The Lost Symphony: Whistler and the Perfection of Art

January 16, 2016 – May 30, 2016

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC

Sublevel 1, North Galleries Floor Plan

Three Girls would have been a seminal work in the stylistic development of American artist James McNeill Whistler (1834–1903)—if he had completed it. He intended to hang the large painting opposite his Princess from the Land of Porcelain in the dining room of his patron Frederick Leyland, but after they quarreled over the cost of the Peacock Room, Whistler destroyed the work. As part of Peacock Room REMIX, this related installation reconstructs how Whistler’s unrealized quest for “the perfection of art” intersected with less-rarified concerns about patronage, payment, and professional reputation.