22nd November 2019
Darren Waterston’s installation, Filthy Lucre, to open at V&A

Filthy Lucre (25 January – 3 May 2020) is an immersive installation by contemporary American artist Darren Waterston, presenting a detailed reimagining of James Abbott McNeill Whistler’s sumptuous Peacock Room. Waterston has faithfully recreated each of the room’s individual elements with a twist, with the installation revealing a magnificent ruin crumbling under the weight of material decadence and the egos of those involved in its creation.

On display for the first time in the UK, the installation is inspired by the tension between art and money, ego and patronage. Replicating almost every detail of Whistler’s masterpiece, Waterston transforms the room into an uneasy experience of destruction and twisted excess, drawing parallels between the economic inequality of the Victorian era and today. 

Created through extensive collaboration, Filthy Lucre demonstrates master craftsmanship to reimagine the luxurious wood panelling, ornate lighting pendants and stunning ceramics collection, as well as decorative wall art and a captivating central portrait that draws viewers into the room.

For further information please visit, vam.ac.uk/exhibitions/filthy-lucre

Image credit: Darren Waterston, Filthy Lucre. Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. Photo by Hutomo Wicaksono