About Freer House  |  Membership  |  History  |  Exhibits  |  News  |  Donate  |  Events  |  Restoration Projects   

Award-winning Photographer Returns to Freer House!

Alex Vertikoff shooting the north-facing library bay window.
This May, Alex Vertikoff, master of architectural photography, returned to Freer House for a third time to capture our growing garden and details of the house not previously shot.  Alex created extraordinary images of the Freer House in 2013 and 2015 with his signature natural lighting approach, some of which can be seen here. Despite stormy weather two weekends ago, Alex continued to find the beauty in Freer House. We cannot wait to share some of his new work in the coming months!
"For over forty years Alexander Vertikoff's award winning images have been on hundreds of covers and articles in publications such as the The New York Times, and Architectural Digest. His photography has been on the cover of every issue of the legendary American Bungalow Magazine (96 and counting). He has been the principal architectural and promotional photographer for the J. Paul Getty Trust's Villa and Center, the Gamble House, Pebble Beach Resorts, the Driehaus Museum, and the Skirball Cultural Center. Vertikoff has over 15 books, and is the first foreign artist to have a traveling exhibit of his photographs in The People's Republic of China. He holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree from California Institute of the Arts." -

Mad About Painting: Hokusai and Freer Free Online Lecture to be Held May 24, 2022 

If anyone in the United States and Europe can name just one Japanese artist, that name will surely be that of Katsushika Hokusai. Thanks to Charles Lang Freer's pioneering collecting and aesthetic sensibility, the Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art is home to the world's largest collection of Hokusai's paintings and drawings. In this talk, Frank Feltens, PhD, Japan Foundation Associate Curator of Japanese Art, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian's National Museum of Asian Art, explores the motivations that formed the backdrop of Freer's spectacular collection of Hokusai's works.

Japan Business Society of Detroit April 2022 Newsletter Highlights 1909 Japanese Businessmen Visiting Freer House

Read the english translition of the article HERE.
The Japan Business Society of Detroit began its evolution in 1973 as an operating organization for supplementary lessons to enhance the education of Japanese children in the Greater Detroit area. The organization's scope has since expanded to contribute to the entire community by developing not only educational issues but also a wide range of activities.


• Edo Avant Garde film viewing and live discussion
• Hiroko Lancour's DIA artist demo
• Thomas Brunk's book on Pewabic published
• Spring welcomes visitors to FH Garden
• Essential restoration undertaken at FH
Edo Avant Garde film viewing and live discussion
• Freer Gallery of Art Centennial
• New books highlight Freer and FH
• Pewabic Pottery staff tour FH 
• Bronze Chinese lamp reproduction underway
Edo Avant Garde film viewing and live discussion
• Thomas Brunk's book on Pewabic published
• In memory of Phebe Goldstein (1930-2020)
​​​• The Consul General of Japan honors FH / WSU 
• Garden Revitalization Project extends around FH
• Garden annual maintenance fund launched
• Over 50 exterior windows and doors, trim repaired
West Meets East: Charles L. Freer, Trailblazing Asian Art Collector lecture
• First Freer biography in over 25 years published 
• Whistler painting reproduction installed 
​​​• Soccer Star gets his Kicks working at the Freer House 
Freer House Winter 2018 Year End Report
​​​• In Memory of Thomas W. Brunk, PhD (1949-2018)
• Interior walls and 35 exterior windows and doors repaired
An Accidental Photographer in Korea:
  Portraits of a Lost Seoul at the Charles Lang Freer House lecture
Charles Lang Freer and his Adventures in Chinese Art Collecting lecture
• Three Whistler painting reproductions installed 
• FH doorbell reproduction installed 
• Original "Flapjacks" painting returns to FH 
• FH welcomes Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko of Mikasa
• FH featured in American Bungalow Magazine

Freer House Garden Revitalization Project Video, Summer 2018
​​​• Freer House courtyard garden has been completed
• Japanese garden lantern replica installation
• Freer House garden dedication party

• MHPN awards Dr. Thomas Brunk and John Douglas Peters for their achievements in preservation 
Artist in Resonance: Hiroko Lancour at the Charles Lang Freer House exhibition 
• New book on Charles L. Freer published 
From Traveler to Aesthete: Charles Lang Freer and Indian Art lecture
A Museum Rises: How Charles Lang Freer's Collection of American
  and Asian Art Landed on America's Mall lecture
• Garden Revitalization Project nears completion
• Sharing our Home: Art Students Discover History in their own Backyard
• FH Director William Colburn receives MHPN Lifetime Achievement Award
• Garden Revitalization Project Phase I begins 
• HVAC Project begins 
• FH featured in Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine
• FH interior finishes analysis in fourth year 

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Spring 2016
• Freer's "Points of Contact" with Korea lecture
• Freer and Sackler Gallery makes first group visit to Detroit

The Freer House Garden Project Brochure, Winter 2016

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Fall 2015
• Thomas W. Brunk's Freer collection documented 

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Spring 2015
• Hecker Mansion joins FH as WSU treasure
• Hecker Mansion restoration
• Visitors connect with FH past, present and future

Freer House Report: Summer 2014
• WSU President M. Roy Wilson visits FH
• New Tryon reproduction painting installed
• Alex Vertikoff photographs FH
• Freer and Japan lecture draws a large crowd
• Author of a new biography on Whistler visits FH

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Spring 2014
• In Attendance to the Realm: the Kano School of Painters in 17th Century Japan lecture 
• DIA Samurai: Beyond the Sword exhibition 
• WSU President M. Roy Wilson, Consul General of Japan, DIA Director Graham Beal, and former
  Mayor of Detroit Dennis Archer attend reception 
• "Early Spring: New England" painting reproduction dedicated
• WSU grad students research construction of FH 
• The Artist's Garden: American Impressionism and the Garden Movement, 1887-1920 lecture
• PBS Whistler documentary preview
• NHK film FH for documentary
• Alex Vertikoff photographs FH  
• Rose Foster named WSU's Building Coordinator of the Year 

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Dec 2013
• A Thousand Graces: Freer's Pilgrimage to the Buddhist Cave Temples at Longmen
  and his Collection of Chinese Art lecture
• FH welcomes the Consul General of Japan

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Spring 2013
• Fundraising for Garden Revitalization Plan 

Freer House Annual Report: September 2012 - August 2013
• Freer Symposium
• Whistler Gallery Restoration Plan
• Garden Revitalization Plan
• Harmony in Design: Freer and Wilson Eyre, Jr. lecture
• Heels Over Head: Freer and Indian Art Lecture
• NHK visit to Freer House

• A House and its History exhibit installed

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Spring 2012
• Painting with Pottery in the Peacock Room lecture

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Fall 2011
• Fundraising for restoration of the Whistler Gallery 
• Americana Foundation helps fund interpretive plan
• Freer furniture inventory

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Spring 2011
• Whistler and Freer through Art, Music, and Letters multi-media event

Freer House Annual Report: October 2010 - September 2011
• Dedication of historically appropriate cedar shake roof
• Initiation of Interpretation Plan
• Freer and the Art of Japan lecture
• Freer furniture documentation project

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Fall 2010
• Roof maintenance project completed
• FH receives National Register of Historic Places designation
A Discerning Taste for Japanese Art: The Formation of Charles L. Freer's Collection lecture

Imprints - MPSI Newsletter, Spring 2010
• Scarab Club Spring Quartet concert
• Charles Lang Freer and Detroit's Pewabic Pottery lecture
• Midwest Regional Conservation Guild visits FH 
• Roof maintenance project announced

• Eleven reproductions of Freer's paintings unveiled 
• First meeting held of the Friends of Freer House
The Blue Room: Whistler's Peacock Room in Detroit lecture


"The Way It Was -- May Day, 1930." Bulanda, George. Hour Detroit Magazine, 28 Apr. 2022,

"One More Thing: Behold, the Glory of Detroit's Gilded Age Mansions." Abbey-Lambertz, Kate. Detour Detroit, March, 24, 2022.

"Charles Lang Freer and Japanese Ceramics." Cort, Louise Allison. Impressions: The Journal of the Japanese Art Society of America, vol. 39, Part One of Double Issue, 2018, pp. 131-163.

"Charles Lang Freer: An American Success Story." Forsyth, Douglas J. American Bungalow Magazine, no. 96, Summer 2018, pp. 68-79.

Creating a Harmonious Environment: An Art Collector's Garden. Michener, Dr. David C. (2018). University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum.

"Art Connection: Detroit and Freer." Kuchiki, Yuriko. The Japan Business Society of Detroit Monthly MagazineViews, no. 278, May 2017.

"Charles Lang Freer and the Collecting of Chinese Buddhist Art in Early-Twentieth-Century America." Wang, Daisy Yiyou. Journal of the HIstory of Collections, vol. 28, no. 3, 2016, pp. 401-416.

"Full Circle: Biography of James McNeill Whistler Connects the Dots Between the Artist, Detroit." McFarlin, Jim. Wayne State Magazine, Winter 2015, pp. 50-55.

"Restoration of Historic Freer House Garden at Wayne State Begins." Pinho, Kirk. Crain's Detroit Business, 14 Sept. 2015,

"Whistler, Freer, and Their Living Legacy." Trippi, Peter. Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine, vol. 12, no. 1, Jan/Feb 2015, pp. 48-53. 

"The Legacy of Charles L. Freer." Bulanda, George. Hour Detroit Magazine, 7 Feb. 2008,


FH recommends starting with…

West Meets East: Charles L. Freer, Trailblazing Asian Art Collector. Tomlinson, Helen Nebeker. Mascot Books, 2019.

Charles Lang Freer: A Cosmopolitan Life. Glazer, Lee, and Amelia Meyer. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2017.

"The Charles L. Freer Residence: The Original Freer Gallery of Art." Brunk, Thomas W. Dichotomy Student Journal, vol. 12, University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture, Fall 1999.

Freer: A Legacy of Art. Lawton, Thomas, and Linda Merrill. Smithsonian Institution, 1993.

FH recommends continuing with…

Korean Art in the Freer and Sackler Galleries. The Smithsonian Institution Freer and Sackler Galleries. Smithsonian Institution/Freer Gallery of Art, 2013.

A Perfect Harmony: The American Collection in the Smithsonian's Freer Gallery of Art. Glazer, Lee. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 2013.

The Peacock Room Comes to America. Glazer, Lee. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, 2012.

A Collector's Journey. Gunter, Ann Clyburn, et al. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, 2002.

The Peacock Room: A Cultural Biography. Merrill, Linda. Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art, 1998.

With Kindest Regards: The Correspondence of Charles Lang Freer and James McNeill Whistler, 1890-1903, edited by Merrill, Linda. Washington, DC: Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Institution Press, 1995.

The Princess and the Peacocks Or, the Story of the Room. Merrill, Linda, and Sarah Ridley. Hyperion Books, 1993.

Leonard B. Willeke, Excellence in Architecture and Design. Brunk, Thomas W., Leonard Bernard Willeke, and University of Detroit. School of Architecture. Detroit, Mich.: U of Detroit, 1986.

The House That Freer Built. Brunk, Thomas W. Dichotomy Student Journal, vol. 3, no. 4, University of Detroit School of Architecture, 1981.

Membership • History • Support • People • Boards