Media only: James Gordon, 202.633.0520; Rebecca Fahy, 202.633.0521
Public only: 202.633.1000
Exhibition dates: June 24, 2007–September 16, 2007

Media Preview: Wednesday, June 20, 2007, 10 a.m.

May 10, 2007

Three museum shops at the Sackler and Freer galleries will offer a shopping experience like no other in the United States this summer. In conjunction with the exhibition “Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries,” the shops will carry a wide range of unique products from Portugal, Oman and Brazil. Much of the merchandise has never been seen in the United States. All of the products relate to the exhibition.

“Encompassing the Globe” brings together approximately 250 extraordinary objects reflecting the unprecedented cross-cultural dialogue that followed the establishment of Portugal’s world-trading network in the 15th and 16th centuries. It opens June 24 at the Sackler and Freer galleries and neighboring National Museum of African Art and continues through Sept. 16.

Museum shop manager Martin Bernstein spent more than a week in Portugal this spring creating an exciting collection of “Encompassing the Globe”–related merchandise. The existing shops and a new exhibition shop will feature designer jewelry, silver accessories, modern and traditional ceramics, hand-painted tiles, textiles, crystal and much more. Many of the products are based on artifacts featured in Portugal’s most important museums and palaces, as well as its national library and national archives.

“Our goal is to present the very best that Portugal has to offer,” said Bernstein. In addition, the shop will carry products from Oman, a country represented in the exhibition’s section on trade in the Indian Ocean. “There will be something for everyone, from $15 key chains to a $30,000 silver rhinoceros,” added Bernstein.

Shoppers will find spectacular products by famous designers and manufacturers, as well as crafts produced using centuries-old techniques. Highlights include the following:

  • Exquisite jewelry, ranging from filigree pieces inspired by Chinese designs to handcrafted gold and silver bracelets, necklaces and earrings to one-of-a-kind contemporary pieces by designer Margarida Pimentel, whose work is sold in New York City’s fashionable Soho neighborhood
  • Portugal’s famous hand-painted ceramic tiles known around the world
  • Merchandise based on themes of exploration, including scarves, neckties and plates with nautical motifs
  • A line of fashion items made from Portugal’s native cork—this year’s “in” product—including purses, duffle bags, briefcases, wallets, picture frames, key chains, pens and lamps; the shops will install part of a cork tree so shoppers can learn how it is harvested.
  • Exquisite ceramic dishes, boxes and decorative platters
  • Gorgeous crystal bowls, decanters and glasses
  • 100-piece sets of porcelain dinnerware based on a Chinese design, as well as more contemporary designs sold in sets or individually
  • A line of children’s merchandise based on themes relating to explorers, kings and queens, including pens, watches, T-shirts, key chains, umbrellas, notebooks, plates and mobiles
  • Tablecloths and other products made from handmade embroidered linen
  • Books, maps and manuscripts relating to Portugal
  • Music CDs from Portugal and Brazil

The Freer Gallery of Art, located at 12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W., and the adjacent Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, located at 1050 Independence Ave. S.W., are on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. The Freer houses a major collection of late 19th- and early 20th-century American art. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day, except Dec. 25, and admission is free. The galleries are located near the Smithsonian Metrorail station on the Blue and Orange lines. For more information, the public may call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 357-1729, or visit the exhibitions section of the galleries’ website: