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A new scandal has rocked the art world, the likes of which have not been seen since the "early Vermeer" scandal of the 1940s. Sotheby’s was recently forced to take back an £8.4 million ‘Frans Hals,’ because it was revealed to be a fake. The paintings in question are Old Masters, said to be by Frans Hals, Lucas Cranach, and others. Few major art figures are willing to speak openly because the scandal is a matter of such embarrassment, but one well-known dealer has described the individual behind the forgeries as the “Moriarty of fakers” because they are so brilliantly constructed.

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During "Frans Hals: Work in Progress," from June 13 to September 27 in the Frans Hals Museum, visitors will be able to watch the restoration of Hals’s world-famous "Regentesses of the Old Men’s Almshouse" as it happens. The museum’s restorers will be working on this painting in a workshop in one of the galleries under the public gaze. This ‘work in progress’ is part of an exhibition about the restoration of the three unique regent portraits that Frans Hals painted. Visitors will be able to watch the progress of this massive restoration project, learn about the restoration history and the art-historical context of the paintings and share in a number of extraordinary discoveries.

Regent Portraits
The Frans Hals Museum is home to the largest number of paintings by Frans Hals in the world, and in this exhibition will be concentrating on a unique part of this collection—the three regent portraits.

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The Frick’s Center for the History of Collecting announces a new book series with the publication of its first volume, "Holland’s Golden Age in America: Collecting the Art of Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Hals." This series, entitled The Frick Collection Studies in the History of Collecting, is co-published with the Pennsylvania State University Press, and will ultimately cover a broad range of art collecting, reflecting the Center's reach well beyond the parameters of the Frick's own scope to include topics on modern and non-western art. Comments Inge Reist, Director of the Center, “We aim to encourage new scholarship in this young field of art history through our annual acclaimed symposia and ongoing fellowship program, much of which leads to new publications. Complementing that activity is this series that enables the Center to make its own contribution to the growing bibliography on the history of collecting in America.” This and future volumes are drawn from papers given at the Center’s symposia. Upcoming books from recent events include "A Market for Merchant Princes: Collecting Italian Renaissance Painting in America" (February 2015), edited by Inge Reist; "Going for Baroque: Americans Collect Italian Paintings of the 17th and 18th Centuries," edited by Edgar Peters Bowron; and "The Americas Revealed: Collecting Colonial and Modern Latin American Art in the United States," edited by Edward Sullivan.

Americans have long had an interest in the art and culture of Holland’s Golden Age. As a result, the United States can boast extraordinary holdings of Dutch paintings. Celebrated masters such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, and Frans Hals are exceptionally well represented in museums and private collections, but many fine paintings by their contemporaries can be found here as well.

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While in Amsterdam for the Nuclear Security Summit, President Obama visited the city’s celebrated Rijksmuseum, the first ever visit by a serving U.S. President to the museum. The Rijksmuseum’s General Director, Wim Pijbes, gave the President a tour in the Gallery of Honour, where masterpieces by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, and Johannes Vermeer are exhibited. The Gallery of Honour leads to a designated area where Rembrandt’s greatest masterpiece, “The Night Watch,” is displayed.

The Rijksmuseum re-opened to the public in April 2013, following a ten-year renovation. The project, which cost around $841 million, included restoring all eighty of the museum’s galleries with their original decorations and paintings and outfitting them with the most up-to-date technologies. Since its re-opening, nearly 3 million patrons have visited the museum, making it one of the most successful transformations of a museum in history.

Other notable figures who have visited the Rijksmuseum include Theodore Roosevelt, Lady Bird Johnson, and Hillary Clinton. 

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The monumental exhibition ‘Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis’ has attracted more visitors to the Frick Collection than any other show in the museum’s history. Highlights from the exhibition include Johannes Vermeer’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring,’ which has not been displayed in New York since 1984, as well as masterpieces by Frans Hals, Jan Steen and Jacob van Ruisdael.

The Mauritshuis, the Netherlands' Royal Picture Gallery, decided to send 15 of its paintings on an American tour while the museum wraps up a two-year renovation. The Frick is the final venue for the traveling exhibition. 

‘Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis’ will be on view at the Frick through January 19.

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Wednesday, 11 December 2013 17:50

Rijksmuseum Welcomes Two Millionth Visitor

The recently re-opened Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam welcomed its two millionth visitor on December 3. The two guests, who were visiting from Israel, were greeted by the museum’s General Director and Sales Manager and given flowers and gifts from the museum shop.

Since opening to the public in April following a ten-year renovation, the Rijksmuseum has been welcoming between 7,000 and 10,000 visitors per day. Most satisfying to museum officials is that for the first time in years, the institution’s Dutch visitors outnumber their foreign counterparts.

Founded in 1885, the Rijksmuseum is dedicated to Dutch art and history. Its illustrious collection includes paintings by Dutch masters such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen and Frans Hals.  

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Tuesday, 29 October 2013 17:46

Rare Vermeer Painting on View in Philadelphia

Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, one of only 36 known paintings by the Dutch painter Johannes Vermeer, is currently on view at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The canvas, which is on loan from the private Leiden Collection, will remain on view through March 2014. The painting is the only remaining work by the artist still in private hands.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art, which boasts the largest collection of 17th century Dutch paintings in North America, has given Young Woman Seated at a Virginal its own wall in the museum’s galleries of European art. The work is accompanied by the Leiden Collection’s own Portrait of Samuel Ampzing by Frans Hals, another master of 17th century Dutch painting.

Scholars have long known about Vermeer’s rendering of a solitary woman but disagreed over its authenticity. Scientific and art historical studies started in the 1990s ultimately proved that Vermeer was, in fact, the painting’s creator. Recent analysis has provided further proof, finding that its canvas is from the same bolt of cloth that Vermeer used for his famous painting Lacemaker, which currently resides in the Louvre.

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Tuesday, 22 October 2013 17:45

Dutch Masterpieces Head to the Frick

The Frick Collection in New York is the final venue of an American tour of paintings from the Dutch museum the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis. Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis includes fifteen of the museum’s most import works, hand-picked especially for the Frick. Together, the paintings represent the remarkable achievements of northern artists in the 19th century. Works by Rembrandt, Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruisdael will be on view as well as Johannes Vermeer’s seminal painting Girl with a Pearl Earring, which has not been displayed in New York since 1984.

While the Mauritshuis is undergoing a two-year renovation, it is lending masterpieces that have not traveled in nearly thirty years. The exhibition at the Frick is accompanied by a catalogue and a series of public programs. It will also include select evening hours.

Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting from the Mauritshuis will be on view at the Frick Collection through January 19, 2014.

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