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1. Frans Grijzenhout proposes new location of Vermeer’s Little Street. Philip Steadman argues there is a better fit.

steadman-little-street-03

Frans Grijzenhout has recently proposed that Vermeer’s The Little Street shows houses at 40 and 42 Vlamingstraat in Delft. His theory is the subject of a current exhibition at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Philip Steadman, author of Vermeer’s Camera: The Truth behind the Masterpiece, argues the case for an alternative location on the Voldersgracht. Steadman’s case is supported with contemporary maps, drawings and a 19th century photograph.

Click here to view Steadman’s illustrated article.

1 Comments on Frans Grijzenhout proposes new location of Vermeer’s Little Street. Philip Steadman argues there is a better fit., last added: 12/16/2015
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2. Exact location of Vermeer’s Little Street finally discovered!

little-street-new-700-bis

from:
Janene Pieters, “Mystery of world-famous Vermeer setting finally solved”
Nov. 19, 2015
NLTIMES.NL
http://www.nltimes.nl/2015/11/19/mystery-of-world-famous-vermeer-setting-finally-solved/

The century-old mystery of the exact location of Johannes Vermeer’s painting Little Street, has finally been solved. The setting for the world-famous painting is on Vlamingstraat in Delft, where houses 40-42 now stand.

This extraordinary revelation was made by Dr. Frans Grijzenhout, professor of Art History at the University of Amsterdam, the Rijksmuseum announced on Thursday.

Grijzenhout searched 17th-century records in the Delft archives and found the conclusive answer in The file of the deep waters within the city of Delft from 1667, also called the Register of the quayside fee. This register kept record of how much tax everyone who owned a house on a canal in Delft had to pay for the deepening of the canal and for maintenance of the wharf in front of his door. It contains detailed, accurate up to 15 cm, information on the breath of all the houses and ports on the Delft canals in Vermeer’s time.

The two houses that then stood on Vlamingstraat where numbers 40-42 are now located, completely correspond with The Little Street. No other houses from Vermeer’s time correspond so exactly.

The research also revealed that Vermeer’s aunt—the widow Ariaentgen Claes van der Minne, Vermeer’s father’s half-sister —lived in the house on the right side of the painting. Vermeer’s mother and sister lived on the same canal, diagonally across the street. According to the Rijksmuseum, it is therefore likely that Vermeer knew the house well and had personal memories linked to it.

“The answer to the question of where Vermeer’s Little Street is located, is of great significance and will have profound consequences, bot for the way we look at this one painting by Vermeer as well as for the image we have of Vermeer as an artist”, said Pieter Roelofs, curator of 17th-century paintings at the Rijksmuseum.

To celebrate theLittle Street’s address being found, the Rijksmuseum is dedicating an exhibition to the discovery. The exhibition will be in the Rijksmuseum between November 20th of this year and March 13th, 2016.

TRIPE GATE
from the Rijksmuseum website:

The houses now on the site were built in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. The only aspect that can still be recognized as it appears in The Little Street is the striking gate and passageway on the right. The investigation also revealed that the house on the right in The Little Street belonged to Vermeer’s widowed aunt, Ariaentgen Claes van der Minne, his father’s half-sister. She earned her living and provided for her five children by selling tripe, and the passageway beside the house was known as the Penspoort—Tripe Gate.

Google Art Project presentation:
https://www.google.com/culturalinstitute/exhibit/sgLy5pT_lFc9IQ?projectId=art-project&position=0%3A0

Rijksmuseum presentation:
https://www.rijksmuseum.nl/en/vermeers-the-little-street-discovered

A special exhibition about the newly found location of Vermeer’s Little Street will be held in two venues:

Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
20 November 2015-13 March 2016

Stedelijk Museum Het Prinsenhof, Delft
25 March-17 July 2016

Patrick van Mil, Director of Museum Prinsenhof Delft, says “This offers the opportunity to put Delft on the map as the Vermeer City. With new routes through the city, a special virtual reality App, Vermeer packages etc. We bring the Vermeer of Delft for the visitors to life. To achieve this we are looking for cooperation with various parties such as the Oude Kerk, the Vermeer Centre, TU Delft, Delft Marketing and business. Together we can develop an attractive program whereby Delft would again be dominated by Johannes Vermeer and ‘The Little Street’, Delft, Vermeer and Vermeer’s Delft!”

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3. Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Water Pitcher on Tour

kyoto-vermeer

Vermeer and Painters of the Dutch Golden Age
October 24, 2015 – January 5, 2016
Kyoto Municipal Museum of Art, Kyoto
https://www2.city.kyoto.lg.jp/bunshi/kmma/en/2015fiscal_vermeer.html

from exhibition web page:
Seventeenth-century Holland’s withdrawal from religious painting to an emphasis on the appreciation of the everyday opened up a new worldview. It was not only the images of women, wives and their husbands, it was also the mothers within the interior settings and the masters of the kitchens that were painted. Furthermore, it was the fashions that colored lives in feminine cultivation and religious practices that resulted in painted works. These were the opening acts of the “world theater” of women’s entry onto the world stage. Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Water Pitcher and Rembrandt’s Verona are the highlights of this Japan premier.

Vermeer’s Woman Holding a Water Pitcher will return in Spring 2016 to the Metropolitan Museum of two other venues in Japan.

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4. Vermeer-related publication makes National Book Awards longlist

Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir
by Michael White
http://www.perseabooks.com/detail.php?bookID=113

white-two

Michael Whites’s Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir made the National Book Awards longlist for Nonfiction. Finalists will be announced on October 14th, and winners will be announced at a ceremony in New York on November 18th.

from publisher’s website:
A lyrical and intimate account of how a poet, in the midst of a bad divorce, finds consolation and grace through viewing the paintings of Vermeer, in six world cities. In the midst of a divorce (in which the custody of his young daughter is at stake) and over the course of a year, the poet Michael White, travels to Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, London, Washington, and New York to view the paintings of Johannes Vermeer, an artist obsessed with romance and the inner life. He is astounded by how consoling it is to look closely at Vermeer’s women, at the artist’s relationship to his subjects, and at how composition reflects back to the viewer such deep feeling. Includes the author’s very personal study of Vermeer. Through these travels and his encounters with Vermeer’s radiant vision, White finds grace and personal transformation.

“White brings [sensitivity] to his luminous readings of the paintings. An enchanting book about the transformative power of art.”
—Kirkus Reviews) 

“… Figures it took a poet to get it this beautifully, thrillingly right.” – (
— Peter Trachtenberg

“A unique dance among genres…clear and powerful descriptions touch on the mysteries of seduction, loss, and the artistic impulse.”
— Clyde Edgerton

about the author:
Michael White is the author of four award-winning collections of poetry. He lives in Wilmington, North Carolina, and heads the creative writing department at UNC-Wilmington.

See also the companion volume, MIchael White’s Vermeer in Hell, winner of Persea’s Lexi Rudnitsky / Editor’s Choice Award.

Original Trade Paperback / $17.95 (Can $20.95) / ISBN 978-0-89255-437-9 / 192 pages / Memoir, Literature, Art History

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5. Two Vermeer’s exhibited in special anniversary exhibition in Frankfurt

beit

Masterworks in Dialogue. Eminent Guests for the Anniversary
7 October 2015 – 24 January 2016
Städel Museum, Frankfurt am Main
http://www.staedelmuseum.de/en/exhibitions/masterworks-dialogue

from the museum website:
The Städel collection looks forward to welcoming a number of international visitors on the occasion of its bicentennial. A show that has been conceived by all the Städel’s curators together will confront key works of the institution’s own holdings with masterpieces from the most renowned museums over the world.

The approximately 40 encounters of important anniversary guests with works from the Städel’s collection will not only yield insights into exciting and sometimes surprising art-historical and historical connections but also unfold a background for reassessing the Städel’s own holdings.

Among the paintings exhibited will be Vermeer’s Geographer and Lady Writing a Letter with her Maid willl be exhibited.

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6. Vermeer’s Little Street returns to Delft in 2016

street

After 320 years Vermeer’s iconic Little Street will be back to Delft. thanks a special collaboration between Delft Prinsenhof Museum and Rijksmuseum.

Patrick van Mil, Director of Museum Prinsenhof Delft, said the arrival of Vermeer in Delft is a dream come true: “It is wonderful that, thanks to the Rijksmuseum Vermeer is reunited with his hometown and ‘The Little Street’ returns to where it is created. Vermeer is one of the most famous painters in the world. The Little Street is a fine example of the renewal of the Delft painting in the middle of the 17th century. In combination with other Delft masterpieces in our collection, we can Prinsenhof Museum in Delft show beautifully.”

The exhibition in Museum Prinsenhof Delft is scheduled for spring 2016 in full tourist season. In cooperation with the Oude Kerk, the Vermeer Centre, TU Delft, Delft Marketing and business a sereis of intitiatives will bring back to life in Delft including new Vermeer routes through the city, a special virtual reality App and Vermeer packages.

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7. Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter travels to Washington D. C.

chair

Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter from the Rijksmuseum
September 19 – December 1, 2015
National Gallery of Art, Washington D. C.
West Building, Main Floor – Gallery 50C
http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/exhibitions/2015/vermeers-woman-in-blue-reading-a-letter-from-Rijksmuseum.html

from the National Gallery of Art website:
In celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Gallery’s history-making exhibition Johannes Vermeer (1995–1996), the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is lending one of its great treasures: Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. Last seen in Washington in 1996, this luminous masterpiece has been recently restored and will hang in the Gallery’s Dutch and Flemish Cabinet Galleries alongside other works by Vermeer in the permanent collection, including Girl with the Red Hat.

http://www.nga.gov/content/ngaweb/exhibitions/2015/vermeers-woman-in-blue-reading-a-letter-from-Rijksmuseum.html

Related Activities

lecture:
The Vermeer Phenomenon
November 15, 2:00–3:30 p.m.
East Building Auditorium
Maygene Daniels (chief of Gallery Archives), Arthur Wheelock (curator of northern baroque paintings), and Deborah Ziska (chief of press and public information) give a lecture about the Vermeer exhibition’s origins, importance, popularity, and impact.

gallery talk:
Woman in Blue Reading a Letter by Johannes Vermeer
September 24–28, 30, 12:00 p.m.
October 8, 21–23, 27–29, 2:00 p.m.
West Building, Main Floor, Rotunda
Diane Arkin or Eric Denker (30 mins.)

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8. Vermeer-related exhibition in Boston

boston

Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer
October 11, 2015 – January 18, 2016
Museum of Fine Art, Boston
Ann and Graham Gund Gallery (Gallery LG31)
http://www.mfa.org/collections/publications/class-distinctions

from the CODART website:
Organized by the MFA, this groundbreaking exhibition proposes a new approach to the understanding of 17th-century Dutch painting. Included are 75 carefully selected and beautifully preserved portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes borrowed from European and American public and private collections—including masterpieces never before seen in the US. The show will reflect, for the first time, the ways in which art signals the socioeconomic groups of the new Dutch Republic, from the Princes of Orange to the most indigent of citizens. Class distinctions had meaning and were expressed in the type of work depicted (or the lack thereof), the costumes, a figure’s comportment and behavior, or his physical environment. Arranged according to 17th-century ideas about social stratification, paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu, will be divided into three classes—upper, middle and lower—and further sub-divided into eight categories. A final section will explore the places where the classes in Dutch society met one another. Additionally, 45 works of decorative arts—objects used by each class but diverging in material and decoration (for example, salt cellars, candlesticks, mustard pots, linens)—will be installed in three table settings to highlight material differences among the classes. The accompanying publication features essays by a team of distinguished Dutch scholars and exhibition curator Ronni Baer, the MFA’s William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings.

Two works by Vermeer, A Lady Wring and The Astronomer, will be exhibited.

tickets information:
To order tickets by phone, call 1-800-440-6975; to order in person, visit any MFA ticket desk. Tickets must be purchased prior to the start of the first session; individual sessions are not available.

catalogue:
Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer
Ronni Baer, with essays by Henk van Nierop, Herman Roodenburg, Eric Jan Sluijter, Marieke de Winkel, and Sanny de Zoete

about the curator:
from Dutch Culture USA website:
A specialist in 17th-century Dutch and Flemish art, Dr. Ronni Baer joined the MFA in 2000 as Senior Curator of Paintings in the Art of Europe Department. Prior to arriving in Boston, she held positions as curator, professor and researcher at numerous museums and higher learning institutions. Baer has overseen the installation of several European galleries in the Museum and was curator of the exhibitions El Greco to Velázquez: Art during the Reign of Philip III (2008), Rembrandt’s Journey: Painter | Draftsman | Etcher (co-curated with Cliff Ackley, 2004) and The Poetry of Everyday Life: Dutch Painting in Boston (2002). She was also responsible for the traveling exhibitions, Still Life from the MFA, Boston: Tradition and Innovation (2011, Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts), Five Centuries of European Portraiture (2006, Nagoya/Boston Museum of Fine Arts) and Gerrit Dou (1613-1675): Master Painter in the Age of Rembrandt’ (2000), National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC).

Baer completed her Master’s and Ph.D. in art history at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, following her undergraduate work in French literature at Emory University (Atlanta). Baer was awarded a Getty Research Institute Guest Museum Scholarship in 2013 and received the Encomienda de la Orden de Isabel la Católica from King Juan Carlos I of Spain in 2008. In addition to authoring the catalogues for the exhibitions above, she is author and editor of the catalogue for the upcoming show, Class Distinctions: Dutch Painting in the Age of Rembrandt and Vermeer.

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9. Vermeer’s Music Lesson exhibited in London, Edinburgh and Netherlands

london

Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer.
The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
November 13, 2015 – February 14, 2016
https://www.royalcollection.org.uk/exhibitions/qgbp/masters-of-the-everyday-dutch-artists-in-the-age-of-vermeer

all information below from the Royal Collection website:
The Dutch artists of the 17th century painted ordinary people doing everyday things. They offer us a glimpse into the rumbustious life of village taverns and peasant cottages, and the quiet domesticity of courtyards and parlours. While the subject­-matter may be ordinary—the preparation of food, eating and drinking, the enjoyment of music or a family game—the painting is rich and jewel-like, with equal attention paid to a discarded clay pipe as to a fine silk drape. The meticulously documented details often allude to a work’s deeper meaning or to moral messages that would have been familiar to the contemporary viewer.

Presenting 27 masterpieces from the Royal Collection, the exhibition includes works by Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, Jan Steen and Pieter de Hooch, and Johannes Vermeer’s Music Lesson (A Lady at the Virginal with a Gentleman).

opening times:
opens daily, 10:00-17:30
last admission 16:15

admission prices:
adult £10.00
concessions £9.20
under 17/disabled £5.20
under 5 free

For more details please see Royal Collection ticket pages.

Related Activities

Exhibition Talk for groups – Masters of the Everyday
Thursday, 12 November 2015 to Thursday, 11 February 2016

To enhance your group visit to Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer, book an exclusive introductory talk by a Royal Collection Trust expert in the Gallery’s Redgrave Room. After your 30-minute talk in English, your group is free to enjoy the exhibition at leisure using a complimentary audio tour. Please note Exhibition Talks are for pre-booked groups only.

duration: 1 hour 30 minutes – 2 hours
time: 11:00
price: adult £18.80 – over 60/student (with valid ID) £16.90 – under 17/disabled £9.30
minimum: 25
maximum: 80
location: The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
essential information: Exhibition Talks can be booked on Tuesday and Thursday at 11:00.

ticket booking:
http://tickets.royalcollection.org.uk/queens-gallery-buckingham-palace/masters-everyday-exhibition-talk/2015?_ga=1.50038702.988753862.1443011861

Private Evening View for groups – Masters of the Everyday Monday
16 November 2015 – Thursday, 11 February 2016

Private Evening Views can be arranged for groups to explore Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer at The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace. This exclusive after-hours event offers groups the opportunity to enjoy the exhibition without the crowds. The evening concludes with a glass of wine served in the Gallery Shop. Groups may bring their own guide to interpret the exhibitions or simply explore them at leisure. Price includes a Private Evening View and a glass of wine in the Gallery Shop.

Please be aware, Private Evening Views are only available for pre-booked groups.

duration: 1 hour
time: 18:30 – 19:30
price: £35.00 per person
minimum number: 50 or booking value £1,750.
maximum number: 150.
location: The Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace
essential information: Private Evening Views can be booked on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday at 18:30 during exhibitions. Please be aware the £2.00 telephone booking transaction fee is not payable on this group visit.
contact: +44 (0)20 7766 7321

catalogue:
Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer
Desmond Shawe-Taylor and Quentin Buvelot
Hardback, 176 pages, 289 x 233 mm, over 150 colour illustrations

During the seventeenth century, Dutch artists were unparalleled in their dedication to depicting ordinary people doing everyday things. Genre painting was the pre-eminent expression of this dedication, offering candid glimpses into the peasant cottages and village courtyards of the Dutch Golden Age, each painting lit with the period’s vibrant color palette and rich with radiant natural light.

This superb collection focuses on a selection of works of Dutch genre painting from the Royal Collection’s holdings. Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Gerrit Dou, Gabriel Metsu, and Pieter de Hooch are among the masters whose works are finely reproduced here. While the subject matter may be ordinary—the preparation of food, the bustle of a busy market, the enjoyment of taverns and town festivities—the meticulously documented details often allude to a work’s deeper meaning, that would have been familiar to the contemporary viewer.

The book explores these hidden moral messages, as well as the artist’s penchant for clever visual puns.

Desmond Shawe-Taylor is Surveyor of The Queen’s Pictures, Royal Collection Trust. His previous publications include Dutch Landscapes (2010) and most recently The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714–1760 (2014).

Quentin Buvelot is Senior Curator at the Mauritshuis. His recent publications include Dutch Portraits: The Age of Rembrandt and Frans Hals (2007) and Jacob van Ruisdael Paints Bentheim (2009).

venue two:
The Queen’s Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse 
March 4 – July 24, 2016

venue three:
September 29, 2016 – January 8, 2017
The Mauritshuis, The Hague
http://www.mauritshuis.nl/en/discover/exhibitions/upcoming/

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10. New Vermeer monograph

franits

VERMEER (ARTS AND IDEAS)
by Wayne Franits
March 23, 2015
http://it.phaidon.com/store/art/vermeer-9780714868790/

In this new monograph, the latest in Phaidon’s Art and Ideas series, Wayne Franits examines the work of Vermeer within the framework of his times, one of the most intellectually creative periods in this history of art. Written in a lively and accessible style, and incorporating the latest scholarship on the artist, Franits provides fresh insights into many of Vermeer’s most famous works, uncovering the creative process behind them and their wealth of meanings. All paintings by Vermeer are illustrated.

about the author:
Wayne Franits, a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art, is Professor of Art History at Syracuse University, New York. His numerous publications have explored a variety of topics within the field, ranging from genre painting and portraiture to the work of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio.

also available at: amazon.com

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11. Vermeer’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary goes to Australia

christ

The Greats: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland
The Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
October 24, 2015-February 14, 2016
http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/exhibitions/the-greats/

Vermeer’s Christ in the House of Martha and Mary will form part of a touring exhibition of America and Australia and will return to the Scottish National Gallery in February of 2016.

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12. Vermeer’s Music Lesson travels to the Netherlands in 2016

Masters of the Everyday: Dutch Artists in the Age of Vermeer. An exhibition from the British Royal Collection
29 September 2016 – 8 January 2017
The Muaritshuis, The Hague

from the Mauritshuis website:
A royal visit from Great Britain: in the autumn of 2016, the Mauritshuis will exhibit a selection of seventeenth-century Dutch paintings from the British Royal Collection. The selection contains representations of daily life as depicted by painters of the Dutch Golden Age, and offers an exceptional chance to see over twenty masterpieces from the Royal Collection, the largest loan to a Dutch museum to date. The Royal Collection, held in trust by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, contains unique highlights from the oeuvres of famous painters such as Gerard ter Borch, Pieter de Hooch, Gabriel Metsu, and Jan Steen. The highlight of the exhibition is The Music Lesson by Johannes Vermeer.

http://www.mauritshuis.nl/en/discover/exhibitions/upcoming/

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13. Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter travels to San Diego

timken

The Private World of Vermeer
The Timken Museum, San Diego CA
May 14 – Sept. 11, 2015

The Timken Museum of Art will exhibit one of the finest works by Vermeer from May 14 through Sept. 11, 2015. The exhibition, The Private World of Vermeer, showcases his masterpiece, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. This generous loan from the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam marks the first appearance of this remarkable painting in San Diego. The Timken’s special installation allows visitors to have an intimate experience with Woman in Blue Reading a Letter and highlights one of the most celebrated painters of the Dutch Golden Age.

The four-month exhibition also features a variety of events, which include noted scholars on Vermeer. Many of the events are free to the public and are designed to give guests an enhanced understanding of the Vermeer and other masterpieces in the Timken’s collection:

1. Guest Lecture
“Extraordinary Observation: Vermeer’s Woman in Blue”
speaker: Anne Woollett (curator, department of paintings, J. Paul Getty Museum)
Monday, May 18 at 10 a.m.
admission: Free

In its compositional refinement and visual impact, Woman in Blue Reading a Letter represents a turning point in Vermeer’s career. This lecture considers Vermeer’s signature approach—its rapid development in previous works, and the sophisticated handling of space and light in this work and the so-called “pearl pictures.”

Anne Woollett is curator at the department of paintings at the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. She specializes in northern European painting before 1800, and is currently working on a catalogue the Getty’s Flemish paintings.

2. Art in the Evening Lecture and Reception
speaker: Arthur K. Wheelock, curator of Northern Baroque painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, May 27 at 6:30 p.m.
admission: $35 member / $45 non-member

Arthur K. Wheelock is the curator of Northern Baroque painting, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and author of the 1995 publication Vermeer and the Art of Painting. He is one of the most prolific writers on Vermeer and offers numerous insights linking painting techniques and artistry.

3. Guest Lecture
“Vermeer’s Time: The Woman in Blue”
speaker: Ann Jensen Adams (professor, UC Santa Barbara)
Monday, June 8 at 10 a.m.
admission: Free

Vermeer’s paintings of figures engaged in quiet activities are masterpieces of silence. They have also been described as “stilled lives.”This lecture discusses Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter in relation to contemporaneous concerns about the passage of time, and its measurement.

Ann Jensen Adams is a professor and graduate advisor at UC Santa Barbara, department of the history of art and architecture. Her research includes 17th-century Dutch art, particularly portraiture, and the impact upon imagery of early modern developments in natural history.

4. Free Family Fun
Tall Tales at the Timken
Saturday, June 13 at 11 a.m
speaker: Harlynne Geisler .
Admission: Free

Bring your kids to explore Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter. Professional storyteller Harlynne Geisler will weave fanciful tales around this masterwork that was created 350 years ago. Ages 5+ are welcome. No reservations required.

5. Art in the Afternoon Gallery Talk
“The Unseen Window in Vermeer’s “Woman in Blue Reading a Letter”
Wednesday, June 24 at 12:30 p.m.
speaker: Karen Hellman (assistant curator, department of photographs, J. Paul Getty Museum)
admission: Free

Although the canvases of Vermeer were created two centuries prior to the invention of photography, their quiet, luminous depictions of interior scenes have often been related to “photographic” qualities. This presentation discusses a few ways in which photography can offer a new lens through which to view Woman in Blue Reading a Letter.

Karen Hellman is an assistant curator in the department of photographs at the J. Paul Getty Museum. She is the curator of the exhibitions, “In Focus: Picturing Landscape” (2012), “At the Window: The Photographer’s View” (2013), and “In Focus: Ansel Adams” (2014). Currently she is working on a forthcoming exhibition “In Focus: Daguerreotypes” (fall 2015). She received her master’s in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, in 2004, and she received her doctorate in art history from The Graduate Center, The City University of New York, in 2010.

6. Art in the Afternoon Gallery Talk
“Discordant Serenity and the Painting of Vermeer”
Wednesday, July 1 at 12:30 p.m.
speaker: Claudine Dixon (curatorial administrator, prints and drawings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
Admission: Free

Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter will be discussed in the context of some of the historical and contemporary events surrounding the painting and its fantastic journey from 17th century Delft in the Netherlands to recent visits to Southern California. The writings of various authors, including essayist Lawrence Weschler and poet W. H. Auden, offer variant paths to consider thoughts and musings about history and art, allowing us to look at our relationship to this picture and think about a perspective that lies beyond the painted surface.

Claudine Dixon is the curatorial administrator for the department of prints and drawings at the LACMA. Before joining LACMA, Claudine worked at the UCLA Grunwald Center for the Graphic Arts at the Hammer Museum. In addition to museum positions, she has taught art history courses for UCLA Extension, most notably on German art of the 19th and 20th centuries, and Rembrandt and Dutch art of the 17th century. 

7. Guest Lecture
“The Interior Life of Vermeer”
Monday, July 13 at 10 a.m.
Amy Walsh (curator of European paintings, Los Angeles County Museum of Art)
admission: Free

Gallery talks feature leading curators, historians, scholars, and artists. Guests will walk, talk, and explore the Timken collection and special exhibitions. Registration is not required.

For more events and details about The Private World of Vermeer, visit the website at www.timkenmuseum.org or call (619) 239-5548.

About the Timken Museum of Art
Known as one of the finest small museums in the world, the Timken Museum of Art celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2015, and provides visitors with an accessible and enriching cultural experience featuring a beautiful collection, intimate surroundings, and free admission.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and Sundays, noon to 4:30 p.m. It is closed on Mondays and major holidays. For more information, visit http://www.timkenmuseum.org. Follow the museum on Facebook or Twitter at @TimkenArtMuseum or call (619) 239-5548.

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14. Early Vermeer(?) exhibited in Tokyo

praxedisnewnew

The National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
from March 17, 2015
http://www.nmwa.go.jp/en/information/whats-new.html#news20150313

The Saint Praxedis, which is believed by some scholars to be an authentic early work by Vermeer will be on public display for the first time since it was auctioned by Christie’s on July 8, 2014 for $10,687,160 (£6,242,500). The painting, exhibited as “attributed to Vermeer,” in the Permanent Collection Galleries (Main Building, 2nd Floor).

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15. Vermeer-related lecture in Boston

LauraJSnyder

Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing
Laura Snyder
1 Session: Wednesday, April 8, 7:00–8:30pm
location: The Arnold Arboretum of Havard Univerity, 125 Arborway, Boston, MA 02130, Hunnewell Building

Fee $5 member, $10 nonmember Students: Email to register for free.

from the The Arnold Arboretum of Havard Univerity website:
“See for yourself!” was the clarion call of the 1600s. Scientists peered at nature through microscopes and telescopes, making the discoveries in astronomy, physics, chemistry, and anatomy that ignited the Scientific Revolution. Artists investigated nature with lenses, mirrors, and camera obscuras, creating extraordinarily detailed paintings of flowers and insects, and scenes filled with realistic effects of light, shadow, and color. By extending the reach of sight the new optical instruments prompted the realization that there is more than meets the eye. But they also raised questions about how we see and what it means to see. In answering these questions, scientists and artists in Delft changed how we perceive the world. Author of The Philosophical Breakfast Club, a Scientific American Notable Book, Laura Snyder returns to the Arboretum to share her latest book, Eye of the Beholder, in which she pairs painter with natural philosopher to explain the revelatory ways of seeing in the 17th century.

Fee $5 member, $10 nonmember Students: Email to register for free.

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16. Vermeer-related lecture

steadman

LUNCH HOUR LECTURE: VERMEER’S CAMERA AND TIM’S VERMEER
Philip Steadman
Darwin Lecture Theatre, Darwin Building, London
March 5, 2015, 13:15-13:55
price: free
contact: +44 (0)20 3108 3841 | events@ucl.ac.uk
event page

In 2001 Philip Steadman published Vermeer’s Camera, a book that offered new evidence that the great Dutch painter relied on optical methods. An American video engineer Tim Jenison read the book and, believing he could take the argument further, proposed a simple arrangement of lens and mirrors that Vermeer might have employed. Jenison used this setup to paint a version of Vermeer’s Music Lesson in the Queen’s collection. The process was filmed for the Oscar-shortlisted documentary Tim’s Vermeer, released in 2014. Jenison’s method throws more light, literally, on how Vermeer could have achieved his distinctively “photographic” tonal effects.

The lecture will be streamed live online and recorded for YouTube or downloaded.

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17. Walter Liedtke dies in tragic train crash

walter

Walter Liedtke, Curator of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and renowned Vermeer expert, died in the train incident outside New York on the evening of February 3. Walter was returning to his home in Bedford Hills, where he lived with his wife, Nancy. As was his habit, he was riding the front “quiet car,” in which he found the tranquility necessary for writing and reading. Five other people died in the accident.

Walter conjugated culture, curiosity, passion and rigor in whatever he wrote and in all the exhibitions he curated, whether it be the monumental Vermeer and the Delft School or the intimately scaled Vermeer’s Masterpiece: ‘The Milkmaid’. The catalogue of the former remains a fundamental contribution to the proper contextualization of the artist. His monograph (Vermeer: The Complete Paintings) constitutes a finely nuanced reading of the artist’s unique accomplishments in the light of modern Vermeer scholarship. But Walter’s interest in things Vermeer was wide and varied enough to comprise a computerized analysis of the weave of the artist’s canvases. 

Walter’s energy, brilliance and organizational capacity allowed him to publish extensively and curate a number of key exhibitions at the Metropolitan.

His most important exhibitions include:
Vermeer: il secolo d’oro dell’arte olandese (September 2012-January 2013), Rembrandt at Work: The Great Portrait from Kenwood House (April-May 2012), Vermeer’s Masterpiece: The Milkmaid (September-November 2009), The Age of Rembrandt: Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (September 2007-January 2008) and Vermeer and the Delft School (June-September 2001). The latter brought in over 500,000 visitors to the Metropolitan.

His most important publications include:
Vermeer: The Complete Paintings (2008), Dutch Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (2001), Vermeer and the Delft School (1995), Rembrandt/not Rembrandt in the Metropolitan Museum of Art: Aspects of Connoisseurship (1992) and Flemish Paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (1982).

remembering Walter:

Walter Liedtke, Curator at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dies at 69
—Randy Kennedy
http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/05/arts/design/walter-liedtke-curator-at-metropolitan-museum-of-art-dies-at-69.html?_r=0 \>

Walter Liedtke: A Reflection and Appreciation
—Arthur K. Wheelock Jr.
http://www.wsj.com/articles/walter-liedtke-a-reflection-and-appreciation-1423263645

Walter Liedtke, Our Friend and Distinguished Colleague
—Thomas P. Campbell
http://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-museum/now-at-the-met/2015/walter-liedtke

The young Walter Liedtke
—Garry Schwartz
http://www.garyschwartzarthistorian.nl/schwartzlist/?id=198

How I knew Walter
—Jonathan Janson

I first met Walter thanks to a Vermeer Newsletter in which among other things I had announced a trip to New York. Walter immediately emailed me suggesting we see each other at the MET. This surprised me in that experience had taught me that members of major museums are not inclined to extend personal invitations to those outside the institutional setting encountered via internet. When we got together in New York, Walter was exceptionally open, frank and questioning, demonstrating an interest in the functioning and goals of my Vermeer website as well. After this visit he was always quick to reply to any question I might have.

Some years later on the occasion of a Vermeer and Dutch painting exhibition in Rome which he had curated (together with Arthur Wheelock), Walter and Nancy broke away from duties and Roman pleasures for a casual dinner at my home which turned into a Vermeer marathon. Conversation ranged from questions of attribution, art history on the internet, the organization of Italian art museums and painting technique, which Walter was keenly interested in knowing that I am a painter. Despite his daunting knowledge of Dutch painting and his austere public demeanor, Walter never once assumed the role of an authority whose opinions on Vermeer and art with a capital A are gospel. On the contrary.

Towards the end of autumn, Walter and Nancy returned to Rome. We visited the exhibition merging ourselves with the Italian crowd. Walter examined the pictures which he knew by rote as if he had never seen them before. We debated if the Young Lady Seated at the Virginal showed the charisma of a real Vermeer. To my personal reserves Walter responded that a picture does not necessarily have to please to be a Vermeer. I bade goodbye to Walter and Nancy goodbye who were swept away in a series of appointments with museum personnel and influential collectors.

In the last years we continued to have email exchanges. In the last one I received he wrote he was at the moment unable to answer by question becasue “I’ve been up since 5:00 dealing with an urgent El Greco project.”

When a friend from Seattle emailed me the day after Walter’s tragic death, I was stunned that a man who found time for everything and for everybody suddenly had no more time, but still, I am sure, many people around him.

video testimonies:
Mr. Liedtke’s Metropolitan presentation, Connections/Living with Vermeer:
http://www.metmuseum.org/connections/living_with_vermeer#/Feature/

Youtube video Mr. Liedtke’s discussion of Rembrandt’s Aristotle and Bust:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B2dCeTPDEKY

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18. Surprise exhibition of Vermeer’s Woman in Blue Reading a Letter in Minneapolis

inblue

MASTERPIECE IN FOCUS: JOHANNES VERMEER
January 16 – May 3, 2015
Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Cargill Gallery)
Minneapolis, Minn.
price: free of charge
http://new.artsmia.org/masterpiece-in-focus/

article:
“On Vermeer’s Woman Reading a Letter: A Q&A with MIA’s Patrick Noon”
by Pamela Espeland
http://www.minnpost.com/artscape/2015/01/vermeers-woman-reading-letter-qa-mias-patrick-noon

lecture:
Lawrence Weschler | “Posers: Marvel, Majesty and Sovereignty among the Habsburgs and in Vermeer”
Sunday, April 19, 2015 at 2:00 pm

http://new.artsmia.org/event/lawrence-weschler-%C7%80-posers-marvel-majesty-and-sovereignty-among-the-habsburgs-and-in-vermeer/

With one of the world’s finest Vermeer paintings presently residing at the MIA alongside a magnificent exhibition of Habsburg splendors, Lawrence Weschler will unpack a posit about posing and the posed. Kings, queens, noblemen, and noblewomen are continually striking a pose, but who exactly is posing whom (and what?) when a painter attempts to capture that stance? And what was Vermeer up to when he set about capturing something altogether new and different in his portraits? In other words, what does it mean to be sovereign—sovereign over what, in whose eyes, and to what end?

Lawrence Weschler is director emeritus of the New York Institute for the Humanities at NYU and author of such books as Vermeer in Bosnia and Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder.

$10; $5 MIA members; free for Paintings Affinity Group members. To register, call (612) 870-6323 or reserve online.

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19. Vermeer-related article

“Most rare workmen”: Optical practitioners in early seventeenth-century Delft”
Huib J. Zuidervaart and Marlise Rijks
The British Journal for the History of Science, pp. 1 – 33, (March 2014)

online article can be accessed at:
http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=9202672&fileId
=S0007087414000181

abstract:
A special interest in optics among various seventeenth-century painters living in the Dutch city of Delft has intrigued historians, including art historians, for a long time. Equally, the impressive career of the Delft microscopist Antoni van Leeuwenhoek has been studied by many historians of science. However, it has never been investigated who, at that time, had access to the mathematical and optical knowledge necessary for the impressive achievements of these Delft practitioners. We have tried to gain insight into Delft as a ‘node’ of optical knowledge by following the careers of three minor local figures in early seventeenth-century Delft. We argue that through their work, products, discussions in the vernacular and exchange of skills, rather than via learned publications, these practitioners constituted a foundation on which the later scientific and artistic achievements of other Delft citizens were built. Our Delft case demonstrates that these practitioners were not simple and isolated craftsmen; rather they were crucial components in a network of scholars, savants, painters and rich virtuosi. Decades before Vermeer made his masterworks, or Van Leeuwenhoek started his famous microscopic investigations, the intellectual atmosphere and artisanal knowledge in this city centered on optical topics.

Especially of interest is the authors’ tie between three optical practitioners who lived in Delft simultaneously with Vermeer. One of them, Jacob Spoors, was in 1674 the notary of Vermeer and his mother-in-law Maria Thins. Another was an acquaintance of Spoors, the military engineer Johan van der Wyck, who made an optical device in Delft in 1654, most likely a camera obscura. A report about the demonstration in nearby The Hague has been preserved. Van der Wyck also made telescopes and microscopes and an apparatus that probably was a kind of perspective box. As a telescope maker he was preceded by Evert Harmansz Steenwyck, brother-in- law of the Leiden painter David Bailly and father of two Delft still-life painters: Harman and Pieter Steenwyck. The latter was familiar with Vermeer’s father Reynier Jansz Vermeer, at a time when the young Vermeer was still living with his parents. According to the authors, this is the first real archival evidence that such a device existed in Delft during Vermeer’s life.

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20. Vermeer-related publication

beholder

The Eye of the Beholder: Johannes Vermeer, Antoni van Leuwenhoek, and the Reinvention of Seeing
Mar 16, 2015
by Laura J. Snyder
http://books.wwnorton.com/books/detail.aspx?id=4294985240

from the publisher’s website:
In Eye of the Beholder, Laura J. Snyder transports us to the streets, inns, and guildhalls of seventeenth-century Holland, where artists and scientists gathered, and to their studios and laboratories, where they mixed paints and prepared canvases, ground and polished lenses, examined and dissected insects and other animals, and invented the modern notion of seeing. With charm and narrative flair Snyder brings Vermeer and Van Leeuwenhoek—and the men and women around them—vividly to life. The story of these two geniuses and the transformation they engendered shows us why we see the world—and our place within it—as we do today.

reviews:
“Laura Snyder is both a masterly scholar and a powerful storyteller. In Eye of the Beholder, she transports us to the wonder-age of seventeenth-century Holland, as new discoveries in optics were shaping the two great geniuses of Delft—Vermeer and van Leeuwenhoek—and changing the course of art and science forever. A fabulous book.”
— Oliver Sacks

Eye of the Beholder is a thoughtful elaboration of the modern notion of seeing. Laura J. Snyder delves into the seventeenth century fascination with the tools of art and science, and shows how they came together to help us make sense of what is right in front of our eyes.”
— Russell Shorto, author of Amsterdam: A History of the World’s Most Liberal City

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21. Vermeer-related film

onscreen

Girl with a Pearl earring and other Treasures from the Mauritshuis
produced by Exhibition on Screen
in cinemas from 13 January
http://www.exhibitiononscreen.com/girl-with-a-pearl-earring

from Exhibition on Screen’ website:
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer is one of the most enduring paintings in the history of art. Even today, its recent world tour garnered huge queues lining up for the briefest glimpse of its majestic beauty – In Japan 1.2 million people saw the exhibition. Yet the painting itself is surrounded in mystery. This beautifully filmed new documentary seeks to investigate the many unanswered questions associated with this extraordinary piece. Who was this girl? Why and how was it painted? Why is it so revered?

After its world tour, the Girl with a Pearl Earring returned to the much-loved Mauritshuis in The Hague, Netherlands, which has just completed extensive renovations. Enjoying unparalleled exclusive access to this historical exhibition, the film takes the audience on a journey as it seeks to answer many of the questions surrounding this enigmatic painting and its mysterious creator, Vermeer. Using the recently completed and highly complex makeover of the museum as its starting point, the film goes on a behind the scenes detective journey to seek out the answers that lie within the other masterpieces housed in the collection.

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22. Vermeer-inspired poetry

white2

Vermeer in Hell
by Michael White
2013
http://www.perseabooks.com/detail.php?bookID=114

from publisher’s website:
Through the paintings of Vermeer, Michael White explores new landscapes and transforms familiar ones in this extraordinary new collection of poems. This captivating masterwork transports us across eras and continents, from Confederate lynchings to the bombing of Dresden, through its lyrical inhabitations of some of Vermeer’s most revered paintings, each one magically described and renewed. More than mere ekphrasis, Michael White explores the transformative possibilities of great art in his fourth collection.

reviews:
“Vermeer in Hell is Michael White’s museum of ghosts and shades, of narratives woven masterfully out of the personal and historical alike—out of the lived, the envisioned, the loved, and the terrible. Rarely have I felt the ekphrastic to be as dramatic as in White’s tour through the portraits of Vermeer, with its history of fiery damages, wars and afflictions, but also its own depiction of ‘love’s face as it is.’ Out of Michael White’s vision, each poem achieves for us the delicacy and durability of Vermeer’s own art.”
—David Baker

“Nearly every one of Michael White’s new poems is the equivalent of a quiet stroll through a blazing fire, igniting the reader’s imagination. His insights are frightening and comforting at the same time, his craft allowing for the most surprising and thrilling of associations. Vermeer in Hell is a collection that belongs in the room with all of the traditions of our language’s poetry, but it brings something completely original to us, too. It is not an overstatement to call this poetry Genius.”
—Laura Kasischke

“In these elegant, powerful poems, Michael White pays homage to a great painter while engaging social realities that affect us all. They are brave, beautiful poems linked by authentic vision and a sensitive, educated ear.”
—Sam Hamill

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23. Vermeer-inspired memoir

white1

Travels in Vermeer: A Memoir
by Michael White
2015
http://www.perseabooks.com/detail.php?bookID=113

from the publisher’s webpage:
In the midst of a bad divorce, the poet Michael White unexpectedly discovers the consoling power of Johannes Vermeer’s radiant vision. Over the course of a year, he travels to Amsterdam, The Hague, Delft, Washington D.C., New York, and London to view twenty-four paintings, including nearly all of Vermeer’s major work.

“A certain chain of events has left me open, on a startlingly deep level, to Vermeer’s gaze, to his meditation on our place on earth,” White writes.

Part travelogue, part soul-searching investigation into romantic love and intimate discourse on art, this erudite and lyrical memoir encompasses the author’s past–his difficult youth, stint in the Navy, alcoholism, and the early death of his first wife–and ends with his finding grace and transformation through deeply affecting encounters with the paintings of Vermeer, an artist obsessed with romance and the inner life, who has captivated millions, from the seventeenth century until now.

reviews:
“All the sorrow of love is compressed into White’s memoir. But so, too, is all the consolation of art. Nothing I’ve read…suggests so eloquently what [Vermeer’s paintings] hold for a contemporary viewer…Figures it took a poet to get it this beautifully, thrillingly right.”
— Peter Trachtenberg

“[Travels in Vermeer] touches on the mysteries of seduction, loss, and the artistic impulse. It shows how time can be interrupted.”
—Clyde Edgerton

“This book is a treasure and a guide. It is a type of healing for the intellect and the heart.”
—Rebecca Lee

about the author:
Michael White is the author of four collections of poetry and a memoir, Travels in Vermeer (Persea 2015), and has published widely in respected periodicals, including The Paris Review, The New Republic, The Kenyon Review, Ploughshares, Western Humanities Review, and the Best American Poetry. White teaches poetry and is presently chair of the Creative Writing department at the University of North Carolina, Wilmington.

publisher’s webpage:
http://www.perseabooks.com/detail.php?bookID=114

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24. New Vermeer monograph

franits

VERMEER (ARTS AND IDEAS)
by Wayne Franits
March 23, 2015
http://it.phaidon.com/store/art/vermeer-9780714868790/

In this new monograph, the latest in Phaidon’s Art and Ideas series, Wayne Franits examines the work of Vermeer within the framework of his times, one of the most intellectually creative periods in this history of art. Written in a lively and accessible style, and incorporating the latest scholarship on the artist, Franits provides fresh insights into many of Vermeer’s most famous works, uncovering the creative process behind them and their wealth of meanings. All paintings by Vermeer are illustrated.

about the author:
Wayne Franits, a specialist in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish art, is Professor of Art History at Syracuse University, New York. His numerous publications have explored a variety of topics within the field, ranging from genre painting and portraiture to the work of the Dutch followers of Caravaggio.

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25. Two Vermeers to be shown in Boston

lady

CLASS DISTINCTIONS: DUTCH PAINTING IN THE AGE OF REMBRANDT AND VERMEER
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (Ann and Graham Gund Gallery)
11 Oct. 2015 – 18 Jan., 2016
exhibition curators – Ronni Baer and William and Ann Elfers

from the museum website:
Organized by the MFA, this groundbreaking exhibition proposes a new approach to the understanding of 17th-century Dutch painting. Included are 75 carefully selected and beautifully preserved portraits, genre scenes, landscapes and seascapes borrowed from European and American public and private collections—including masterpieces never before seen in the US. The show will reflect, for the first time, the ways in which art signals the socioeconomic groups of the new Dutch Republic, from the Princes of Orange to the most indigent of citizens. Class distinctions had meaning and were expressed in the type of work depicted (or the lack thereof), the costumes, a figure’s comportment and behavior, or his physical environment. Arranged according to 17th-century ideas about social stratification, paintings by artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Jan Steen, Pieter de Hooch, Gerard ter Borch and Gabriel Metsu, will be divided into three classes—upper, middle and lower—and further sub-divided into eight categories. A final section will explore the places where the classes in Dutch society met one another. Additionally, 45 works of decorative arts—objects used by each class but diverging in material and decoration (for example, salt cellars, candlesticks, mustard pots, linens)—will be installed in three table settings to highlight material differences among the classes.

On exhibition will be two splendid Vermeer paintings, A Lady Writing and The Astronomer.

The accompanying publication features essays by a team of distinguished Dutch scholars and exhibition curator Ronni Baer, the MFA’s William and Ann Elfers Senior Curator of Paintings.

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