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The Freer collection includes major works by many of the most important turn-of-the-century American artists, including Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Childe Hassam, and John Twachtman. But Freer never attempted to put together a comprehensive survey of fin-de-siècle American art. Rather, almost all the American art at the gallery is either by Whistler or expresses a Whistlerian approach to art. The Whistler collection is especially rich, consisting of almost thirteen hundred paintings, drawings, or engravings. Highlights include early works such as Variations in Flesh Colour and Green: The Balcony (1864–70), numerous portraits, including the large painting of his model Maud Franklin titled Arrangement in White and Black (about 1876), several of the most powerful of the night scenes Whistler called "nocturnes," and a virtually complete collection of his engravings. The single best-known object in the entire Freer collection is Whistler's spectacular creation Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room (1876–1877). Originally built as the dining room of an opulent London mansion, The Peacock Room is permanently installed in the southeast corner of the gallery.

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Arrangement in White and Black
Arrangement in White and Black
ca. 1876
by James McNeill Whistler (American, 1834–1903)
Oil on canvas
191.4 x 90.9 cm (75 3/8 x 35 3/4 in.)
Gift of Charles Lang Freer    F1904.78
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art
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