One of the best-known works of the Dutch Golden Age is returning to the United States for the first time in nearly two decades.
Johannes Vermeer’s masterpiece Girl with a Pearl Earring will be touring museums in Atlanta, San Francisco and New York next year.
The exhibition will take place while the museum that holds the works – the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague – undergoes a major two-year renovation and expansion.
The collection will move to the Gemeentemuseum, also in The Hague, from April 28-May 28, 2012, and then a portion of it, including Girl with a Pearl Earring, will begin a world tour.
Other works included in the traveling exhibition include The Goldfinch by Carel Fabritius, Steen’s The Way You Hear It Is the Way You Sing It and Jacob van Ruisdael’s View of Haarlem with Bleaching Grounds.
The 35 masterpieces will first go to Japan, from July until mid-September 2012 at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, then move on to Kobe’s City Art Museum until January 2013.
The first US stop will be the de Young Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco from Jan. 26-June 2, 2013.
Then the collection moves to the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, which will host the exhibition from June 22-Sept. 29, 2013, marking the first time Girl with a Pearl Earring has ever been seen in the southeast United States.
The last stop on the US itinerary is The Frick Collection in New York City from Oct. 22, 2013-Jan. 12, 2014.
Afterward, the works return to the Netherlands where they will be back on display at the newly expanded and renovated Mauritshuis by the middle of 2014.
The last time the Girl with a Pearl Earring was the in US was in 1995, when it was on display at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, along with all 20 other known paintings by Vermeer, representing more than half his known works.