The Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Galleries of Art, located on the National Mall next to the Smithsonian castle, are among the most highly regarded museums of Asian art in the world. The two galleries–connected underground–explore immensely diverse areas of art and culture, spanning ancient Egypt, the ancient Near East, America, China, Japan, Korea, South Asia and Himalaya, Southeast Asia, and the Islamic world. Permanent exhibits include centuries-old biblical manuscripts and an extensive collection of paintings and drawings by James McNeill Whistler.
In addition, the galleries frequently host temporary exhibitions that showcase the best of the world’s most populous continent. Exhibitions have included “The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in the Moscow Kremlin,” which includes more than 60 objects given as gifts to the tsars of Russia; “The Tale of Shuten Doji,” which displays artists’ portrayals of a popular Japanese folk tale; and “Writing, Carving, and Rubbing,” which traces the art of Chinese calligraphy.
As part of their educational outreach, the galleries offer a full slate of public events, including filmstalks, musical performances and lectures.
Walk-in tours of both galleries are available most days. In addition, highlights tours of the Freer Gallery of Art are offered at 12:15 pm on weekdays (except Wednesdays and federal holidays) and at 1:15 pm on weekends. For information on these and special additional tours, current exhibitions, and other events, go to www.asia.si.edu.
Group tours can be booked in advance (at least four weeks) for free. Group tours are offered from 10:15 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. daily, except Wednesdays and federal holidays. Take note: Submitting a request does not guarantee a tour. Those groups (six or more people) whose tour requests are not fulfilled can request a self-guided tour at least four weeks in advance by filling out a form online at www.asia.si.edu/visit/default.asp.
Note: The Freer Gallery of Art will be closed to the public from January 2016 until summer 2017. The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open for the duration of the renovation. To learn more please visit: www.asia.si.edu/future/.
Arthur M. Sackler and Freer Gallery of Art (Smithsonian)
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. Closed Christmas Day.
Parking: The galleries do not have their own parking garages. Street parking can be limited. While the nearby garages are options, public transportation is recommended.
Metrorail: Blue and Orange Lines stop for Smithsonian.