The Freer|Sackler, the Asian art museum that is part of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., has introduced a new exhibition focusing on the Empresses who inhabited China’s Forbidden City. Titled “Empresses of China’s Forbidden City, 1644–1912,” the exhibition at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, explores 260 years of Qing dynasty rule through displays of royal portraits, paintings depicting court life, seals and symbols of imperial power, Buddhist sutras, and other objects of religious devotion, along with costumes, jewelry, tableware, and furniture. Many of the items on display are on loan from the Palace Museum in Beijing and have never before left China. The exhibition explores the significant role of the empresses in shaping the Qing dynasty’s history through their influence on religion, diplomacy, and domestic politics. The exhibition opened on March 30 and runs until June 23, 2019. For more information, visit