Media only: James Gordon, 202.633.0520; Rebecca Fahy, 202.633.0521
Public only: 202.633.1000

April 17, 2007
The Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will close nearly all of its exhibition space by May 14—including the closure of the exhibition “East of Eden: Gardens in Asian Art” May 13—in order to install the exhibition “Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries,” which opens June 24. Visitors to the Sackler can expect to see some gallery closures beginning late April.

Visitors will continue to have access to the gallery shop, the connecting tunnel to the Freer Gallery of Art on sublevel one and the ImaginAsia classroom on sublevel two. The exhibition “Taking Shape: Ceramics in Southeast Asia,” will remain on long-term view in the connecting link.

“Encompassing the Globe: Portugal and the World in the 16th and 17th Centuries” explores the artistic achievements that flourished when Portuguese sailors exposed new creative techniques and imagery to the world as they transported goods from port to port.

The most ambitious exhibition in the Sackler’s 19-year history, “Encompassing the Globe” presents more than 250 objects produced by each of the cultures touched by Portugal’s early trade routes. It will occupy most of the museum’s exhibition space, as well as several galleries in the adjoining National Museum of African Art. The exhibition is organized by the Smithsonian Institution’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in partnership with the National Museum of African Art and with support from the Ministry of Culture of Portugal.

The exhibition closes Sept. 16, at which time most galleries in the Sackler will close again for breakdown of the exhibition and for necessary maintenance of the museum’s climate control systems.

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:

spacer gif