For the Buddhist Art Collector: Freer and Sackler Galleries
Teacher Workshop: Freer's Vision
Saturday, February 18, 2006 10 am - 4 pm

Learn about Charles Lang Freer's vision and the extraordinary collection he offered to the Smithsonian. The workshop includes a special tour of the Freer and information on resources and materials. In the afternoon, participants will attend Bearing Gifts in the Gilded Age, a discussion between Linda Merrill, former curator of American art at the Freer and Ellen P. Conat, an independent scholar of nineteenths century art. They will examine the socio-cultural context that shaped Charles Lang Freer's perception of "transcendent harmonies" between East and West, a quality that distinguishes his gift of American and Asian art to the Smithsonian. Robert Aubrey Davis, WETA's host of "Around Town," will lead the discussion and reveal how Freer's uniquely American story was inextricably linked to trends in his time. A light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Cost for the workshop is $20. Registration is by mail only. Please send a letter asking for registration in this wokrshop along with your complete contact information, including an e-mail address.Please make check or money order payable to "Arthur M. Sackler Gallery." Registration deadline is January 30, 2006. (This deadline is correct as of December 8, 2005.) Send registration letter and check to: School and Teacher Programs, Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art, Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, PO Box 37012, MRC 707, Washington, DC 20013-7012

Gold: The Asain Touch
Through February 19, 2006 • Arthur M. Sackler Gallery

Rare, lustrous and enduring, gold has a deep history in Asia. The earliest evidence of worked gold—translating its natural beauty into human adornment—comes from Mesopotamia in the sixth millennium B.C.E. The oldest extant geological map depicts a gold mine in Egypt circa 1320 B.C.E. Even the English word "gold" originates from the Sanskrit term meaning "to shine." This fall, the Sackler Gallery brings together golden Asian treasures from the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery collections to show the many ways in which artisans have worked this precious substance and to illuminate the diverse meanings and roles of gold in different Asian cultures.

The exhibition's 47 luxurious objects are grouped according to the methods used to make and embellish them, including hammering into sheets, foil or leaf; striking, chasing and engraving; cutting, joining and soldering; forming into wire or grinding into powder to make paint. This enables visitors to compare golden objects from many contexts and times and learn about the roles and meanings of gold in different cultures.

Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas
Sculpture of South and Southeast Asia • Continues indefinitely

Freer Gallery of Art — "I am over my head in love with India!" said Charles Lang Freer, founder of the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art, in an 1894 letter he wrote home from his first trip to the subcontinent. Now, visitors to the gallery will be able to share in Mr. Freer's enthusiasm when the gallery inaugurates a new long-term installation, showcasing the extraordinary range of South Asian and Himalayan art in the collection—considered to be among the most important in the world. "Arts of the Indian Subcontinent and the Himalayas" remains open indefinitely, with periodic rotations of light-sensitive objects. Increasing by half the space previously devoted to this region and expanding the scope of works on view, the exhibition includes sublimely beautiful Buddhist, Jain, Hindu and Islamic objects, as well as masterpieces of Mughal and Rajput paintings and lavishly decorated court arts and daggers made for the Mughal emperors. Divided into several sections, the Buddhist art charts the emergence of the Buddha image in India and its transmission throughout Asia and includes fine Buddhist images from Nepal, Tibet, Southeast Asia and China.

Tours Talks & Lectures

Religions of Asia
Thursday, February 9, 2006, 11:15 am

Docents familiarize visitors with three of the major religions represented on the continent of Asia. Visitors discuss key principles and practices associated with each religion and visually explore the iconography and formal elements significant to its art.
       Bearing Gifts in the Gilded Age
Saturday, February 18, 2006, 2 pm

Join Linda Merrill, former curator of American art at the Freer, and Ellen P. Conant, an independent scholar of nineteenth-century Japanese art, as they discuss the socio-cultural context that shaped Charles Lang Freer's perception of "transcendent harmonies" between East and West, a quality that distinguishes his 1906 gift of American and Asian art to the Smithsonian Institution.

Freer Highlights
Friday, February 17, 2006, 12:15 pm
Saturday, February 18, 2006, 12:15 pm
Sunday, February 19, 2006, 12:15 pm

Discover how Charles Lang Freer's understanding of Asian and American art shaped his personal collection and his vision for the first art gallery on the National Mall. Meet at the Freer information desk.
Arts of China in the Freer
Monday, February 6, 2006, 11:15 am
Thursday, February 16, 2006, 11:15 am
Monday, February 27, 2006, 11:15 am

Tour of the Arts of China in the Freer Gallery. Meet at the Freer information desk.

Images © Freer Gallery of Art / Arthur M. Sackler Gallery • Smithsonian Institution • Washington, D.C

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