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Today’s consumer demands customization. Through the magic of the interwebs, we read only the news we want—no skimming over the sports section or stock market listings. We watch TV on Hulu without flipping through King of Queens reruns and ShamWow promo spots. We tell Tinder who we don’t want to date, Pandora what we don’t want to hear, and Netflix what we don’t want to see.
Now, with the Freer and Sackler galleries’ new online database of their complete collections, art lovers can customize their virtual museumgoing experience, too. Every print, sculpture, manuscript, and ceramics piece is tagged with searchable metadata, opening the floor for amateur conservators or anyone with a curiosity for Asian art to put together a selection of pieces in line with their own interests. Here, a preliminary search of my favorite things yielded a surprisingly well-curated collection.
newspaper “Untitled (woman reading newspaper)” by Shadafarin Ghadirian (1999)
liquor “Jar for distilled liquor” (16th-19th century)
sleep “Dreaming of Walking near Fuji” by Isoda Koryusai (1770-73)
glitter “Glittering Sea” by Yoshida Hiroshi (1926)
thoughts “Thoughts on Calligraphers and Poets in cursive script” by Pu Hua (1901)
wheels “Bird on wheels” (8th-10th century)
grass “Medicine case (inro)” by Koma Yasutada Saku (19th century)
Images courtesy of the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery