[Photo by Neil Greentree via the Freer Gallery.]
This Saturday a major reinstallation of James McNeill Whistler's infamous Peacock Room opens to the public at the Freer Gallery in D.C. Part of a sneak peek, newly featured detail images offer a chance to see this heavy, formal space with fresh eyes. Even if the room as a whole isn't your cup of tea, I think there's inspiration to be found in the surface textures and stylized forms.
Past posts (here and here) offer a bit of history about the interior, but basically the new installation will show the 19th-century dining room as it appeared after collector Charles Lang Freer acquired it and brought it from London to Detroit in the early 20th century, hence the exhibition title: The Peacock Room Comes to America. Although originally decorated to highlight Chinese blue-and-white porcelain, Freer filled the gilded shelves with his own vast assortment of typically earthier pots collected during extensive travels throughout Asia.
Right now, the Freer Gallery also gives online visitors a behind-the-scenes glimpse of the opulent room without any ceramics at all. See In the Works: The Peacock Room Comes to America here.
[Images via The Textile Museum.]
Greens of all intensities from light to strong will be on view in Green: the Color and the Cause, opening at The Textile Museum April 16. Following Red and Blue, this exhibition is the third in a series dedicated to a specific color in textile art. Curators have chosen thirteen historical pieces from the museum’s permanent collection to show how various cultures use the color green, but works from contemporary fiber artists will also figure prominently in the show. Michelle Brody's Arbor Lace, a lace-covered arbor embedded with grass seed will be installed in the museum’s garden to sprout, mature and die during the period the exhibition is on view. Look for the companion paperless interactive web catalog to be available soon.
To learn a little about how Textile Museum curators work, check out this video by Johns Hopkins Museum Studies students.