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Work on Filthy Lucre began in mid-2013. With the north wall constructed and primed red, Darren Waterston mixes paint in his studio at MASS MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts. Courtesy MASS MoCA
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Derek Parker, the preparatory and fabrication shop manager at MASS MoCA, served as chief carpenter and engineer for Filthy Lucre. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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In October 2013 Waterston primed the west wall with studio assistant Daniel Greenfield. A final color test and handmade vases are behind them. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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An early stage of Waterston’s version of Whistler’s painting The Princess from the Land of Porcelain rests on the mantel. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Waterston and his team collected and painted scores of ceramics to recreate the Peacock Room’s appearance in the Freer. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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By December 2013, Waterston and his studio assistants were priming and painting dozens of ceramic vessels to fill the tilting shelves of Filthy Lucre. Courtesy MASS MoCA
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Waterston approached the ceramics with a painter’s eye. “Each one essentially became a little three-dimensional canvas. They are all very painterly in nature.” Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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With the painting and gilding nearing completion, Waterston experimented with arranging painted ceramic vessels on the west wall. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Fabricating the ceiling and light fixtures posed a challenge. To form the ceiling, a skeleton of aluminum was cut, welded, and fitted with fiberglass. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Just like the walls, each ceiling section was primed and painted. The exposed aluminum frames were painted gold to imitate gilding. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Waterston’s initial sketches for the “stalactite” ceiling lanterns resemble those in the Peacock Room–but with drips and shattered panes of glass. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Glass artist Debora Coombs helped Waterston create the light fixtures. Each glass panel was carefully fitted into a metal framework. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Debora Coombs, a stained glass artist in Vermont, built the metal frames of the light fixtures that house Waterston’s hand-painted glass panels. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Coombs discusses the light fixtures with Richard Criddle, director of fabrication and installation at MASS MoCA. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Criddle secures in place the first of eight light fixtures in Filthy Lucre. Courtesy MASS MoCA.
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Waterston’s studio in North Adams as it looked in November 2013, midway through completion of Filthy Lucre. Courtesy MASS MoCA .
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