Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, along with the Freer Gallery of Art, is an Asian art museum that helps form the national museums of Asian art of the Smithsonian Institution. Its collection includes 9,917 Asian art objects. The gallery is located on the National Mall (in Washington, D.C.), directly behind the Smithsonian Castle. Its main gallery spaces are underground, and the building connects to both the Freer Gallery of Art and the National Museum of African Art. The Sackler's main entrance is situated off of the gardens of the Smithsonian Castle along Independence Avenue.

The Sackler Gallery opened in 1987 after Arthur M. Sackler, a research physician and medical doctor, donated some 1,000 Asian art objects to the Smithsonian, as well as $4 million toward the gallery's construction. The highlights from his gift include early Chinese bronzes and jades, Chinese paintings and lacquerware, ancient Near Eastern ceramics and metalware, and sculpture from South and Southeast Asia. Built in 1987, the gallery's collections have expanded to include the Vever Collection, an important assemblage of the Islamic arts of the book from the 11th to the 19th century; 19th- and 20th-century Japanese prints and contemporary porcelain; Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean paintings; arts of village India; contemporary Chinese ceramics; and photography.

International Exhibitions
The Sackler Gallery frequently hosts international exhibitions highlighting aspects of Asian art. Most recently, the Sackler hosted Garden and Cosmos: The Royal Paintings of Johdpur and The Tsars and the East: Gifts from Turkey and Iran in the Moscow Kremlin. International loan exhibitions have also included Timur and the Princely Vision: Persian Art and Culture in the 15th Century; Yani: the Brush of Innocence, featuring paintings by a 14-year-old Chinese prodigy; When Kingship Descended from Heaven: Masterpieces of Mesopotamian Art from the Louvre; Court Arts of Indonesia; Korean Art of the 18th Century: Splendor & Simplicity; and A Basketmaker in Rural Japan.

Public Programs
The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Auditorium, located in the Freer, provides a venue for a broad variety of free public programs relating to the collections of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, including concerts of Asian music and dance, films, lectures, chamber music, and dramatic presentations.

The museum was designed by Jean Paul Carlhan of Shepley, Bulfinch, Richardson and Abbott and was completed in 1987. Carlhan used pink granite exterior surfaces to relate to the Smithsonian Castle and gray granite to relate to the Freer. The Sackler Gallery is connected by an underground exhibition space to the neighboring Freer Gallery of Art. Although their collections are stored and exhibited separately, the two museums share a director, administration, and staff.

The Sackler and Freer Galleries house the largest Asian art research library in the United States. Open to the public five days a week (except federal holidays) without appointment, the library collection consists of more than 80,000 volumes, including nearly 2,000 rare books. Half the volumes are written and catalogued in Asian languages. The archives is a manuscript and photograph repository dedicated to furthering the study of Asian and Middle Eastern art and culture, as well as turn-of-the-century American art. The archives collect, preserve, and make available documentary materials that support the holdings and research activities of the Sackler and Freer Galleries. The archives house more than 140 collections"amounting to more than 1,000 linear feet of materials"dating from the early 19th century to the present. The archives is open by appointment Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and appointments may be scheduled by calling (202) 633-0533.