The National Gallery of Art’s exquisite new exhibit Desiderio da Settignano: Sculptor of Renaissance Florence, in galleries adjacent to the West Garden, allows us to fully appreciate the work of this 15th-century wunderkind, whose spirited busts of laughing and almost smiling infants are among the most appealing creations of Renaissance Italy. Co-organized with the Louvre in Paris and Bargello in Florence, the retrospective brings together 28 sculptures by Desiderio and his circle. It resuscitates the sculptor’s reputation for greatness by revealing his subtle, sketchlike technique and skillful ability to express complex emotions through portraiture and allegorical scenes. National Gallery of Art, West Building, Sixth Street and Constitution Avenue Northwest. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday through Oct. 8. Free. 202/737-4215
From Vault to Screen, an annual summer series at the National Gallery of Art devoted to film preservation around the world, kicks off Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in the East Building with a revival of Ten Cents a Dance, one of Barbara Stanwyck’s early starring vehicles. The screening commemorates Miss Stanwyck’s centennial; she was born in Brooklyn on July 16, 1907. Directed by Lionel Barrymore and released in 1931, “Ten Cents” was a restoration project of the Library of Congress and the American Film Institute.
A program at 2 p.m. screens examples of recent digital reconstruction, presenting fragmentary revivals of two Rudolph Valentino movies, Stolen Moments of 1920, made before his stellar breakthrough, and The Young Rajah of 1922, in which the breakthrough was already ornamental in the extreme. Victoria Toye will introduce the program.
The National Gallery’s East Building is at Fourth Street and Constitution Avenue NW. All film programs are free and open to the public. To ensure a seat it’s usually advisable to arrive early. 202/842-6799.
— Gary Arnold