Japanese Art

Japanese Art

Nonni suggested we try out the Freer and Sackler Galleries in the city to add another aspect to our Japanese experience. They both have extensive Asian art exhibits, and they are very easy to get to from the Metro, so it was an easy decision.

We took our lunch, wandered at will through the galleries, one fun part being the underground tunnel which connects the two galleries, so we wandered under the ground, then made our way back home. We got stuck in a little traffic, but eventually made it home to pick up Cousin O for a little play time in the afternoon.

The weapons were of much interest to all, especially one young Ninja In Training.
The amount of intricacy and beauty in some of the artifacts was amazing.
A big bowl.
An amazing pair.
As is often the case, Monkey wanted time to read and absorb the information.

When we arrived at the museum, the docent we spoke with said she “was sure the children will love The Peacock Room.” So, after we had our lunch in the lovely courtyard with the lyrical pineapple fountain sounds playing in the background, we headed to The Peacock Room.

Here’s the description from the Smithsonian website:

The Peacock Room, originally designed by architect Thomas Jeckyll, was once the dining room in the London home of Frederick R. Leyland, a wealthy shipowner from Liverpool, England. Although the architect merely asked for advice about what color to paint the shutters and doors, James McNeill Whistler (1834-1903) took over and eventually transformed the entire room. Between 1876 and 1877, he enhanced the room with golden peacocks, painting every inch of the ceiling and walls to create an elegant setting in which Leyland could display his blue-and-white porcelain as well as Whistler’s painting The Princess from the Land of Porcelain. Purchased by Charles Lang Freer (1854-1919) in 1904 and installed in the Freer Gallery of Art after his death, the Peacock Room is on permanent display.

Entering The Peacock Room.

It was a dark, tall room, and we were all a little in awe. We eventually agreed we wouldn’t want to actually eat dinner in The Peacock Room, but it was quite a room to see. I also informed The Little Mother that I would have to be wealthy enough to have someone else do the dusting of all the fine pottery for me.

Hence, probably no Peacock Room in my future.

I’m okay with that.

Examining the huge painting in the front of the room.
The Buster decides what he thinks of The Princess from the Land of Porcelain.

From here we took a spin on the elevator,

It was a really big elevator, it must be made for dancing!

and headed to the gift shop so Yessa could pick out her birthday gift from Nonni and Poppi.

It took a very long time, but finally the choices were made.

While Yessa and Nonni looked at options, The Buster and I discovered a hilarious book of Japanese inventions.

Unuseless Japanese Inventions-Even the name invites laughter.
It brought us much laughter.

From here we worked out way down to the basement to find the underground tunnel. The long chain monkey sculpture was part of this area.

The fountain at the bottom of the Barrel of Monkeys.

Fan, fountain, and fun.

Our gallery adventures ended with the unexpected and wonderful displays of Inuit art: Felt wall hangings and beautiful photographs. They were my favorite art of the day, and we almost didn’t see them.

It was a lovely day.