Whistler Begins the Peacock Room

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James McNeill Whistler is hired by wealthy patron Frederick R. Leyland to be an artistic advisor to the designer of his dining room. Whistler makes many changes to the room, without permission from Leyland, and calls the finished product "Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room". The room is later bought by Charles Lang Freer and is now displayed in the Freer Gallery of Art.


  • Freer, Charles Lang 1854-1919
  • Whistler, James McNeill 1834-1903
  • Freer Gallery of Art
  • Freer Gallery of Art Peacock Room


Chronology of Smithsonian History


Lawton, Thomas and Linda Merrill. Freer. A Legacy of Art. Washington, D.C. Freer Gallery of Art, Smithsonian Institution in association with Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1993., p. 177-178.

Contact information

Institutional History Division, Smithsonian Institution Archives, 600 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20024-2520, SIHistory@si.edu




  • Art
  • Architecture
  • Repair and reconstruction
  • History
  • Art--History
  • Art objects
  • Buildings--Repair and reconstruction

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