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Saturday, June 11, 2011

The Peacock Room - Beautiful and Inspiring

The south wall and large mural.
Today my family and I traveled down to the Washington, DC area to attend a birthday party.  Knowing that we'd be so close to Washington, we planned in a trip to The Freer and Sackler Galleries on the National Mall.  These museums focus on Asian art. My main reason to visit was to see the Peacock room in person.  I had seen photos on-line, but I wanted to get my eyes and camera in there to see up close (or as close as I could get) and soak in all the wonderful detail there in the room.  I must say, I was not disappointed.

The room was designed by James Abbott McNeil Whistler for an Englishman named Leyland and later bought from Leyland's heirs by Charles Lang Freer.  I'll save you all the history as you can click the links and read more for yourselves should you want to know more.

This room however is not only an inspiration of decorative mural art, but it is chock full of pattern.  A zentangle enthusiast's dream!  There is so much depth and pattern that everywhere you look, you'd like to sit and figure out each pattern right there.  As I was with my children (4 and 10) I was not able to just sit.  I took as many photos as I thought I needed though.  The security guard in the room was really nice and chatted with my 4 year old but I knew that conversation would only interest the guard for so long. :)

Sideboard (?) under the large mural.  I want one just like this.
Now that I'm home, I realize that I failed to take a photo of one wall and an over all photo of the ceiling.  The ceiling is as amazing as the rest of the room.  I wonder if when I go back, they'll mind too much if I lie on the floor and get a better image.  I should have whipped out my iPod and used Photosynth to capture a 360 view of the room.  Sigh, next time I will do just that. (I just checked the Freer and Sackler website and there is a great panorama you can view.)

I will be trying to turn a few of these into patterns for zentangle use but I'm not sure if I'll get them all figured out.  We shall see..
Shutters along one wall.

Door on east wall.
Ceiling detail.  See why I need a better photo?

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