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
(946)

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. 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 https://www.si.edu/termsofuse Review our privacy policy at si.edu/Privacy. DONATIONS AND INQUIRIES Freer and Sackler 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.

Operating as usual

#Conservator Grace Jan on the #Blog on how intergenerational & multicultural her #LunarNewYear experiences have become. ...
02/16/2021
Lunar New Year: Lessons From Chinese School | Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

#Conservator Grace Jan on the #Blog on how intergenerational & multicultural her #LunarNewYear experiences have become. "...I look forward to immersing them in these traditions and reminding them that the New Year holiday comes twice a year in our family."
https://asia.si.edu/lunar-new-year-lessons-from-chinese-school/

As a second-generation Chinese American growing up in Southern California, I made some of my fondest and most vivid childhood memories during my Chinese School’s Lunar New Year celebrations. Every weekend, my Chinese School instructed its students in a culture and language that our parents hoped w...

#HappyValentinesDay! We're celebrating an anniversary on this day of love—love of the natural world to be specific! Born...
02/14/2021

#HappyValentinesDay! We're celebrating an anniversary on this day of love—love of the natural world to be specific! Born on Valentine's Day in 1483: The founder of India’s Mughal dynasty (1526-1857), Zahiruddin Muhammad Babur rose from his origins as a Central Asian princeling to become ruler of a vast empire stretching across Afghanistan, Pakistan, and India. Over the course of his extraordinary career, he kept a detailed account of his reign in a memoir known as the Baburnama. He wove incisive observations on art and nature into his recollections of love, war, and political alliances. Today, the Baburnama offers a unique window into a remarkable mind and an exceptional time.
.
You can learn more about Babur's love of gardens with our online resource Discovering Babur’s Gardens featuring the Elizabeth Moynihan Collection in the Freer and Sackler Archives. See the link in today's story or visit asia.si.edu/learn/discovering-baburs-gardens.
.
More about this artwork: The central figure in this composition has been identified as Babur (reigned 1526-30). An avid naturalist, Babur commissioned numerous gardens outside fortresses and citadels to symbolize his claim over his newly conquered domain. In this drawing, the rocky mountains of the background suggest a relatively untamed setting for the garden, which is dominated by a canopied platform. Placed at the intersection of a small pool and four water channels, the structure serves much like a throne, the definitive emblem of royal power and sovereignty.
.
"Emperor Babur with Attendants in a Garden" in our #SouthAsianAndHimalayanArt collection, F1954.27.

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #IndianArt #Babur #Baburnama #Gardens #Love #Gardening #BornOnThisDay #OnThisDay #OnValentinesDay #ValentinesDay #Birthday #ThisDayInHistory #HappyBirthdayBabur

✨🐮🏮The #YearOfTheOx is finally here! Happy #LunarNewYear to all of our friends in communities around the world celebrati...
02/12/2021

✨🐮🏮The #YearOfTheOx is finally here! Happy #LunarNewYear to all of our friends in communities around the world celebrating the start of a new year! We hope the next 12 lunar months hold the Ox's many positive attributes in store for our world. Winter will soon end, spring is in sight, and we're looking forward to all that comes with the season of rebirth and renewal.
.
We began our Lunar New Year celebration earlier this week, but there's plenty more in store with many ways to mark the holiday over the next fifteen days. Visit our online portal for resources, videos, blogs, and more: asia.si.edu/lunarnewyear.
.
The ox is the second sign in the lunar zodiac. People born in the Year of the Ox are considered to be hardworking, positive, strong, reliable, fair, and inspire confidence in others. They are also calm, patient, methodical and trustworthy. Though they may not be talkative, they can be very opinionated and stubborn. They don't like to fail or be challenged. They have a long fuse, but when it's lit, their temper can be explosive. They strongly believe in themselves and have a great deal of common sense. 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox.
.
Does all of this sound familiar? You might be an Ox if you were born on/after the start of the Lunar New Year in the following years: 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021.
.
Swipe to see different depictions of Oxen (bulls and cows) across our collections! The ox holds different meanings to cultures and religions around the world, but has been critical to the survival and growth of many societies.
.
[1] "Tile with zodiac figure of ox" in our #ChineseArt collection, S2012.9.3171.
[2] "Boy On An Ox, Picking The First Spring Blossom" by Ogata Gekkō in our #JapaneseArt collection, S2003.8.1675.
[3] "Indian Bull" in our #SouthAsianAndHimalayanArt collection, F1907.247.
[4] "Zoomorphic Vessel Stand" in our #AncientNearEasternArt collection, S1987.135.

With the new Lunar New Year on the horizon, we're reflecting on the success of our 2020 year-end campaign and the future...
02/11/2021

With the new Lunar New Year on the horizon, we're reflecting on the success of our 2020 year-end campaign and the future of the Freer and Sackler. Our cup is overflowing with new inspiration and the deepest gratitude. Generous supporters like you from all over the world came together to rise to the challenge, meeting our year-end goal...and then leaving it far behind!

Your incredible response inspired additional leadership donors to step forward, raising a combined total of $130,716 for our year-end campaign!

To have surpassed our initial $25,000 match goal is truly awe-inspiring. You, our community, made that happen. Your support will allow us to offer even more educational resources, exciting programs, and incredible exhibitions that share the richness of the many cultures represented across our collections. Thank you for being a part of our journey now and in the future.

Cup in our #ChineseArt collection: https://asia.si.edu/object/S2012.9.4128/

We're reflecting on different traditions that make up #LunarNewYear celebrations. On the #Blog: assistant librarian Mike...
02/09/2021
Lion Dancing for Lunar New Year | Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

We're reflecting on different traditions that make up #LunarNewYear celebrations.

On the #Blog: assistant librarian Mike Smith shares his fond memories of lion dancing when he was younger. Read: https://asia.si.edu/lion-dancing-for-lunar-new-year/

🏮More ways to celebrate with us: https://asia.si.edu/lunar-new-year-celebration/

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #YearOfTheOx

I have fond recollections of celebrating Lunar New Year in the late 1980s and early 1990s at the Tai Yim Kung Fu School, then located in Wheaton, Maryland. At Lunar New Year, our school lion dance team would visit neighboring Chinese restaurants and bakeries as well as other Chinese businesses to he...

“This imperial lacquer box would have been used to exchange food gifts at the Chinese New Year, which is also known as S...
02/08/2021

“This imperial lacquer box would have been used to exchange food gifts at the Chinese New Year, which is also known as Spring Festival. The large character in the center means ‘spring,’ and the roundel superimposed on top depicts the God of Longevity with a deer, a symbol of longevity and wealth. Auspicious dragons surrounded by clouds flank the character, and below, a multicolored rainbow emanates from a bowl overflowing with treasures, in the middle of which is the ‘endless knot of longevity.’ In premodern calculations, a Chinese person’s age increased by one year at the New Year, making wishes for long life an especially appropriate holiday greeting.
.
This year will be Year of the Ox, the second of the zodiac animals and a creature said to be trustworthy, hardworking, and signifying positivity. May we all enjoy the ox’s attributes this year.”—Jan Stuart, Melvin R. Seiden Curator of Chinese Art
.
We're excited to ring in the #YearOfTheOx! Although our galleries might be closed, we look forward to celebrating with you and your loved ones online this year. Visit our online portal for all things #LunarNewYear: asia.si.edu/lunarnewyear
.
Send an e-card to a friend, get creative with art-inspired activities, use one of our festive Zoom backgrounds for your next meeting, learn about traditions through blogs, videos, music and more. #Educators can use “Teaching China with the Smithsonian” to explore Chinese art, history, and culture with their learners. Engage with the rich traditions of this holiday across cultures with one of our virtual programs, all free to attend (registration required): learn about Chinese food traditions, enjoy a Korean musical performance, participate in a Vietnamese lantern-making workshop, practice self-care with an art-inspired meditation session, and more.
.
Images: "Treasure Box of Eternal Spring and Longevity" in our #ChineseArt collection, https://asia.si.edu/object/F1990.15a-e/.

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #OnlineEvents #ChineseNewYear

#InTheNews: "Patricia Winterton Named Chief Advancement Officer of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art" https://a...
02/06/2021
Patricia Winterton Named Chief Advancement Officer of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art | Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

#InTheNews: "Patricia Winterton Named Chief Advancement Officer of Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art"

https://asia.si.edu/press-release/patricia-winterton-named-chief-advancement-officer-of-smithsonians-national-museum-of-asian-art/

Winterton Is Currently Director of Development at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art Feb. 5, 2021 Patricia Winterton, director of development at the Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, a division of Indiana University, will become the chief advancement officer of the Freer Gallery of Art...

We're excited to ring in the #YearOfTheOx! 🐂 Read a #Blog by Jan Stuart, curator of #ChineseArt, about "Memories of a Lu...
02/02/2021
Memories of a Lunar New Year Past | Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

We're excited to ring in the #YearOfTheOx! 🐂 Read a #Blog by Jan Stuart, curator of #ChineseArt, about "Memories of a Lunar New Year Past" as we look forward to the upcoming #LunarNewYear and celebrating with you online! Stay tuned! https://asia.si.edu/memories-of-a-lunar-new-year-past/

Decades ago in Taiwan, I had the unforgettable experience of staying with a friend’s family to celebrate Lunar New Year. I spent the holiday blanketed by family warmth and feeling giddy from constant sensory stimulation. The only quiet moments were those spent paying respect to the ancestors throu...

The #FreerSackler Archives are proud to announce the launch of our newest online finding aid. You can explore the Robert...
01/25/2021
The Kokes in Bali and Beyond | Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

The #FreerSackler Archives are proud to announce the launch of our newest online finding aid. You can explore the Robert and Louise Koke collection here: https://sova.si.edu/record/FSA.A2019.05

Learn more about the Kokes in a blog by a former intern who worked with our Archivists to process the collection which includes over four hundred items of correspondence, almost ninety photographs, a travel diary, and some financial documents and assorted paraphernalia from the Kokes’ time in Asia between 1935 and 1949. Read it here: https://asia.si.edu/the-kokes-in-bali-and-beyond/

#Smithsonian #FreerSacklerArchives #RobertKoke #LousieKoke #SmithsonianArchives #Blog

I began my internship in the Freer and Sackler Archives in late January of 2020. Since then, my responsibilities have included processing the collection of Robert “Bob” and Louise Koke, which consists of over four hundred items of correspondence, almost ninety photographs, a travel diary, and so...

Today, we’re proud to announce the launch of the 50th edition of Ars Orientalis, our peer-reviewed annual volume of scho...
01/22/2021
Ars Orientalis 50 | Freer Gallery of Art & Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Today, we’re proud to announce the launch of the 50th edition of Ars Orientalis, our peer-reviewed annual volume of scholarly articles on the arts and archeology of Asia, the ancient Near East and Islamic World is published jointly by #FreerSackler and the University of Michigan Department of History of Art.

In celebration of our fiftieth volume, the 2020 edition of #ArsOrientalis explores transformations—of a representation into a divine manifestation, of art history in an increasingly digital era—through an expanded double issue. https://asia.si.edu/research/ars-orientalis/ars-orientalis-50

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #ArtHistory #ScholarlyJournal #ArsOrientalis #Transformation #DigitalArtHistory #AsianArtHistory #NearEastArtHistory #ArtsOfTheIslamicWorld

In celebration of our fiftieth volume, the 2020 edition of Ars Orientalis explores transformations—of a representation into a divine manifestation, of art history in an increasingly digital era—through an expanded double issue. Considering miraculous images across Asia, seven articles reveal the...

#DidYouKnow: Emperor Shah Jahan was born #OnThisDay in 1592 in Lahore, Pakistan. Born Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram, he...
01/05/2021

#DidYouKnow: Emperor Shah Jahan was born #OnThisDay in 1592 in Lahore, Pakistan. Born Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram, he was the fifth Mughal emperor and reigned for three decades from 1628 to 1658. Best known for his architectural achievements, like the Taj Mahal built for his wife Mumtaz Mahal, Shah Jahan was also immortalized in numerous artworks like this painting from our collection. We hear today is also #NationalBirdDay and this painting features several different avian specimens in the decorative border along with one within the painting. Internet points if you can identify them all, there are twelve total, with a few in pairs.
.
More about this artwork: Every element of this imperial portrait was calculated to assert the political legitimacy and authority of the Indian emperor, Shah Jahan (1592-1666). The artist Bichitr layered symbols of kingship with exquisitely rendered portraits that endow the image with the authority of the real. Bichitr subtly conveyed the emperor's superior rank by depicting him slightly taller and more sumptuously adorned than his father-in-law, the powerful vizier Asaf Khan. Heavenly figures and sanctifying light, motifs adapted from European prints, as well as Shah Jahan's luminous halo, convey that he is divinely favored.

The painting also reveals the display of splendour that was central to Mughal kingship. Shah Jahan's personal passion for gems is apparent not only in the painting's subject-the gift of a ruby-but also in its jewel-like surface and the flowers on the border that appear to be fashioned from gems set within gold.
.
“Shah Jahan with Asaf Khan from the Late Shah Jahan Album” in our #SouthAsianAndHimalayanArt collection, S1986.403.

We’re starting 2021 with gratitude. Generous supporters like you from all over the world came together to rise to the ch...
01/01/2021

We’re starting 2021 with gratitude. Generous supporters like you from all over the world came together to rise to the challenge, meeting our match goal and inspiring others to join your efforts. Your generosity has secured much-needed funds for the #FreerSackler's curators, staff, conservation scientists, and educators.

Contributions are still coming in and we can’t wait to share our grand total—stay tuned!

Your gifts will support groundbreaking research and exhibitions; expand digital innovation in education and public programs; and advance cultural competence, empathy, and understanding. And, as always, your support will highlight the beauty and diversity of Asian arts and cultures, building pathways of connection for learners all over the world.

Thank you for your belief in our mission. And from all of us at your National Museum of Asian Art, we wish you a very happy new year.

✨ Happy New Year’s Eve! We’re wishing everyone a happy, safe, and healthy end to this year and start to 2021. 🦊🔥🎆.This w...
12/31/2020

✨ Happy New Year’s Eve! We’re wishing everyone a happy, safe, and healthy end to this year and start to 2021. 🦊🔥🎆
.
This woodblock print features a fantastical depiction of a real-world place and event but the spirit of strength and resilience behind it is something that still rings true today. Of our digitized collections, this is the only artwork that refers specifically to New Year’s Eve, and we also happen to have two copies. We thought it might intrigue you too, so we asked our experts to tell us all about it!
.
According to our Japan Foundation Assistant Curators of Japanese Art:

“Fox fires are ubiquitous in representations of foxes in Japan. They are symbols of foxes’ ethereal, spiritual existence. This print shows the annual gathering of foxes from across the Kantō region at Ōji Inari Shrine to pay respects to an ancient hackberry tree. I happen to have learned recently that the tree was felled sometime in modern days to make room for building a road. The shrine was moved to a site not too far away from its original location.”—Frank Feltens
.
“The series from which this print comes was made in the wake of the great Ansei-era earthquakes of 1854. The series, “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo,” includes many sites that were celebrated for surviving the earthquake or being rebuilt in its wake, and it has been commented upon many times in the Japanese literature that this was one major reason for the contemporary popularity of the series.
.
Although the scene in this print is a fantastical view and not a “real” scene, fox fires were seen as a good omen by farmers for the bounty of next year’s harvest (foxes were believed to be the spirit messengers of the agrarian deity Inari, in this case gathering from all over the Kantō region at the nearby shrine mentioned by Frank). The composition can be seen as a good omen for the future, especially what will come after the New Year, as well as a testament to resilience and rebuilding in the context of the series as a whole.”—Kit Brooks
.
“New Year’s Eve Fox Fires under the Enoki Tree near Ōji” from the series “One Hundred Famous Views of Edo” by Utagawa Hiroshige in our #JapaneseArt collection, S2004.3.237 (https://asia.si.edu/object/S2004.3.237/)

#Smithsonian #FreerSackler #AsianArt #JapaneseArt #FreerSacklerJapaneseArt #UtagawaHiroshige #NewYearsEve #NewYears #Foxfires #Kitsune #Fox #🦊 #Kanto #OjiInariShrine

Address

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)

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art:

Videos

Category

Our Story

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.