Freer Sackler Puts Collection Online
From the tiniest Chinese bead to the entire Peacock Room painted by James McNeill Whistler, the Freer Sackler Galleries has put its entire collection online, available for viewers around the world to explore and use. The website, open.asia.si.edu, displays more than 40,000 objects.
“It’s part of the democratization of art,” said Director Julian Raby. “We strive to promote the love and study of Asian art, and the best way we can do that is to free our unmatched resources.”
Those resources include, naming a few, more than 13,000 ceramics, 3,300 paintings, 1,300 sculptures and 2,251 jades, spanning Neolithic to contemporary times. Each piece has been photographed and uploaded during the last 16 years. The work will continue as the museum acquires new pieces and creates 360-degree images and 3D models of every three-dimensional artwork.
The last piece digitized was a 400-year-old watercolor and gold on paper of a seated princess from the museum’s Islamic collection. The work, attributed to Muhammad-Sharif Musawwir, is little known, which is exactly why digitizing the museum’s holdings is important. “About 78 percent for the collections have never been displayed,” said Courtney O’Callaghan, director of digital media and technology. “Now the public can see them, and in some cases, see them better.”
Click here to visit the Galleries campaign website pages.