charles Freer did not live to see it. We'll be celebrating our 100th birthday in 2023, so stay tuned and keep your party hats at the ready!

Dig into our photo #Archives to see more of the construction of the building: https://s.si.edu/2VN5ftG #Smithsonian175

175 years ago, the Smithsonian was just an audacious idea to make knowledge accessible to everyone—to invite Americans t...
08/07/2021
The Smithsonian at 175

175 years ago, the Smithsonian was just an audacious idea to make knowledge accessible to everyone—to invite Americans to learn from the past and from each other. Here’s a fun look at how Smithsonian’s 175-year-old mission is still going strong and pushing us forward! https://s.si.edu/3fAMlgE

Watch on YouTube: https://bit.ly/3fDQyzT

#Smithsonian175

As we welcome in the new year and commemorate the Smithsonian at 175, let's not only look back, but look ahead to what is on the horizon. In that spirit, ple...

#OnThisDay in 1948, a pair of ancestor portraits arrived in Washington, DC from Beijing, China. How did they get here an...
08/06/2021
Unseen Art History: Ancestor Portraits—Prince Hongming and Lady Wanyan | Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

#OnThisDay in 1948, a pair of ancestor portraits arrived in Washington, DC from Beijing, China. How did they get here and why? 🤔

Find out in our new #Blog series, #UnseenArtHistory, highlighting the #Provenance stories of artworks in our collections!

Read the first installment: https://s.si.edu/3Cm3vYV

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #ChineseArt #ArtHistory #ArtProvenance

                              Seventy-three years ago today, these paintings arrived in the United States! Learn about their journey from Beijing, China to Washington, DC, as part of our Unseen Art History series, which highlights provenance stories about how objects came to the Freer...

08/05/2021
Illuminasia Projection Mapping

#ThrowbackThursday to when we reopened our doors in 2017 and celebrated with an amazing light show projected on the façade of the Freer Gallery of Art! This is one of our favorite memories of being in community with so many of you during our #Illuminasia festival!

Everyone’s connection to the Smithsonian is uniquely theirs. Whether your favorite Smithsonian memory is taking in the glory of the Peacock Room when its shutters are open wide, seeing the latest celebrity addition in the National Portrait Gallery, admiring the sparkle of Dorothy’s red slippers at the Museum of American History, or gaping in awe during your 8th grade trip to the Museum of Natural History, we love hearing about it!

To celebrate the 175th birthday of the Smithsonian, tell us your Smithsonian story in the comments below. 👇 You might even discover a new #Smithsonian experience to try on your next visit!

#Smithsonian175 #FreerSackler

Have you been watching this week's #Wrestling matches at the #Olympics? 🤼#DidYouKnow: Wrestling (“koshti” in Persian) is...
08/04/2021

Have you been watching this week's #Wrestling matches at the #Olympics? 🤼
#DidYouKnow: Wrestling (“koshti” in Persian) is one of Iran’s ancient sports and has been practiced for millennia. An early depiction appears on this seventh-century shallow silver gilt bowl from Sasanian Iran. Here, two wrestlers with a folded length of cloth wrapped around them have grasped each other at the hips. The sport is also frequently referenced in the "Shahnama" (Book of kings) and other literary works and is associated with figures, who represent kindness, humility, and moral and ethical rectitude. In Iran, wrestling is not considered aggressive or competitive but is meant to cultivate spiritual power and discipline through physical strength and training.
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Learn more about the other scenes that decorate this bowl with Antonietta Catanzariti, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar and Assistant Curator for the Ancient Near East in an installment of our #ObjectsWeLove video series: https://youtu.be/RbRJgB-A5-E
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Hemispherical bowl in our #ArtsOfTheIslamicWorld collection: https://asia.si.edu/object/S1987.105/

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #IranianArt #Metalwork #OlympicGames

Have you been watching this week's #Wrestling matches at the #Olympics? 🤼
#DidYouKnow: Wrestling (“koshti” in Persian) is one of Iran’s ancient sports and has been practiced for millennia. An early depiction appears on this seventh-century shallow silver gilt bowl from Sasanian Iran. Here, two wrestlers with a folded length of cloth wrapped around them have grasped each other at the hips. The sport is also frequently referenced in the "Shahnama" (Book of kings) and other literary works and is associated with figures, who represent kindness, humility, and moral and ethical rectitude. In Iran, wrestling is not considered aggressive or competitive but is meant to cultivate spiritual power and discipline through physical strength and training.
.
Learn more about the other scenes that decorate this bowl with Antonietta Catanzariti, the Robert and Arlene Kogod Secretarial Scholar and Assistant Curator for the Ancient Near East in an installment of our #ObjectsWeLove video series: https://youtu.be/RbRJgB-A5-E
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Hemispherical bowl in our #ArtsOfTheIslamicWorld collection: https://asia.si.edu/object/S1987.105/

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #IranianArt #Metalwork #OlympicGames

Next Tuesday marks the #Smithsonian's 175th birthday—will you help celebrate by signing a birthday card?That’s 175 years...
08/03/2021
Happy Birthday, Smithsonian!

Next Tuesday marks the #Smithsonian's 175th birthday—will you help celebrate by signing a birthday card?

That’s 175 years of exciting discoveries, essential conversations, and endless opportunities to enrich the life of every American. None of it would be possible without your support. Say happy birthday and tell us what the Smithsonian means to you! https://s.si.edu/3fvFVz9

#Smithsonian175

You can support the Smithsonian, the world's largest museum and research complex, with 19 museums, 9 research centers, and affiliates around the world.

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1050 Independence Ave SW
Washington D.C., DC
20560

Located on the National Mall Steps from the Smithsonian Metro (Orange and Blue Lines) Admission is free! Open daily 10 am—5:30 pm (except December 25)

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Tuesday 10am - 5:30pm
Friday 10am - 5:30pm
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(202) 633-1000

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COMMENT POLICY Welcome to our page! Please feel free to share thoughts about our posts, ask us questions, or tell us about your visit. We hope you’ll contribute to this interactive forum and to our ongoing conversation about the work we do to further the Smithsonian's mission to increase and diffuse knowledge. While on-topic discussion is encouraged, we ask that you express yourself in a civil manner and treat other users with respect. The Smithsonian also monitors and may remove posts consistent with its terms of use, as described at http://si.edu/Termsofuse#user-gen. Review our privacy policy at si.edu/Privacy. DONATIONS AND INQUIRIES Our staff do not identify, authenticate, or appraise objects or works of art that do not belong to the museum; nor do they offer advice about the care and conservation of objects. Staff members cannot make statements regarding authenticity or monetary value. The curators’ primary responsibility is to research, publish, and exhibit the collections that belong to the museum.

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