Harmony in Blue and Gold, better known as The Peacock Room was created in 1876-77. Imagine a room so special that it was dismantled, packed into 27 crates, and floated across the ocean. In 1904, that’s just what happened to The Peacock Room—a decorative masterpiece by an American artist.
You might be wondering What makes this room so intriguing that it was floated across the Atlantic from England to America? Well, the Peacock Room was originally designed as a dining room for British shipping magnate Frederick Richards Leyland and is considered an excellent example of the Japonism that pervaded late-19th century Europe.
Originally entrusted to British architect Thomas Jekyll, the room was designed to show off Leyland’s impressive collection of blue and white Chinese porcelain. Unfortunately, Jekyll became ill and was unable to complete the room. Leyland commissioned this American artist to finish the work. Leyland had agreed to some of the changes before departing, but the American artist continued to go bolder with his revisions. Upon his return, and seeing the extent of the changes made to the room, Leyland refused to pay the artist for the work done to complete the room. At some point in the midst of their issues, the artist was able to gain access to the room and while there, he painted two fighting peacocks. Meant to represent the artist and Leyland, they were his final word on the project and fittingly titled Art and Money: or, The Story of the Room.
Do you know who this artist is? Download the Mystery Artist form, fill and return it to the art room before the end of the month.