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Smithsonian Institution: Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art

Research access guide for the Smithsonian Institution.

General Information

Facility: Smithsonian Institution Freer & Sackler Galleries of Art
1050 Independence Ave SW
Washington, D.C. 20013
Phone: (202) 633-4880
Hours: Hours of operation

About the Galleries:

The Freer Gallery, founded in 1923, and Sackler Gallery, founded in 1987, are connected physically by an underground tunnel and ideologically by their dedication to Asian art. The buildings are named after the men who began each gallery by donating their private collections of Asian art to the Smithsonian.

For more information concerning the Japanese collections, please contact the senior curator of the Japanese collection, James Ulak, at (202) 633-0412 or by email for the library please contact librarian Reiko Yoshimura by email

Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of July 2014

The Freer and Sackler Galleries include over 32,400 items. Of these, over 11,000 are part of the Japanese collection.

Highlights of the Japanese collection include:

  • Buddhist paintings, calligraphy, and sculpture dating from the 7th–17th century
  • Calligraphy from the 8th–20th century
  • Narrative handscroll paintings from the 13th–18th century
  • Folding screens from the 15th–19th century
  • Ukiyo-e paintings from the early 17th–19th century, including the world's largest collection of paintings by Katsushika Hokusai (葛飾北斎)
  • Over 5,500 prints and photographs from the 18th-20th centuries



Over 11,000 items from the Freer and Sackler Galleries of Art are viewable online, including items from the Chinese, Japanese, Korean, South Asian and Himalayan, and Southeast Asian Art collections. New objects are added monthly.

Over 1,500 photographs of items in the Freer and Sackler Galleries' collections.

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How to Use the Facility

Using the Collections

Objects housed in the storage areas of the Freer and Sackler galleries are available for serious researchers on weekdays, 10:00am-4:30pm. Appointments to view specific objects must be made with the Collection Management Department. While all requests will be considered and granted if possible, preference is given to scholars, students, artists, and the professional staff members of other museums.

Established in 1923, the Freer Study Collection houses objects held for laboratory analysis and comparative studies performed by visiting scholars. For more information about scheduling appointments in the storage areas of the galleries, please visit this page.

Image Permissions

To order an image or request reproduction permissions, please contact the galleries' rights and reproduction office. For more information, please visit their image permissions page.

North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
Copyright 2017
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