Alliance members to discuss Tracy Chevalier’s ‘Girl with a Pearl Earring’ (03-11-14)

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The Alliance for the Arts’ Member Gallery Book Club will meet on Tuesday, April 15 to discuss Girl with a Pearl Earring by Tracy Chevalier. The monthly Book Club is an exploration of literature centered on artists, art history and art appreciation.

Girl With a Pearl Earring tells the story of Griet, a 16-year-old Dutch girl who becomes a maid in the house of the painter Johannes Vermeer. Her calm and perceptive manner not only helps her in her household duties, but also attracts the painter’s attention. Though different in upbringing, education and social standing, they have a similar way of looking at things. Vermeer slowly draws her into the world of his paintings – the still, luminous images of solitary women in domestic settings.

In contrast to her work in her master’s studio, Griet must carve a place for herself in a chaotic Catholic household run by Vermeer’s volatile wife Catharina, his shrewd mother-in-law Maria Thins, and their fiercely loyal maid Tanneke. Six children (and counting) fill out the household, dominated by six-year-old Cornelia, a mischievous girl who sees more than she should.

On the verge of womanhood, Griet also contends with the growing attentions both from a local butcher and from Vermeer’s patron, the wealthy van Ruijven. And she has to find her way through this new and strange life outside the loving Protestant family she grew up in, now fragmented by accident and death. As Griet becomes part of her master’s work, their growing intimacy spreads disruption and jealousy within the ordered household and even – as the scandal seeps out – ripples in the world beyond.

The Member Gallery Book Club meets from 7-9 p.m. on the third Tuesday of every month. Club members must purchase their own copy of each book and pre-registration is encouraged. An active Alliance membership is required.

Individual Alliance memberships are $50 per year. Families can join for $75 per year and college students can become a member for just $15. Membership benefits include 20% discounts on all classes & camps, FREE class Try It sessions and open studio sessions, discounts on concert and theatre tickets and special exhibition opportunities. Visit ArtInLee.org or call 239-939-2787 to learn more or become a member today.

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