"Darren and I joke that our story parallels that of Whistler and Leyland in that [his Mass MoCA installation] became so much more ambitious than what the original project was to be," says Mass MoCA curator Susan Cross. "But I was very supportive of it -- as Leyland was [of Whistler] in the beginning -- after some logistical, financial trepidation."

The room at Mass MoCA features a Gothic ceiling, 250 hand-painted ceramic vessels on crumbling shelves, glaze oozing down the walls, and the fighting peacocks mural appearing to partially melt into a puddle of gold.

Waterston said the collaboration involved in seeing the project to life was a big departure from his normal solitary work style.

"The great difference [in the making of the original and the reimagined ‘Peacock Room’], said Cross, "lies in the museum’s continued support of Darren’s vision, while Whistler’s ambitions -- and actions -- ultimately exceeded Leyland’s tolerance [and knowledge] and generosity."

-- Charles Bonenti


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