The Freer Gallery of Art was made possible by a donation from Charles L. Freer,
industrialist and avid collector of Asian art. Opened in 1923, the gallery contains over
26,000 Asian works of art. Among other works, the Gallery has Japanese screens, Chinese
paintings, ceramics and works from the Near East.
Ironically, an American designed the main attraction of the Freer Gallery. Freer was a
good friend of the expatriated American painter, James Whistler. It is Whistler who
designed the famous " Peacock Room ", a lush dining room decorated with canvas,
leather and wood. Other works from Whistler can be seen in the Freer, as well as other
works from American artists who were influenced by Asian arts.
The Gallery offers free tours of the Gallery daily at 12:15 PM and 2:30 PM.
The newest addition to the Freer Gallery is the "Charles Lang Freer and
Egypt" exhibit that will run indefinitely. Works from the New Kingdom (1550 BC) and
the Roman Period (395 AD) are on display. Exhibits include ancient bronze figurines, glass
bottles and stone models used by sculptors.