GIRL WITH A PEARL EARRING VISITS SAN FRANCISCO. Hers is one of the most famous faces in art. Johannes Vermeer's masterpiece portrait of a young woman, sometimes called the "Dutch Mona Lisa,” is the star of Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis, a collection of 35 works from The Hague's Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis. The Mauritshuis, which houses one of the world's most prestigious collections of Dutch Golden Age paintings, has not lent a large body of works from its holdings in nearly 30 years, but an extensive two-year museum renovation has sent these masterworks traveling. The de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park is the first North American venue for the exhibit. Among the pieces are four works by Rembrandt van Rijn, The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, and Vase of Flowers by the Rachel Ruysch, one of the few female painters of the Dutch Golden Age. The collection, taken as a whole, reflects the culture of artistic, economic and technological innovation that allowed the Netherlands to prosper in the 17th century.
THE GIRL IN POPULAR CULTURE. Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring is known to many through Tracy Chevalier's 1999 historical novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, which inspired a 2003 film starring Scarlett Johansson. The Girl with a Pearl Earring is also available as a costume in LittleBigPlanet 2.
MUSEUM FACTS. The de Young Museum is located at Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Museum docents speak about Girl with a Pearl Earring: Dutch Paintings from the Mauritshuis on Sunday, Feb. 3 at 1 p.m.; Tuesday, Feb. 5 at 1 p.m.; and Sunday, Feb. 24 at 2:15 p.m. For more information about events related to the exhibit visit deyoungmuseum.orgMauritshuis runs through June 2.
THE WIEGAND GALLERY AT NOTRE DAME DE NAMUR UNIVERSITY IN BELMONT HOLDS PUBLIC RECEPTION. The Wiegand Gallery invites the public to a reception on Sunday, Jan. 27 from 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. to mark the opening of Roberto Chavez Paintings and Drawings. The Wiegand Gallery is part of the Madison Art Center, a stone building originally built as a carriage house on the country estate of 19th century financier William Chapman Ralston. Admission to the gallery is free. Hours are Tuesday – Saturday, noon – 4 p.m. during exhibitions. 1500 Ralston Ave., Belmont. 508-3600.
FREE ART CLASSES FOR CHILDREN AT STANFORD'S CANTOR ARTS CENTER. Beginning Feb. 3, the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University offers free programs for families as part of the Cantor's new Community Initiative. On Sundays through June, special 30-minute tours depart from the main lobby at 12:30 p.m. Artworks included on the tour become inspiration for drop-in art-making activities in the museum's Moorman studio from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. that same day. Experiment with art materials and new techniques in studio sessions taught by professional art teachers. No prior registration is required. Pick up a printed "Music and Movement” Family Guide that helps families explore the Asian galleries while making music, dancing and sketching. Or, stop by the lobby and check out an art pack stocked with colored pencils and paper. Spend family time in the galleries sketching and drawing and take your drawings with you to start your own gallery at home. Free and available to all families. Cantor Arts Center is located on the Stanford University campus at 328 Lomita Drive, across Palm Drive from the Bing Concert Hall. 723-4177 and http://museum.stanford.edu/family.
ELECTRIC WORKS PRESENTS TAPESTRIES BY ANN DIENER. With Tapestries, Ann Diener continues her investigation of place and time with her faceted interpretation of the urban landscape transposed into a multi-dimensional weave of patterns and space. Diener's mixed media works on paper focus on Los Angeles where she currently works and lives. Feb. 15 – March 16. Artist Reception, Friday, Feb. 15, 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. 1360 Mission St. First Floor, San Francisco. (415) 626-5496 or www.sfelectricworks.com.
THE SNOWY DAY AND THE ART OF EZRA JACK KEATS CONTINUES AT THE CONTEMPORARY JEWISH MUSEUM THROUGH FEB. 24. The Snowy Day and the Art of Ezra Jack Keats is the first major exhibition in the United States to pay tribute to award-winning author and illustrator Ezra Jack Keats (1916–1983), whose beloved children's books include Whistle for Willie (1964), Peter's Chair (1967) and The Snowy Day (1962) — the first modern full-color picture book to feature an African American protagonist. At the Contemporary Jewish Museum. 736 Mission St. (between Third and Fourth streets), San Francisco.
Susan Cohn can be reached at email@example.com or www.twitter.com/susancityscene.