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visitors at the City Nights event at the Freer and Sackler

Freer and Sackler Galleries Host Afterhours Event July 25 for Closing Weekend of Japanese Exhibitions


Free "City Nights" Open House Recreates Tokyo at Night

MEDIA ONLY: Allison Peck, 202.633.0447, Press Asia; Miranda Gale, 202.633.0271

ONLINE: asia.si.edu/press
asia.si.edu/cityview
@FreerSackler, #kiyochika, #chigusa

July 15, 2014

The Japanese city of Edo ceased to exist Sept. 3, 1868. Renamed Tokyo (“Eastern Capital”) by Japan’s new rulers, the city became the central experiment in a national drive towards modernization.

The Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and Freer Gallery of Art will remain open into the evening Friday, July 25, to celebrate the closing weekend of two exhibitions featuring Japanese art and culture, on view through July 27. During the free open house, visitors can tour "Kiyochika: Master of the Night," which showcases startling Japanese woodblock prints of Tokyo from Japan’s first modern artist, and "Chigusa and the Art of Tea," a display of the legendary 700-year-old tea jar revered in Japan’s chanoyu, or "art of tea." Guests can also discover 19th-century London in "An American in London: Whistler and the Thames," the largest U.S. display of works by Whistler in almost 20 years.

From 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., the garden, gallery and classical courtyard spaces of the Freer and Sackler galleries will transform into an urban jungle of the 1870s, where visitors can stroll through scenes of Tokyo as seen in "Kiyochika: Master of the Night." Visitors can don a dandy hat and mustache and listen to popular music of the time played on the koto, a traditional Japanese stringed instrument. Curators will also be on hand to lead tours of all three exhibitions, and refreshments by food truck Tokyo and the City will be available for purchase.

At 8 p.m., visitors can then enjoy a free screening of Tokyo Twilight, a Japanese film from 1957 that showcases Tokyo as a city of shadows and silhouettes reminiscent of Kiyochika’s work.

Related works in "An American in London"—also inspired by the dramatic lights and shadows of night in the late-19th-century city—are on view through Aug. 17. "An American in London" features changing views of the capital city’s iconic riverbanks and waterways, revealing how Whistler emerged as one of the most innovative artists while London evolved into a modern city. On July 19, visitors can experience the most popular form of entertainment in Whistler’s day as The British Players recreate songs, dances and comedy acts from the lively "music hall" tradition of the 19th century. Click here for a full listing of events.

The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day (closed Dec. 25), and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information about the Freer and Sackler galleries and their exhibitions, programs and other public events, visit www.asia.si.edu. For general Smithsonian information, call (202) 633-1000.

the freer and sackler galleries

Exhibition Information

Kiyochika: Master of the Night
March 29–July 27, 2014
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery


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