Published: December 10, 2019
WASHINGTON, DC — In the face of recent uproar over the Sackler family’s involvement with the opioid crisis, some have called for the name to be removed from the face of the Smithsonian’s Asian Art museum — The Freer-Sackler Galleries. However, the use of the name was deemed legally mandated by Lonnie Bunch, the head of the Smithsonian Institution. In recent days, however, it would appear that a compromise of sorts has been reached.
In a statement released to Antiques and The Arts Weekly, the deputy director for operations and external affairs Lori Duggan Gold said, “The shift toward a unified brand is not a shift away from the galleries’ names. Both museum’s individual names remain unchanged and intact. The new tagline, ‘National Museum of Asian Art,’ helps clarify to visitors that they can expect to see Asian Art collections during their visit. Our strategic plan aims to build upon the strengths of these two complementary galleries to serve as one national museum. The museums already share one board, staff, budget and strategic plan. Establishing a cohesive brand helps reach this goal.”
“The tagline ‘National Museum of Asian Art’ is used alongside the museum’s names as a clarifier for visitors. You’ll find this tagline on our website and on signage as a complement to the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery names, but we have not changed either legal name, our official logo or the official museum entrance signs along the perimeter. The two galleries still maintain their separate status and collections.”
The Freer-Sackler Galleries are at 1050 Independence Avenue Southwest. For more information, www.si.edu or 202-633-1000.
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