Celebrate the life and work of Judith Leyster
Judith Leyster, The Concert, ca. 1633; Oil on canvas, 24 x 34 1/4 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, gift of Wallace and Wilhelmina Holladay

Judith Leyster Birthday Celebration

Famed artist Judith Leyster turns 412 this week. To celebrate, the National Museum of Women in the Arts is throwing a virtual birthday bash complete with a specialty cocktail demo and art share with Frima Fox Hofrichter, a Leyster aficionado and a professor at Pratt Institute. The Dutch Golden Age painter, known for her lively genre scenes singing with merriment and music, developed an expressive painting style after the likes of Frans and Dirck Hals—who inspired the Impressionists a whopping 200 years later. The cocktail of the evening, crafted by Andra ‘AJ’ Johnson, known for Serenata and for cofounding the region’s Black Restaurant Week, takes inspiration from Leyster’s signature style: spontaneous brushstrokes, faces bedazzled with emotion, and theatrical lighting. Called “The Lodestar Shandy,” the drink features a festival of flavors including beer, elderflower liqueur, rosemary-apple simple syrup, and genever (“the gin of the Dutch”). The libation is also named in the spirit of Leyster; her father owned a brewery in her birthplace of Haarlem aptly titled “Leyster,” meaning “lodestar” or “comet.” While Leyster continues to be a leading star in the art world today, it wasn’t until the late 19th century that her paintings received widespread attention. In fact, many of her works were misattributed to her husband, famed painter Jan Molenaer, as well as Frans Hals. Seeing as her acclaim is hundreds of years tardy, her birthday is extra cause for celebration. Cheers to shandies, remembered Dutch masters, and birthday candles—miniature lodestars lighting the way. The event takes place virtually at 5:30 p.m. on July 28. RSVP at NMWA.org. Free.