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November 24, 2015
Mitsubishi Corporation

Mitsubishi Corporation to Sponsor the Smithsonian’s Freer and Sackler Galleries

Mitsubishi Corporation will donate $1 million USD to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, the Smithsonian’s museums of Asian art, to support the museums’ Japanese art exhibitions and related programs for a five-year period from November 2015 until September 2020. A signing ceremony to commemorate the gift was held at the Freer Gallery of Art on November 20th. This marks the first time that a private corporation has provided a sponsorship of this kind to the Freer and Sackler galleries.
This donation will be directed in three principal areas: support of the galleries’ outreach to Japanese audiences—both general and scholarly—through enhanced web communication; support of exhibitions that emphasize specialist collaboration between the U.S. and Japan, including a Spring 2017 exhibition on Kitagawa Utamaro: and enhancing bilingual staffing in administrative areas.
The Freer and Sackler galleries are home to over 40,000 objects related to Asian art, including masterpieces from influential Japanese artists such as Tawaraya Sōtatsu and Katsushika Hokusai. The galleries, part of the Smithsonian Institution’s 19 museums and galleries, are considered the premier venues in the nation for showcasing Asia’s rich artistic and cultural legacy and serve as the Institution’s central collection of Japanese art. Through this donation, Mitsubishi Corporation aims to help strengthen the relationship between the United States and Japan, as well as increase the awareness of Japanese culture abroad.
Mitsubishi Corporation also entered a 10 year agreement with the British Museum in London, U.K. in 2008, to be the sole sponsor of the museum’s Japanese galleries. The galleries were officially named “The Mitsubishi Corporation Japanese Galleries” on January 15, 2008.
(About Mitsubishi Corporation)
Mitsubishi Corporation is a global integrated business enterprise that develops and operates businesses across virtually every industry including industrial finance, energy, metals, machinery, chemicals, foods, and environmental business. Our Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives focus on activities in four key areas: Public Welfare and Education, Culture and Arts, International Exchange & Contributions and the Global Environment.
(About the Smithsonian Institution and Freer and Sackler Galleries)
Located in the heart of Washington, D.C., the Smithsonian Institution was founded in 1846 and consists of 19 museums and galleries, which are visited by nearly 28 million people annually. The Smithsonian’s collection of Japanese art is held in trust at the Freer and Sackler galleries, opened in 1923 and 1987 respectively.
(Signing Ceremony at the Freer and Sackler Galleries in Washington D.C.)
Dr. Julian Raby, Director of the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and the Freer Gallery of Art and Yasuyuki Sugiura, Exectuve Vice President, Mitsubishi Corporation
Freer Gallery of Art
Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
* Photos courtesy of the Freer and Sackler Galleries, Smithsonian
(Examples of Artwork Held by the Freer & Sackler Galleries)
Tawaraya Sōtatsu - Waves at Matsushima
Tawaraya Sōtatsu - Dragons and Clouds
Katsushika Hokusai – Thunder God-Edo Period
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Mitsubishi Corporation (Americas)
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