Freer Gallery of Art

Built in 1923, the Freer Gallery was constructed using funds provided by Charles Lang Freer to house art he donated.

The Freer Gallery is housed in an isolated, rectangular building designed by architect Charles A. Platt in the style of a Florentine Renaissance fortress palace. A classical entablature and balustrade crown the building on all four sides.

Plans for Platt's building were accepted by the Government in 1915, and the Freer Gallery of Art was officially opened to the public on May 2, 1923. Industrialist and patron Charles Lang Freer's gift included not only the collection and the building, which had been constructed at a cost of approximately $1,250,000, but also an endowment amounting to $2,600,000 for increasing the collection, for salaries, and for other specific items. In a codicil to his will, Freer required that the Commission of Fine Arts be consulted as to all future purchases, which were restricted to articles of Far Eastern art.

In the century since its original opening, under the leadership of a distinguished group of curators and directors, the Freer collection of Near and Far Eastern art has been increased to over 10,000 articles.

DC Inventory: November 8, 1964 (Joint Committee on Landmarks)
National Register: June 23, 1969



12th Street & Jefferson Drive, SW