Media only: Brenda Kean Tabor: 202.633.0523
Barbara Kram: 202.633.0520
Public only: 202.633.1000

Heralded by The New York Times as “one of the finest Asian shows in recent history,” the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery will celebrate the August 8th closing of its exhibition, “Return of the Buddha: The Qingzhou Discoveries” by keeping its doors open to the public until 10 p.m. on Thursday, August 5 and Friday, August 6 and offering a variety of music, tours, food and family programs.

Visitors can enjoy exciting performances inspired by the Chinese exhibition. Duke Tang of the Chinese Music Association will perform with instruments associated with “feitian,” or celestial musicians, depicted in the “Return of the Buddha” sculptures. Concerts will be held in the Chinese galleries of the Sackler gallery at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m and run 30 minutes in length.

Special exhibition tours will also be available both evenings. “Return of the Buddha” curator Jan Stuart will provide guests with an introduction and overview before they enter the galleries on their own, while docents stationed in each room will share insightful points of interest about the exhibition. Tours begin in front of the gallery at 6:30 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

Children can experience the beauty of “Return of the Buddha” with the family program ImaginAsia, which will have an open house from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. First, families receive gallery guides to tour the exhibition and then return to the classroom to make jewelry inspired by their observations.

During both evenings, guests can purchase light refreshments provided by Asian-styled eatery Teaism, which will serve until 9 p.m. in the Sackler entrance pavilion. The light Asian fare will include shrimp summer rolls, vegetable inari sushi, green papaya beef salad, desserts and cold drinks.

The Sackler gift shop will also remain open and is offering a special 25 percent exhibition closing discount to shop visitors. The discount can be used on a number of products inspired by the exhibition, including the “Return of the Buddha” exhibition catalogue, notecards, music and puzzles.

The Freer Gallery of Art (12th Street and Independence Avenue S.W.) and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery (1050 Independence Ave. S.W.) together form the national museum of Asian art for the United States. 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 special, exhibition-related section of the galleries’ Web site at