September 12, 1979

The Dalai Lama visits the Freer Gallery of Art for a tour of the collections and views Smithsonian films about Tibetan Buddhist culture.


September 6, 1988

The Freer Gallery of Art closes for major construction that will provide underground access between the Freer and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery. The project triples the Freer space for art conservation and technical study, increases its collection storage facilities by 70 percent, and offers greater access to visitors with mobility impairments.



Freer Gallery of Art—through August 2011 “Chinamania: Whistler and the Victorian Craze for Blue-and-White” looks at the significance of Chinese export porcelain in Victorian England, where it was first an object of serious aesthetic inspiration for artists such as James McNeill Whistler but soon proliferated as an inspirational commodity.


May 11, 1984

Honoring the 150th anniversary of the birth of James McNeill Whistler, the Freer Gallery of Art opens an exhibition some 300 works by Whistler, including oils, watercolors, pastels and drawings, as well as his only surviving architectural scheme, the Peacock Room. Freer attendance during the exhibition increased 50 percent over the previous year.

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