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January 1, 1923 – April 8, 2011
Museum: Freer Gallery of Art
Location: Gallery 12
The Peacock Room, originally designed by architect Thomas Jeckyll, was once the dining room in the London home of Frederick R. Leyland, a wealthy shipowner from Liverpool, England. Although the architect merely asked for advice about what color to paint the shutters and doors, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) took over and eventually transformed the entire room. Between 1876 and 1877, he enhanced the room with golden peacocks, painting every inch of the ceiling and walls to create an elegant setting in which Leyland could display his blue-and-white porcelain as well as Whistler's painting The Princess from the Land of Porcelain. Purchased by Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919) in 1904 and installed in the Freer Gallery of Art after his death, the Peacock Room is on permanent display.