Particularly beloved among the paintings at The Frick Collection are its three works by Johannes Vermeer (1632–75), Officer and Laughing Girl (left), Mistress and Maid (center), and Girl Interrupted at Her Music (right). These rare canvases were purchased by Henry Clay Frick before his death in 1919. In summer 2008, the institution offered visitors their first opportunity in nearly ten years to examine the paintings together on one wall.
Their presentation in the South Hall was accompanied by a panel that traces Frick's interest in the artist and places him in the context of other early American collectors of Vermeer's work. An education program involving Colin B. Bailey, Associate Director and Peter Jay Sharp Chief Curator, was held in September. During the summer the Members' Magazine featured an illuminating essay on the market for Vermeer's paintings, written by Esmée Quodbach ("The Sphinx of Delft: Rediscovering Vermeer at The Frick Collection" is also available online). Quodbach is the Assistant to the Director of the Center for the History of Collecting in America.