- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 13, 2011

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery in Washington has reinstalled its most famous artwork for the first time to show how “The Peacock Room” appeared in 1908.

James McNeill Whistler originally designed the lavish dining room in 1876. He created it for London businessman Frederick Leyland and it contained Chinese blue and white porcelain.

Museum founder Charles Lang Freer purchased the room and installed it in his Detroit home. It included paintings and decorative arts.

The reinstallation will include more than 250 ceramics from China, Egypt, Japan and Syria. Curators say that will allow the public to see the room through Freer’s eyes as an example of contact between the U.S. and Asia at the turn of the 20th century.

It goes on view this month for at least two years.

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