Jan. 5th, 2013

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http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/peacockroom.asp

I was fortunate enough to get to go see the Peacock Room today. I'd heard about it in my art history class as an undergrad -- the idea not only that one person would design a room to show off their collection, but that you'd get Whistler to do it, and then that other people would buy it and disassemble it and send it to another continent... Well, it was kinda crazy and I got into it.

Then, lo and behold, I find out that it's on display at the Smithsonian until Feb 2013. Boom, it's on my list of things I have to see.



I didn't get to see it with the shutters open, sadly. That's okay, though. The picture above doesn't do it justice. Everything is blue and gold. The room is so very tall, with custom lights and painted ceilings. The backs of the shutters have golden peacocks painted there, and all of the glasswork is themed. It really, honestly, was one of the most beautiful pieces of art I've ever seen in my life. At the other end of the room is a huge Whistler painting, The Princess from the Land of Porcelain. It was breathtaking.



Whistler is not my favorite artist. He was a character, which makes me laugh, and I admire his work, but I don't love all of it. It is not without its issues, and I think his quality varied depending on what he was working on. Not all of his efforts were equally successful (as compared to my feelings regarding John Singer Sargent, for example). But... my god, this was absolutely incredible, and if I live to be a thousand, I will never forget it. I saw a great many wonders today at the Smithsonian, but this crowned them all.

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