The Beauty and Joy of Colour: Whistler, Wilde, and the History of the Peacock Room

Published: 10 May 2018

Wednesday 23 May 2018

Dr Lee GlazerWednesday 23 May 2018
Hunterian Art Gallery Lecture Theatre
Admission free - no booking required

Join us at the Hunterian Art Gallery for a special lecture by Dr Lee Glazer, curator of Amercian art at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

In his 1882 lecture “The House Beautiful,” Oscar Wilde urged American audiences to reform their lives by redecorating their houses, and he presented the Peacock Room — the infamous London interior by expatriate artist James McNeill Whistler—as a model to emulate, “the finest thing in colour and art decoration which the world has known since Correggio.”

This lecture traces the story of the room’s creation, its place in history of the Aesthetic movement, and its lingering afterlife in the twentieth century and beyond.

Dr Lee Glazer is curator of Amercian art at the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery and is a specialist in Gilded Age painting and the arts of the Aesthetic movement. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including, most recently, Peacock Room REMIX: Darren Waterston’s Filthy Lucre, which received the Smithsonian Secretary’s Research Award in 2016. Dr Glazer is the author of Charles Lang Freer: A Cosmopolitan Life and A Perfect Harmony: The American Collection in the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and co-editor of East West Interchanges in American Art: A Long and Tumultuous Relationship and Palaces of Art: Whistler and the Art Worlds of Aestheticism. Her current research focuses on James McNeill Whistler’s watercolors, to be featured in an exhibition at the Freer in 2019.

First published: 10 May 2018

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