Freer|Sackler Apps

Freer Thinking audio appFreer Thinking

Embark on a variety of audio journeys through the vast collections of the Freer|Sackler, where Asia meets America. Listen in as artists, researchers, and special guests share insights and discoveries. The in-gallery presentation uses your location in the museums to provide two distinct experiences. You can choose to wander our halls at your leisure, and our host, NPR’s Robert Siegel, will alert you to highlights along your path. Sixty significant objects are featured on the highlights tour, five of which will particularly appeal to kids and families. Or, select a theme and allow us to guide your journey of discovery, weaving together stories that show how artistic expression links us across culture, time, and distance.

Outside the museums, you can listen to the guided tours just like you would any other podcast.

Download the Freer Thinking audio app » (currently available for iPhone)

Listen to the Freer Thinking podcast » (any device)

Sacred Spaces: Tibetan Buddhist Shrines

Sacred SpacesExplore how Tibetan Buddhists encounter and engage with art objects in sacred spaces. Released with the opening of Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia at the Freer|Sackler, this app centers on the Tibetan Buddhist Shrine Room from the Alice S. Kandell Collection. In the three-year exhibition, the app complements and enhances the immersive viewing experience of the shrine room. At home, the app offers virtual access to the shrine room and acts as a tool for understanding Tibetan Buddhism, its sacred spaces, and the activities and objects therein.

To travel alongside Hyecho, the young Korean monk who traversed the Buddhist world in the eighth century, download the apps Hyecho’s Journey and Hyecho’s World, created by University of Michigan undergraduates.

Download Sacred Spaces for free »


pink and red line drawing of hyecho

A young Korean monk who traversed the Buddhist world in the eighth century is the focus of two additional apps that accompany Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia. Both were created by undergraduates in the Multidisciplinary Design Program at the University of Michigan.

Hyecho’s Journey: Travel alongside the teenage Buddhist monk with games and objects in the Freer|Sackler collections.

Hyecho’s World: Visit major Buddhist sites through an interactive map.


manuscripts appManuscripts from the Islamic World

Home to one of the finest collections of Islamic works on paper in North America, the Freer|Sackler also houses numerous important Qur’ans and individual folios. Their pages offer a fascinating glimpse into the arts of the book from the ninth century to the late 1800s and from North Africa to the Indian subcontinent. Written in a variety of scripts on either parchment or paper and often superbly illuminated, these prized works of art affirm the central role of Qur’anic manuscripts in the artistic heritage of the Islamic world.

This app is an opportunity to see a selection of these works from various parts of the Islamic world, as well as to appreciate different styles of calligraphy and illumination and understand their role and function. We invite you to turn the pages of three Qur’ans and discover how to “read” a handwritten manuscript..

Download Manuscripts from the Islamic World for free » (iPad only)

korean app screenshotsCollecting Korea at the Freer Gallery

Follow along with museum founder Charles Lang Freer (1854–1919) as he gathers the objects that now form the Korean collection of the Freer Gallery of Art. Fully interactive and sleekly designed, Collecting Korea includes images of many of the 540 Korean objects in the Freer Gallery’s collection. Several are available for 360-degree manipulation, allowing you to examine objects in great detail. Archival photographs, often dating to the turn of the nineteenth century, also illuminate the collector’s story. Original videos feature curatorial interviews, gallery tours, and footage of a tea ceremony. An outline of periods in Korean art, a glossary, and a map of pre-modern Korea add greater context to Freer’s story.

In 2009, the National Museum of Korea and the Freer|Sackler formed a partnership to increase the understanding and appreciation of Korean art and culture in the United States. As a result, the National Museum of Korea generously supported the production of this app and three other projects: the reinstallation of the Freer’s Korean art gallery and its inaugural exhibition, Cranes and Clouds: The Korean Art of Ceramic Inlay; a guidebook titled Korean Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries; and a forthcoming online catalogue titled Korean Ceramics in the Freer Gallery of Art .

Download Collecting Korea for free » (iPad only)

peacock room app screenshotsThe Peacock Room Comes to America

See the Peacock Room in a whole new light. At home or while visiting the Freer Gallery of Art, you can use this free interactive app for iPad and iPhone to explore James McNeill Whistler’s famed interior and to learn about its dynamic, cosmopolitan history. A scrolling panorama offers a virtual tour of the Peacock Room as it is installed today, in an exhibition also titled The Peacock Room Comes to America. Click on the objects or decorative elements for more information and related multimedia content, such as audio guides by Freer|Sackler curators. An interactive timeline illuminates the room’s changing appearance as it moved from Victorian London to Gilded Age Detroit and finally came to rest at the Freer Gallery in Washington, DC, where it has been on display since the museum opened in 1923. Overall, the app includes images of more than 250 Asian ceramics, detailed views of the room’s architecture and decoration, and a rich selection of archival documents and photographs. In addition, a video presentation takes you behind the scenes of the room’s recent reinstallation. Curate your own installation by selecting pots to display on the Peacock Room sideboard, and then create a postcard of your design to share with friends.

The Peacock Room Comes to America mobile app was made possible through the generous support of the Mr. and Mrs. Raymond J. Horowitz Foundation for the Arts, Inc.

Download The Peacock Room Comes to America for free » (iPad and iPhone)

This post is also available in: 한국어 (Korean)