The Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art, and the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preußischer Kulturbesitz) in Germany, consisting of five institutions including the Central Archive (Zentralarchiv) and the Asian Art Museum (Museum für Asiatische Kunst) in Berlin, will cultivate an international network of provenance researchers focused on Asian art. This initiative includes expert exchanges, networking activities and public programs.
Chase F. Robinson, the Dame Jillian Sackler Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art, and Hermann Parzinger, the president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation, are building on the momentum established during the German/American Provenance Research Exchange Program, which concluded in 2019.

From 2020 to 2022, the two institutions will host “Hidden Networks: The Trade of Asian Art,” a series of webinars focused on dealers and collectors of Asian art. The first event Dec. 3 from 8:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. EST, “C.T. Loo Revisited: New Sources & Perspectives on the Market for Asian Art in the 20th Century,” will focus on one of the most important dealers of Chinese and Southeast Asian art of the first half of the 20th century. This program is co-organized by the Freer Gallery of Art and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Asian Art Museum (Museum für Asiatische Kunst) in Berlin and the Museum Rietberg in Zürich.

The second webinar scheduled tentatively for March 2021 will explore Yamanaka & Co., one of the most significant dealers of Asian art and antiquities in the U.S. and Europe. The series will conclude with a multi-day symposium on new research in Asian art provenance in Washington, D.C., in 2022.

About the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are located on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and together form the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Asian Art. Committed to preserving, exhibiting and interpreting exemplary works of art, the Freer and Sackler house exceptional collections of Asian art, with more than 42,000 objects dating from the Neolithic period to today. Renowned and iconic objects originate from China, Japan, Korea, South and Southeast Asia, the ancient Near East and the Islamic world. The Freer Gallery also holds a significant group of American works of art largely dating to the late 19th century. It boasts the world’s largest collection of diverse works by James McNeill Whistler, including the famed Peacock Room.

The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery are dedicated to increasing understanding of the arts of Asia through a broad portfolio of exhibitions, publications, conservation, research and education.

About the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation

The Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation (Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz) was established in 1957, when the holdings of the public museums, libraries and archives of the historical state of Prussia were transferred to the foundation to be preserved and expanded. The foundation unites the National Museums in Berlin (Staatliche Museen zu Berlin), including 15 collections, and the Central Archive (Zentralarchiv), the Berlin State Library (Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin), the Prussian Secret State Archives (Geheimes Staatsarchiv), the Ibero-American Institute (Ibero-Amerikanisches Institut) and the State Institute for Music Research (Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung). The foundation’s mandate is to preserve and research its holdings, to make its collections accessible to the international public and to create a world-renowned landscape of scholarship and learning with global reach.