DC, July 3, 2011
Jul 4, 2011Public
Photo: The Festival is held outdoors on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., between the Smithsonian museums. There is no admission charge.
Photo: This is the main entrance portico to the Smithsonian Institution.
Photo: Red Bull showed up just in time with ice-cold free samples, but paid little attention to the parking rules.
Photo: The Colombia: The Nature of Culture program at the 2011 Smithsonian Folklife Festival celebrates the rich bio-cultural diversity of Colombia and explores how Colombian cultural expressions are inextricably connected to their distinctive environments. Colombia leads the world in the number of bird species, has the second highest number of varieties of amphibians and plants, and is third in the diversity of its reptiles.  This year’s festival program shows how these cultures survive and thrive through the dynamic relationship between people and nature.
Photo: Sixteen paintings of emperors, empresses, princes, and princesses represent three generations of the Qing dynasty imperial family, from the early to mid-eighteenth century.
Photo: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/familyMatters.asp

The portraits—some nearly life-size—show the royal family members dressed in either the elaborate formal robes required for attendance at court or more casual attire at moments of leisure.
Photo: The women are generally depicted wearing sumptuous embroidered robes and fabulous jewelry made of gold and pearls or inlaid with dazzling turquoise kingfisher feathers.
Photo: Portrait of a Manchu Noblewoman, probably 19th century, Qing dynasty.  

Ink and color on silk, H: 190.9 W: 100.4 cm, China 

Purchase--Smithsonian Collections Acquisition Program, and partial gift of Richard G. Pritzlaff S1991.58.
Photo: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/peacockRoom.asp
The Peacock Room Comes to America
 April 9, 2011–Spring 2013,  Freer Gallery of Art 

For the first time, the Freer Gallery's renowned Peacock Room has been restored to its appearance in 1908, when museum founder Charles Lang Freer used it to organize and display more than 250 ceramics he had collected from throughout Asia. As the first special exhibition held in the room since it underwent conservation in 1993, The Peacock Room Comes to America highlights Freer's belief in "points of contact" between American and Asian art and the aesthetic relationships to be found among the museum's diverse collections.
Photo: The Peacock Room was originally designed by architect Thomas Jeckyll for British shipping magnate Frederick Leyland, who wanted a place to showcase his blue-and-white Chinese porcelain collection in his London home. When American expatriate artist James McNeill Whistler redecorated the room in 1876 and 1877 as a "harmony in blue and gold," he was inspired by the delicate patterns and vivid colors of the Chinese porcelains.
Photo: Their slick surfaces of the blue and white porcelain, however, did not appeal to Freer, who favored complex surface textures and subtly toned glazes. After he purchased the Peacock Room and moved it from London to his mansion in Detroit in 1904, Freer filled the shelves with pots he had acquired from Egypt, Iran, Japan, China, and Korea. The current presentation of works is based on photographs taken in Freer's Detroit residence in 1908.
Photo: Much like the room's arrangement in Detroit more than a century ago, this exhibition underscores Freer's belief that "all works of art go together, whatever their period." That faith in cross-cultural aesthetic harmonies achieved its ultimate expression in the Freer Gallery of Art, which opened to the public in 1923.
Photo: Whistler's imaginative interior, now fittingly located between galleries of Chinese and American art, embodies the meeting of East and West. Enjoy the Peacock Room as Charles Lang Freer did by making unexpected aesthetic connections between art and decoration, paintings and ceramics, and America and Asia.
Photo: http://www.asia.si.edu/exhibitions/current/peacockRoom/gallery.asp#24
Photo: Panorama with and without ceramics: