Filthy Lucre: Whistler's Peacock Room Reimagined
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In 1877, James McNeill Whistler completed his masterpiece of interior decoration, 'The Peacock Room', at the home of Frederick Richards Leyland. The wealthy shipping magnate had been out of town during the renovations and, when he returned, was furious at Whistler's flamboyant creation. The room used to be just around the corner from the V&A, but has since relocated in full to the Freer Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. Artist Darren Waterston now uses the original 'Harmony in Blue and Gold' (as it was also known) as the inspiration for his own immersive installation at the South Kensington museum. Faithful in many respects to its 19th century counterpart, Waterston has subtly subverted certain aspects as part of his critique of art and money, ego and patronage.