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Freer Gallery of Art

The Freer Gallery of Art is located on the south side of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. It is the Smithsonian Institution's museum of east Asian art, including art from China, Japan, Korea, and Southeast Asia. The Freer Gallery of Art, together with the Sackler Gallery, comprises the National Museum of Asian Art in the United States. The gallery is a beautiful Italian-Renaissance building designed by New York architect Charles Platt. Opening in 1923, the gallery was founded by Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919), a railroad-car manufacturer from Detroit, who gave his collections and funds for a building to house them. He also spent a good part in collecting Oriental art. The collections have grown in the subsequent years through gifts and purchases. The gallery’s exhibits include Chinese paintings, Japanese folding screens, Korean Ceramics, and Korean pottery, Indian and Persian manuscripts, and Buddhist sculpture. The collection, considered as one of the best from Asia, include Chinese bronzes and ceramics, some older than 4,000 years, as well as an extensive collection of Islamic paintings. The Freer Gallery of Art boasts more than 1,300 artworks by James McNeill Whistler. The collection includes oil paintings and watercolors, and Whistler's famous "Peacock Room." Freer purchased the "Peacock Room" and later reassembled it as a permanent exhibit in the museum. The gallery also houses the 320-seat Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium, which host a variety of programs including lectures, film, music and dance.