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Monday, February 21, 2011

Proud as a Peacock

Here is a classic, and personal favorite of mine from the Charles Lang Freer papers.  Freer was meticulous in all things including his newspaper clippings; which are a treasure trove documenting current events,  providing us cultural context, and most notably, insight into Freer's character divined but what news clippings he chose to collect.  (See our youtube video on highlights of the Freer collection for more information).

We have an entire clipping book with dozens of news articles pasted to the pages documenting the sale and purchase of the Peacock Room.  At this time there were so many rumors as to who would purchase this already legendary and world renowned art work; this article provides a brief glimpse into the fervent speculation of its possible acquirement by an American corporate tycoon. However you will notice that it is not Charles Lang Freer's name on the article but instead a fellow peer in industry - J.P. Morgan who had also made himself famous with his transition from a corporate king to a fanatic art collector. There are several theories as to why Freer chose to keep secret his acquiring of the Peacock Room, but all agree he did seem to enjoy the frantic reporting and incorrect attributions.

Rachael Cristine Woody
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives

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