- Take an out-of-hours tour through the hallowed halls of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Learn more about the lives, languages, literature, history and arts of the Native Americans of the Western Hemisphere
- Discover some of the world’s most exciting artworks at a stunning selection of galleries and museums
- Enjoy an evening at the New York City Ballet or the Metropolitan Opera
Day 1 – 24 September 2018
This morning we meet at our hotel in the heart of New York City for an introductory lecture from our Guide Scholar. Following this we enjoy a welcome lunch, for an early opportunity to get to know the rest of our group.
Our first museum excursion takes place this afternoon, as we explore the mighty American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan. This vast complex of exhibition halls contains more than 33 million specimens, making it one of the largest museums in the world. Among the many highlights here are the Hall of North American Forests, with its enormous slice of 1,400-year old sequoia, and the innovative Hall of Human Origins, which covers the entirety of human history, showcasing the cast of a 1.7 million-year old “Turkana Boy”, the earliest complete human skeleton in existence.
Day 2 – 25 September 2018
Today is all ours to discover the Metropolitan Museum of Art, beginning with an “Empty Met” tour – our chance to view some of this magnificent museum before it opens its doors to the general public. This being the largest art museum in all of America, we take plenty of time to view its extensive galleries, tracing their progression from classical antiquity to the modern day. Don’t miss Caravaggio’s refined study of The Musicians, Van Gogh’s striking Self Portrait with Straw Hat, or Turner’s elegant depiction of The Grand Canal.
We return to our hotel later this afternoon for some time to prepare for our evening itinerary: a delicious dinner, followed by a stellar performance of either the New York City Ballet, or the Metropolitan Opera.
Day 3 – 26 September 2018
This morning we explore the Museum of Modern Art, and are once again privileged to enjoy an out-of-hours head-start at this illustrious gallery. As part of our tour we encounter a wealth of world-renowned pieces by such influential artists as Bacon, Magritte, Chagall, Picasso, Monet, Dalí and Matisse – a truly peerless collection.
Following lunch we head to the Guggenheim, a veritable mecca for all lovers of contemporary art. Klee, Léger, Modigliani, Cézanne, Gaugin – all the greats are featured within Frank Lloyd Wright’s stunning self-styled “temple of spirit”. It’s the perfect note on which to bring this trip’s New York-based excursions to a close.
Day 4 – 27 September 2018
This morning we leave New York, and make our way south to Philadelphia, the only World Heritage City in the United States. Our destination is the Philadelphia Museum of Art, an attraction originating from America’s first World Fair in 1876. Notable for its impressive array of Western and Asian artwork, the museum features pieces by all manner of masters, including Rubens, Bosch and Duchamp.
We stop for lunch here before continuing our drive down to Washington DC, a monumental capital brimming with world-class museums.
Day 5 – 28 September 2018
Today sees us enjoying the first of our two full days in some of DC’s 17 prestigious Smithsonian institutions. We begin at the National Museum of the American Indian, one of the world’s most diverse collections of Native American history and culture – and the first of its kind ever established. Designed and curated in partnership with Native Americans from a variety of tribes, few museums offer such a strong sense of America’s indigenous roots.
Our next stop is the Museum of American History, where we take lunch and view such eclectic exhibits as the oldest operable steam locomotive, Julia Child’s kitchen, and the original Star-Spangled Banner, which proudly flew over the Battle of Baltimore in 1812.
Our last museum of the day is the excellent Museum of African American History and Culture, opened by President Obama in September 2016. Its large and diverse galleries feature fascinating displays relating to the country’s African American roots, such as items of segregation from the Jim Crow era, a trumpet owned by Louis Armstrong, and artefacts retrieved from the São José Paquete Africa. Sunk in 1794 and rediscovered in 2015, the São José is the first and only working slave ship-wreck to have been found.
Day 6 – 29 September 2018
On this, the final full day of our tour, we delve deep into more of the Smithsonian’s best museums. The recently renovated Freer and Sackler Galleries host us first – both acclaimed museums of Asian art, with pieces spanning some 6,000 years of history. We marvel at ancient Egyptian coffin masks, pristine illustrations from Japan’s Edo period, and sophisticated Islamic ceramics from the 10th to the 13th centuries.
Breaking for lunch, our explorations resume at the National Air and Space Museum, where we find the world’s largest collection of historic air- and spacecraft: an inspiring record of aviation and adventure which features Charles Lindbergh’s Spirit of St. Louis, and the command module for Apollo 11.
Tonight we remain in the city for a fabulous farewell dinner with the group – an ideal way to crown the week’s achievements.
Day 7 – 30 September 2018
The group disperses, and we make our way back home.
Expert Scholar TBC