Smithsonian Collections Blog

Highlighting the hidden treasures from over 2 million collections

Collections Search Center

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Collections Spotlight: Freer Gallery of Art

After being closed for more than a year, the Freer | Sackler is reopening this weekend.  This closure has allowed the Freer | Sackler to completely reinstall all of their exhibitions and revitalize the building, which first opened to the public in 1926.  Importantly, in this revitalization the museum replaced crucial climate control and humidity control systems; work that will ensure the collection is preserved for generations to come. 

IlluminAsia: A Festival of Asian Art, Food, and Cultures - Join us for a festival of Asian art, food that will transform the museums’ grounds with an Asian food market, interactive cooking and art demonstrations, live music by members of the Silkroad Ensemble, and creations by local and international artists. 
This weekend the Freer | Sackler, the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, and all of the Smithsonian is celebrating the grand reopening with IlluminAsia, a festival of Asian art, food, and cultures. As we wait for the festival to begin on Saturday night, here is a peak at some of Smithsonian Institution Archives' photos of the beginnings of the Freer Gallery of Art. 

Construction of the Freer Gallery of Art. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image # MAH-29337. 
 This October 2, 1916 photograph shows digging of the foundation for the new Freer Gallery of Art. In the foreground equipment of George Hyman Contractors is loading excavated dirt onto horse-drawn carts. Visible in the background is the brick shed built in 1875, called the Laboratory of Natural History, and the Smithsonian Institution Building. The shed, which was used by taxidermists and preparators as well as photographers, was demolished during the course of construction work.

J. Bundy in Freer Gallery of Art Courtyard with Peacocks. Smithsonian Institution Archives, Image # SIA2007-0175. 
John Bundy, Superintendent, 1921-1939, Freer Gallery of Art, and Superintendent of Construction, 1919-1928, kneels as he feeds pellets to peacocks in the courtyard of the Freer Gallery of Art. Bundy is holding a dish in his left hand. Peacocks occupied the courtyard for many years. The National Zoological Park lent the peacocks to the Freer Gallery. The Annual Report for the Smithsonian Institution for the year 1923 notes that the peacocks were moved from the courtyard of Freer Gallery of Art to the National Zoological Park for the winter.

Explore more about the Freer | Sackler: 
IlluminAsia: A Festival of Asian Art, Food, and Cultures
- Historic Pictures of the Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution Archives
- Blog Post: Cleaning Up Freer's Attic
- Blog Post: Sneak Peek: Freer Gallery of Art

Lisa Fthenakis, Program Assistant
Smithsonian Institution Archives

No comments:

Post a Comment