When Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum opens the largest exhibition on Johannes Vermeer ever next month, it will mean the Mauritshuis in The Hague will be withoutthe pride of its collection—until June 4. But the wall where it normally hangs won’t be empty: the museum is soliciting new versions of the famed oil painting from members of the public to act as a stand-in.
Since April 2021, the museum has operated a @mygirlwithapearl Instagram account, inspired by all the fan art people had submitted, unsolicited, over the years. But the once-in-a-lifetime Vermeer show created an opportunity to encourage even more creative takes on the Dutch Golden Age masterpiece, which is normally banned from traveling.
The new My Girl With a Pearl campaign is open to everyone, and accepts all different art forms, whether you paint or draw your own, or recreate it in clay, embroidery, or collage. Even unconventional materials are allowed, should you want to make a pizza or something of that ilk.
“We are going to miss the tremendously,” Paul Schuiling, cultural partnerships advisor at Nationale-Nederlanden, said in a statement. “But at the same time, we see that so many people are inspired by this world-famous painting. That is why the Mauritshuis and Nationale-Nederlanden are calling on creative talent to send in their beautiful variations. That way, we give that talent a stage in this special place.”
The Mauritshuis plans to create a rotating display of the best submissions in a digital frame where the original painting is normally on view. Other versions will hang in real picture frames throughout the room. If your artwork is picked, the museum will also give you two free tickets to see your work there in person.
To get a chance to be included, simply submit your through the online form, and share it under the #mygirlwithapearl Hashtag on Instagram. (There are already over 3,500 entries!) Submissions are open until January 15, 2023.
With the announcement, the Mauritshuis shared a selection of unique takes on that it has been sent over the years. See a sampling of them below, along with my own submission—it just so happens I drew a Girl-themed Christmas card this past year.
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