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Researcher Access to the Collections Not on View in Exhibition Galleries

One of the basic goals as envisioned by Charles Lang Freer, founder of the Freer Gallery of Art, was to build and operate the collection with “special regard for the convenience of students and others desirous of an opportunity for uninterrupted study of the objects” and for “the encouragement of the study of the civilizations of the Far East.” Since 1923, when the Gallery opened to the public, successive directors have carried out his wishes and expanded it to include the collections of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery after it was established in 1982.

In meeting this important goal of the museums, the objects housed in the storage areas of the Freer and Sackler galleries are available to the public for serious study during normal working hours, Monday through Friday, 10:00 A.M. – 4:30 P.M. by appointment with the Collection Management Department. Every effort will be made to accommodate any person making a formal request to see or to study specific objects in the collection.

In considering requests for access, the Gallery must balance competing considerations such as the need to safeguard the collection and other demands on the staff. While every effort is made to accommodate all reasonable requests, preference is given to scholars, students, artists, and the professional staff members of other museums. Projects for study must be specific and visitors will limit themselves to the material requested. Casual browsing and impromptu requests cannot be accommodated. All visitors to collection storage areas will be accompanied at all times by a collection department staff member. Researchers must be at least 18 years old. Visits or tours for children ages 12-17 are required to have an adult chaperone and children under the age of 12 are not usually allowed access.

For appointments in the storage areas of the Freer Gallery of Art please contact:
Christina Popenfus at (202) 633-0349 or Tim Kirk at (202) 633-0344.

For appointments in the storage areas of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery please contact:
Brian Abrams (202) 633-0405.

Freer Gallery Closure

From January 2015 through 2016, the collections storage areas of the Freer Gallery of Art will be unavailable for research or visits due to the replacement of the building’s heating, humidification, and ventilation systems. Throughout 2016 the Freer’s galleries and Meyer Auditorium will be closed to visitors. Concerts, films, and other public programs will be held at sites around the Smithsonian.

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Library, and Archives will remain open during this period.

Contact with inquiries

Collections access: duleyel@si.edu

Public programs: publicaffairsasia@si.edu

Scholarly research: micklewrightn@si.edu

Media inquiries: pressasia@si.edu

Shimonoyo no kane juji no tsujiura, shoen, from the Study Collection, V20.2006.649

The Freer Study Collection

Established in 1923, the Freer Study Collection is available to visiting scholars and students. Learn More »

Freer Gallery Closure

Please note: The collections storage areas of the Freer Gallery of Art will be closed in 2015 and 2016. The museum itself will be closed to the public in 2016. Learn more.