Category Archives: Your Take

The Beauty of Afghanistan

steve mccurry

Photographer Steve McCurry shared the beauty of Afghanistan with the world more than thirty years ago, when his captivating photo Afghan Girl stared out from the cover of National Geographic magazine. A few weeks ago on Instagram, he asked the public to post their own interpretations of Afghanistan’s beauty for the opening of our exhibition Turquoise Mountain: Artists Transforming Afghanistan. We’ve been following the responses using the #turquoisemountain hashtag, which are also featured in the exhibition itself. Below are a few of our favorite shots that you’ve posted of Afghanistan and of your experiences in the Turquoise Mountain galleries.












#MuseumSelfie Day!

Hutomo Wicaksono, audiovisual and media specialist, gets framed in The Lost Symphony.

Hutomo Wicaksono, audiovisual and media specialist, gets framed in The Lost Symphony.

Every year, there comes a day when the humble selfie is deemed museum-worthy. That’s right: It’s #MuseumSelfie Day, the annual call for museum-goers to capture themselves enjoying their favorite cultural institutions. In your case, of course, that would be the Freer|Sackler!

This year, you can up your self-portrait game by taking one in our new exhibition The Lost Symphony: Whistler and the Perfection of Art, on view alongside Peacock Room REMIX. Without touching the art (that’s still a no-no, as are selfie sticks), pose in front of a reproduction of the frame that James McNeill Whistler once intended for The Three Girls, an unrealized masterpiece. Snap, share, and prove that you too are a true work of art.

Fan Favorite Finalists: Like Your Vote

Like your Fan Favorite at

Vote for your Fan Favorite at!

Inspired by Tawaraya Sōtatsu’s Screen with Scattered Fans (top left), visitors to our Sōtatsu exhibition—both in person and online—emulated his work on their own fans. Of the dozens of entries to our Fan Favorite contest, a team of Freer|Sackler judges narrowed down the candidates to five finalists. Vote for the one that you think should win a Sōtatsu gift basket by liking its image in our Facebook gallery. Voting is open until 11:59 pm on Monday, January 25.

What were the parameters? As emphasized by James Ulak, senior curator of Japanese art, we encouraged participants to choose a design that suited the fan’s curved shape. We also suggested that entrants adapt popular images or famous scenes for their fans, as Sōtatsu—who began his artistic career as a maker of finely decorated papers and folding fans—once did. Finally, we looked for entries that were creative, beautiful, or simply stood out from the pack. Which will you choose? Vote now!

A Fine Send-off for the Freer

Before it closed for renovation, we sent off the Freer last weekend with help from hundreds of guests. As at any good goodbye party, you celebrated and captured the moment in dozens of photos and clips—including a music video. A few of our favorites are below. Did we miss yours? Link to it in the comments!