The Milkmaid Coming to Manhattan

The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer
The Milkmaid by Johannes Vermeer

On the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s historic voyage to Manhattan from Amsterdam, that city’s Rijksmuseum will send The Milkmaid, perhaps the most admired painting by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer (1632–1675) to the Metropolitan Museum. To celebrate this extraordinary loan, the Metropolitan Museum will present Vermeer’s Masterpiece The Milkmaid, a special exhibition that will bring together all five paintings by Vermeer from its collection, along with a select group of works by other Delft artists, placing Vermeer’s superb picture in its historical context. Along with The Milkmaid, important works will be on view by Pieter de Hooch, Gabriël Metsu, Nicolaes Maes, Emanuel de Witte, Hendrick van Vliet, and Hendrick Sorgh, all masters who, like Vermeer, were active during the remarkable period of exploration, trade, and artistic flowering that occurred during the Dutch Golden Age in the seventeenth century. Vermeer’s Masterpiece The Milkmaid will mark the first time that the painting has traveled to the United States since it was exhibited at the 1939 World’s Fair 70 years ago.

The exhibition is made possible in part by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

About Art After X

With the death of President Kennedy in 1963, America changed. As hard as it is to minimize that sentiment, the effect of Dallas was even greater. The same year saw the merging of the Dallas Museum for Contemporary Arts, which had been central to the art scene, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts. Douglas MacAgy, then the director of DMCA, not only opposed the merger, but also declined to directorship of the combined museum. The regionalist movement which had been strong for decades, was giving way to more of an interest in what was going on nationally, and internationally. Like it or not, Dallas was on the national stage.

When the Kennedy’s arrived in Fort Worth, local collectors had decorated a hotel room with internationally-renowned works. While the president and his wife learned a great deal about the ability of Texans to collect major art, there was little they could glean about the local scene in this era-defining city.

With this in mind, we have begun a project to look not back at the art scene in Dallas, but foreword from 1963. We are interviewing gallery owners, curators and others involved in the art scene then, but this will be a story told mostly through interviews with artists active in the city from that point into the 1980s.

The result will be a book with a video component.

We hope you will join us in our journey. The hashtag for the project is #artafterx and the url artafterx.com will point to the latest updates on this weblog.

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