About your tour Leader,
As director of Galleries and Collections, Henry Matthews organizes exhibition and related diverse education programs, manages the university's extensive art collections and seeks ways to connect the university to art communities around the world. He was formerly Director of the Muskegon Museum of Art and Staff Member of the Detroit Institute of Arts. A native of Austria, Matthews has conducted dozens of world wide tours over the past 25 years.
The group experienced the great Italian cultural center of Perugia and Venice in the late fall of 2013. This was a cultural double hitter; first, for the 20th anniversary celebration of Grand Rapids' sister city relationship with Perugia, followed by the unforgettable and magical charms of Venice during the 55th Venice Biennale, one the the most important contemporary art competitions in the world.
They explored the ancient charms of Perugia, capital city of Umbria, founded by the Etruscans in the 6th century BCE. A classic hill top city densely filled with layers of magnificent architecture reflective if it's long and proud history, Perugia offered spectacular views of the surrounding Umbrian countryside, including its neighbor, Assisi. The journey included ancient tombs and medieval castles, renaissance palaces and baroque churches, and museums filled with masterpieces of Italian art. They enjoyed the local cuisine and the warmth of its people.
The next stop was north to Venice, the light, waters, and architecture of which are legendary. Included were the 55th International Art exhibit, La Biennale di Venezia! They explored the historic riches of the floating city. Her museums, churches, palaces, art and culture are unforgettable. Venice never disappoints.
The group visited some of the world’s greatest intact art collections ever assembled by a single family over many centuries. Private guides led them through the museums and glittering palaces and gardens built by the Hapsburg dynasty. Time was spent lingering in historic coffee houses and enjoying cultural performances of the famed Lipizzaner horses in their white marble performance hall as well as the opera and concerts - just some of the planned highlights of their visit.
To round out the experience, an optional extension was offered to the two other cities which defined this former empire: glorious Budapest, ancient capital of the former Hungarian kingdom and magical Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and arguably one of the most beautiful urban centers in the world.
October 17-31, 2009
The group explored this magnificent country's rich diversity of natural wonders and one of the most glamorous cities in the world, Buenos Aires! They discovered her charming and distinct neighborhoods, grand boulevards and parks, museums and restaurants. There were tango lessons and meetings with locals and artists in the that city which will remind you of Paris, but think Spanish! Also experienced was the distinct gaucho (cowboy) culture of South America at a 19th century still fully operational Estancia. The group flew to the magnificent Iguazu Falls, three time the scale of Niagara and set in a jungle on the boarder of Brazil! They viewed the great Andes mountains and the charming city of Mendoza set in a desert, but remarkably green. They also tasted some of Argentina's famous wines and scenery and local culture with time to explore on their own.
December 28, 2007 - January 15, 2008
Deccan Golden Triangle Extension
January 13-18, 2008
The group tour enjoyed the colorful, inexhaustible energy of this country. It included visits to ancient, abandoned cities in the middle of the desert and rides on painted elephants to magical Marharaja palaces perched precariously on cliff sides. Also visited was the spectacular Taj Mahal!
October 12 - 22, 2007
The group visited Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain in the historical center of Rome. Day two in Rome was spent viewing other sites in the city including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and St. Paul's. The next couple of days the group visited the Vatican again and took a boat tour along the Tiber River. Also included were trips to Florence, Trivoli and Ostia plus stops at many ruins, museums, piazzas, artist markets, churches and an excavation site.
Ancient Egypt in Europe
May 16 - 28, 2006
May 28 - 31,2006
This group tour was directed by Henry Matthews of GVSU and Paula Gangopadhyay, Curator of Education and Public Programs for the Public Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan. The trip was designed to complement the exhibition "Treasures of Ancient Egypt: The Quest for Immortality", featured at the Van Andel Museum Center. They visited famous and lesser know important Egyptian collections in Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin. Also visited where art and history museums, sculpture gardens and royal palaces.
February 26 - March 10, 2005
Lion Sand River Lodge Safari in Kruger National Park Extension
March 9 - 13, 2005
Included in this trip were Cape Town, Robben Island and the prison where Nelson Mandela was for 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned, vineyards in the Stellenbosch region, a once in a lifetime 2 day ride on the fabled Blue Train to Pretoria; then on to Johannesburg and the Apartheid Museum, and Seweto.
Down Under with GVSU
May 14 - 28, 2004
New Zealand South Island Extension
May 28 - June 2, 2004
This group tour explored Australia and several of her exciting cities enjoying the great beauty and majesty of this magnificent continent and meeting its warm and friendly people, traveled through vast stretches of the central Outback region and swam in the Great Barrier Reef.
Land of Pharaohs and mysteries
December 27, 2002 - January 9, 2003
January 9 - 13, 2003
The group on this tour visited Cairo, cruised the Nile River, viewed ancient temple sites including those at Esna, Komombo and Aswan, and entered ancient tombs and feared their curses!
If you are interested in traveling with us in the future, or for more information, please contact Henry Matthews at firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last modified March 6, 2014