"For admirers of Asian and American art or visitors to the Smithsonian museums, this beautifully illustrated book offers an enticing taste of the Galleries' rich and diverse holdings - a curator-led tour through more than one hundred masterworks: American, Ancient Near East, Chinese, Indian, Islamic, Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian, including ceramics, biblical manuscripts, photography and other works of art. The Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery in Washington, DC, comprise the Smithsonian Institution's national museums of Asian art. The two museums are physically linked and also ideologically linked in their commitment to the study, exhibition and preservation of Asian art. The Freer Gallery also contains an important collection of nineteenth-century American art, featuring James McNeill Whistler's fantastic blue-and-gold Peacock Room, perhaps one of the earliest art installations on record. Sections on the museums' conservation and scientific research activities, archives and libraries highlight the Galleries' scholarly undertakings."--Publisher's description.