Chasing Vermeer Final Project
By: Sophie Krivograd
This story starts off with 3 people receiving letters from an anonymous person saying they have to complete a task about ancient art. These people were Ms. Hussey, Mrs. Sharpe, and Mr. Watch. Calder and Petra get to know each other and find themselves talking to each other in on the trip to the Art Institute. One day Petra finds a mysterious book called Lo! This book talks about strange occurrences, missing people, and frogs falling out of the sky. That night, she had a vision of a lady. Meanwhile, Calder keeps in touch with his friend Tommy who now lives in New York. Through their secret code he learns about what happens to a person named Frog who lived by Tommy and about his step dad, Fred. Calder pays a visit to Mrs. Sharpe- an older lady who lives down their street, because of her name being in the book Lo! By: Charles Fort. Calder discovers that she too has a copy of The Geographer; a painting by Vermeer in which was on a box Calder got from his grandmother. On Halloween, Calder recognizes Petra's costume; it was the lady she dreamed of. With all his research on Vermeer Calder identifies the lady s from the painting A Lady Writing. With everything weird going on, Petra and Calder research at the library. They later decided when they eat blue M&Ms it symbolizes a mysterious and rare taste. With A Lady Writing in mind, they called the National Gallery of Art to see if A Lady Writing was on the wall. The lady on the phone said that it will be in Chicago in the Art Institute for a show called 'Writers in Art'. The next morning, an article in the newspaper says that A Lady Writing has been stolen. The thief also wrote a letter for the public with certain demands they have to meet to get the painting back. After that, Ms. Hussey's classroom (Petra and Calder's teacher) was investigating if Vermeer's paintings were real or not. This is what the thief demanded for. Soon the whole town was interested in art, and the case. Another day in class Ms.Hussey describes a scenario just like the one in the three letters sent. (Petra knew this because she found one of the letters.) The letter said to not tell the police about it or they are risking their lives, Mrs. Sharpe did not listen. This calls for higher security for her, so she isn't in danger. Ms. Hussey also tells the police she received a letter after her. During this, Petra and Calder attempt at solving the mystery with Calder's pentominoes. Thinking that the painting is in the school basement, Petra and Calder look down there with excuses that are measuring the building. Calder ends up getting trapped in the storage room because of Mrs. Trek, the lady that let them come down was coming back from her bathroom break. Later, Petra gets him out of there, and Calder realizes the package that he thought was the real one was a fake. After a while all the coincidences start to come together and Petra and Calder start to get somewhere. They know where the painting is, it is under dark wood. Calder uses the coincidental number (12) on the staircase in Delia Dell Hall. They lifted it up and found the painting. While they were evacuating the building Calder sees a man. The man started chasing them and got Calder while Petra ran. The thief turned out to be Fred (Tommy's step dad who moved out of his apartment) and he was also known as the "Glitter Man". Petra and Calder saved the painting from being sold to a man for 60 million dollars. Now after the case is solved, Ms. Hussey and Mrs. Sharpe go to dinner together, Petra realizes she might be related to Vermeer and Calder and Petra find more reoccurring 12 patterns!
Delia Dell Hall
This is the wooden staircase that Petra and Calder found A Lady Writing in. Petra also saw her Dad in here with a man with a weird accent and bushy eyebrows who was from the post office.
This is where Ms. Hussey took her sixth grade class to get inspiration for the letter writing assignment. This is also where A Lady Writing was going to before it was stolen.
Powell's Used Books
This is where Calder had a job, Petra spied on Ms. Hussey and where Mr. Watch worked. This is also where the book Lo! was dropped off by a man with suspenders.
Delia Dell Hall
Petra is one of the main characters in this story. One day she finds a book called Lo! Now Petra, as well as Mrs. Sharpe is involved in the mystery. One night, she had a dream or vision; it was of the A Lady Writing. She did not find this out until Calder commented on her costume on Halloween. Along with Calder, she finds A Lady Writing-the stolen painting.
Calder is also one of the main characters in Chasing Vermeer. He keeps a set of 12 pentominoes which help him solve the mystery, by telling him a word relating to it. He also takes part in solving the mystery and finding the painting.
Mrs. Sharpe is an older lady who was involved in the crime. She knew about Vermeer previously and received one of three letters sent to the three people. She does not intentionally give out clues, but it seems like it. She later becomes friends with Petra and Calder. She also is friends with Ms. Hussey after the mystery is solved; they had dinner together at Hyde Park.