At the Smithsonian, April 1 will be a big day for James Mc Neill Whistler’s Peacock Room. Originally created in an elaborate peacock motif in 1875 for a British owner’s collection of blue and white Chinese porcelain, and redecorated by Whistler in 1876, the Peacock Room became a sensation in its time. It was purchased by Charles Lang Freer in 1904 and moved “across the pond” to his home in Detroit. There, it was similarly used to display his collection of ceramics.
The room was again relocated in 1920 to Washington, D.C. and installed in the Freer Gallery of Art. It is considered to be one of the top 20 icons of American art. The new “Peacock Room Comes to America” exhibit presents the room for the first time as it looked in Detroit, 1906-1919.
I can just imagine designing a peacock room today. Walk through the door and flip the light switch.
Kick off your shoes and walk across the soft wool pile rug.
Mr. Freer’s Peacock Room is too dark for me, so I’d have to carry out the theme with a lighter accent wall. Something light as a feather like Casart’s Quill Peacock Pattern. I can’t decide: Down/Anise, White/Cinnamon, or…? Oh, well, with Casart it’s as easy to change as it is to change your mind! What do you suggest? Remember, this is my fantasy room!
A few weeks ago, the New Orleans Museum of Art celebrated Art In Bloom. Co-chair, Jenny Charpentier, shared a peek into her home with Times-Picayune readers. The walls in her dining room are lacquered a beautiful blue to match the upholstered dining room chairs and compliment the art in the room. “When they were done, the walls were so reflective that you could almost see yourself in them.”, said Jenny. Look at that peacock!