Inspired by James McNeill Whistler’s famous Peacock Room, contemporary painter Darren Waterston creates his own decadent interpretation in a major installation at MASS MoCA. Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre is a contemporary reimagining of James McNeill Whistler’s decorative masterpiece Harmony in Blue and Gold: The Peacock Room—originally a dining room in the London mansion of shipping magnate Frederick Leyland. In 1876 and 1877, Whistler transformed the space with painted leather walls, gilded shutters, and a ceiling reflecting the coppery golds and brilliant blues of a peacock’s plumage. Waterston reconstructs the historical room as a sumptuous ruin, replete with reinterpretations of Whistler’s paintings and 250 hand-painted vessels. This title features all-new photography of Whistler’s and Waterston’s rooms, accompanied by essays by their curators and a scholar of patronage.
About The Author
Susan Cross is curator of visual arts at MASS MoCA, North Adams. Lee Glazer is associate curator of American art at the Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Washington, D.C. John Ott is associate professor of art history at James Madison University.