If you haven’t been to The Peacock Room in the Freer Sackler, you’re missing out. Along with the Salon Dore at The Corcoran, it’s a wonderful reminder of the kind of opulence that the well-to-do once lived with, and can be a simultaneous time capsule/respite in a hurried contemporary day. 

Now, thanks to a collaboration between Wayne State University and the Smithsonian, you can spend as long as you want virtually exploring it online, but having said that, nothing beats the real thing.

The Peacock Room will be open through December 2015, with windows open in the room every third Thursday of the month, including this Thursday, February 21, 2013, when Lee Glazer, associate curator of American art gives a demonstration from 12:15-12:30pm.

Shadow Sites: Lecture on Jananne Al-Ani at Freer Sackler Tomorrow

"Join Mitra Abbaspour, associate curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art, and Carol Huh, Freer|Sackler curator of Shadow Sites, for a discussion inspired by the exhibition. Jananne Al-Ani’s landscape photography and videos, in addition to prints from the Ernst Herzfeldcollection in the F|S Archives, serve as starting points for considering the role of photographic media and archival documents in shaping histories and perceptions of the Middle East.”

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7pm, Meyer Auditorium, Freer Gallery.

WHOA! Freer Sackler just announced that acclaimed Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang is detonating one of his explosion events in honor of the Freer Sackler’s 25th anniversary this coming Friday at 3pm in front of the Freer.

According to Freer “A 40-foot pine tree erupts in a shimmer of fireworks as if in a “tree lighting,” followed by a cascade of black ink-like smoke that mimics traditional Chinese brush drawings. The black tree-shaped cloud of smoke drifting through the air creates a spectral scene of two trees: one real, one imaginary.”

Watch past explosions here and if you can’t attend in-person you can watch the live-stream on the Freer’s website. I encourage you to attend if you can, as Cai is a phenomenal artist and the fact that he’s chosen to do this in D.C., on the Mall no less, is a huge coupe for the DC art scene. This is officially a big deal.

Also, Freer celebrates it’s 25th anniversary with a whole series of events that start tomorrow (Wednesday) and run through the weekend, so make sure you check their website for more details!

I REALLY dig J.J. McCracken’s work. I feel like I haven’t seen much of this phenomenal potter around lately, but here she is giving a lecture on A Contemporary Response to Ancient Iranian Ceramics.

What to expect? “Joined by assistant curator Alex Nagel, artist J.J. McCracken introduces her work, including Consulting Artifacts (Mold Series), with objects inspired by the abstracted, zoomorphic forms of the ancient Iranian ceramics on view in the Sackler. Explore how these vessels, and ancient art in general, resonate with contemporary art. Consider the ever-changing nature of objects and the practices of specimen-collecting, preservation, and museum display.” Yes and yes.

Sunday, September 30, 2012, 2 pm, Freer conference room, Freer Gallery of Art.

The Freer Sackler’s Asia Society hosts these gatherings periodically and this one sounds especially good:

"The evening features a mash-up performance of Japanese vogue dance, theater, storytelling, and hip-hop music choreographed by visual artist iona rozeal brown and performed by soloist dancer Monstah Black. Guests can create an expressive mask using Asian botanical symbols and Ashanti adinkra symbols from West Africa, make fun photo booth memories, and enjoy delicious Japanese fusion bites, specialty cocktails, dancing, and more.”

What’s better than hip-hop, creating and wearing masks, dancing and gettin’ tipsy in a museum on a Saturday night?