Detail, The Late Shah Jahan Album: Humayun Seated in a Landscape. More about this object.

The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery contain some of the most important holdings of Asian art in the world. In addition, the Freer Gallery boasts exemplary examples of late nineteenth-century works by James McNeill Whistler and his American contemporaries. The Sackler Gallery is host to contemporary art from Asia as well as international loan exhibitions. Together, both Galleries form the national museums of Asian art at the Smithsonian and are dedicated to the acquisition, care, study, and exhibition of works in their collections.

If you are visiting our galleries to see a specific work of art, please be aware that it may not always be on view. Specific arrangements may be necessary. Please review Researcher Access to the Collection for more information, and note that our entire collection is available digitally on Open F|S.
Hauge pot

The World of the Japanese Illustrated Book

The Gerhard Pulverer Collection

The Pulverer Collection, purchased in its entirety by the Freer Gallery of Art in 2007, includes numerous rare and pristine examples of Japanese illustrated books produced in the Edo period and beyond. For more than thirty years Dr. Gerhard Pulverer, a renowned medical researcher in Germany, and his wife Rosemarie traveled the world and assembled the collection. Their holdings of more than 900 titles encompass almost 2,200 volumes that range in date from the early seventeenth century to the 1970s. Today the Pulverer Collection is regarded as one of the most outstanding and comprehensive collections of Japanese illustrated books outside Japan. The World of the Japanese Book marks the initial phase of an ongoing project to make all of the volumes available online.
provenance object

Provenance Research

This project aims to identify and clarify questions of ownership history for the Galleries' Asian artworks that were created before 1946 and acquired after 1932; underwent a change of ownership between 1933 and 1945; and were, or might have been, in continental Europe during that twelve-year period. The project represents a long-term commitment to research the provenance of all objects that have gaps in ownership history or may have been subject to questionable transfer of ownership or unlawful appropriation during the World War II era.
More information on Provenance Research
World War II Era Provenance Project, 1933–1945
Cultural Property in the Museum Environment

Tea Jar
Recent Acquisitions

Freer Gallery Purchases Renowned Tea Jar

A humble jar widely revered as an icon of Japanese tea culture has been acquired by the Freer Gallery. The jar, made in China during the late Southern Song or Yuan dynasty (13th or 14th century) and shipped to Japan as a container for a commercial product, developed a distinguished pedigree in the hands of influential tea connoisseurs, collectors and rulers who used it for storing precious tea and displayed it in their tearooms between the 15th and 20th centuries. More information »

Search Open F|S

More than 40,000 objects from our collection are available online.

area overviews

American Art
Ancient Egyptian Art
Ancient Near Eastern Art
Arts of the Islamic World
Biblical Manuscripts
Chinese Art
Japanese Art
Korean Art
South Asian & Himalayan Art
Southeast Asian Art

New Acquisitions

2014 New Acquisitions »

The Freer Study Collection

Established in 1923, the Freer Study Collection is available to visiting scholars and students.
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Researcher Access to the Collections

Objects housed in the storage areas of the Freer and Sackler galleries are available to the public for serious study during normal working hours by appointment. Learn More »

Smithsonian Collections Search Center

Search over 2 million records with 265,900 images, video and sound files, electronic journals and other resources from all across the Smithsonian at

Please 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. Learn more »