Art Travels

The Museum offers a variety of art excursions domestically and abroad, as well as local and regional day trips designed to enhance Museum members’ and visitors’ experiences with inspiring, contemporary art.

Our Art Travels program is very popular, and trips often sell out quickly! If you would like to receive more information about upcoming trips as soon as available, please email Kristi McMillan, Adult Programs Manager, to add your name to our email list.

Fall 2018-Summer 2019 Programs

Art Travels: Raleigh-Durham, NC
DECEMBER 12 + 13 — Wednesday, 8am – Thursday, 8pm
Cost: $350 Museum Members, $385 non-members (includes transportation, accommodations, daily lunch, admission fees, guided tours, and light snacks)
Based on double occupancy; single supplement: $81.25

Join us for an overnight trip to Raleigh/Durham, NC, to enjoy world-class art and great company!

On day 1, take a guided tour the Nasher Museum of Art’s exhibition People Get Ready, which traces the evolution of its groundbreaking collection of contemporary art centered on diversity and inclusion – artists historically underrepresented, overlooked, or excluded from art institutions, with a particular focus on artists of African descent. People Get Ready includes works dating from 1970 through 2018 by artists such as Emma Amos, Barkley Hendricks, Kerry James Marshall, Amy Sherald, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Carrie Mae Weems, and Kehinde Wiley that address issues ranging from identity and social justice to environmentalism. Then, browse the complementary photography exhibition People Get Ready: Southern Lens or the Nasher’s collection of historical art from around the world. From the Nasher, travel to Cassilhaus – a unique dream home/art gallery/artist studio in the woods between Durham and Chapel Hill that has grown into an exciting nexus for arts activity in the Triangle region – for a collector/owner-led private tour. Cassilhaus hosts diverse exhibitions and a multidisciplinary residency program that bring together extraordinary artists from the NC region and around the world.

Overnight accommodations are provided at 21C, a full-service boutique hotel with its own 10,500-square-feet contemporary art museum, restaurant, and spa located in the heart of walkable downtown Durham.

On day 2, discover the North Carolina Museum of Art’s blockbuster exhibition The Beyond – Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art on a curator-led tour. Known for her enormous flowers, luscious color, and desert landscapes, O’Keeffe pioneered revolutionary ways of visually interpreting the world, leaving a lasting legacy for generations of viewers and artists. The Beyond brings together a significant group of O’Keeffe’s paintings and sculpture as the centerpiece of an exploration of her continued force as a touchstone for contemporary art, alongside works by emerging artists that evoke and expand upon her enchanting artistic language. Continue your visit with a stop in Candida Höfer in Mexico or the NCMA’s extensive collection galleries filled with ancient through contemporary art from around the world. Finish out the trip with a guided tour of the Gregg Museum of Art & Design – whose collection spans cultures, disciplines, and designs from textiles to ceramics, fine art to architecture, and archaeological artifacts to modern furniture – in its new home on the campus of NC State University.

Space is limited; register by November 9. For more information or to register, click here or call 828.253.3227 x122.


Art Travels: Washington, DC
JUNE 17–23, 2019

Washington, DC is not just another little Southern city; it is our nation’s capital, and the destination for our next Art Travels national trip! Located on the Potomac River, it offers not only majestic government buildings, renowned monuments and memorials, and historic and eclectic neighborhoods, but it is also a city filled with art treasures in awe-inspiring museums and private collections!

While we are still working out the itinerary’s fine details, we are arranging for exclusive curator-guided tours of outstanding public collections (National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Renwick Gallery, Phillips Collection), and are working very hard to arrange a visit to the National Museum of African American History and Culture – which has been sold out since opening two years ago. Already confirmed are special viewings of private collections of American, contemporary, and African American art both in the city as well as in neighboring Maryland; a stimulating morning immersed in an artist-studio collective; the new Glenstone museum/garden; and a behind-the-scenes exploration of one of the top framing studios in the country; all complementing our usual fine and fun wining and dining! Our home-away-from-home is the deluxe historic Willard InterContinental Washington, DC – located across from the White House – which exudes a unique blend of contemporary luxury and historic charm.

The land-only price of this travel opportunity is $3975 per person (based on double occupancy); for those who prefer a room to themselves, there is an optional single supplement of $1000. The tour cost includes 6 nights in the Willard InterContinental; breakfast daily; group lunches on touring days; 3 special group dinners; entrances to all museums and attractions; touring by deluxe motor-coach; and tips to hotel porters, guides, and drivers. Individual flights to and from Washington, DC and roundtrip airport transfers are not included in the tour cost, but can be arranged on request.

Space is limited; register by January 11. To register, call 828.253.3227 x122, or send the reservation form below with check deposit by January 11.

Registration form-DC 06.2019

Past Travel Experiences with the Museum

To be added to our e-newsletter list to receive advance notifications for future Art Travels trips planned with the Museum, please email Kristi McMillan, Adult Programs Manager, or call 828.253.3227 x122.

Day trips

Recent Art Travels day trips included Arts of the Earth: Wood and Clay; Hood Tour; Spartanburg, SC; Cherokee, NC; Knoxville, TN; Winston-Salem, NC; and Penland.

Space is limited, and day trips often sell out well in advance, so get your tickets quickly! To be added to our e-list to receive advance notifications for planned Art Travels, please email Kristi McMillan, Adult Programs Manager, or call 828.253.3227 x122.

Mexico City (2018)

In recent years, Mexico City has become a regular stop for the art-world jet set, part of an international calendar that includes art biennales in Europe and Asia. Galleries have multiplied, as have exhibitions and independent art spaces, from converted taco stalls and newspaper kiosks to the pristine, white-cube gallery spaces. As demonstrated by the recent Getty-sponsored Pacific Standard Time LA/LA initiative in Los Angeles, the art of Mexico is in the public eye as never before.

The Asheville Art Museum and the Craft & Folk Art Museum jointly offered a guided tour to the art treasures of Mexico City. We visited several of the city’s top museums, including the Museo Nacional de Arte (MUNAL), Museo Nacional de Antropología, Museo de Arte Moderno, Museo Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera murals, Museo Soumaya, Museo Jumex and top art and craft galleries. We toured the many examples of superb architectural styles which have graced the capital for centuries, and visited artists’ studios and private art collections. Of course, we enjoyed sampling the local cuisine. We even visited an historic castle in the green space of Chapultepec Park.

The tour included five nights in the deluxe and architecturally unique Camino Real Polanco, a centrally located, mid-century modern hotel-museum designed by Ricardo Legorreta; breakfast daily; group lunches on all touring days; three special dinners; entrances to all museums and attractions; all touring by deluxe motorcoach; and tips to hotel porters, guides and drivers.

London (2016)

20161107_105607_resizedLed by the Museum’s Executive Director, Pam Myers, our Art Travelers explored London and its environs during eight days and seven nights of extraordinary art and cultural experiences, including:

  • Visits to world-class museums such as the Wallace Collection, Tate Britain, the Royal Academy, Sir John Soane’s Museum, Whitechapel Gallery, Victoria & Albert, and Tate Modern
  • Exclusive tours of private galleries such as Richard Greene Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Mayor Gallery, Shine Artists London/Pontone Gallery, and Fine Artists Society
  • Inside looks at the Cass Sculpture Foundation and Pallant House
  • A dinner cruise along the River Thames
  • Guided walking tours of London’s famous street art and of Brighton’s old town
  • Studio visit to Turner Prize-winning artist Mark Wallinger
  • High tea at the Savoy Hotel
  • Private viewing of the crown jewels with the Head Curator of the Tower of London

In addition, Art Travelers experienced enjoyed great culinary experiences and much more.

Bentonville/Kansas City (2015)

Travelers had a wonderful opportunity to visit the Bentonville and Kansas City areas to experience the region’s unique art.

The trip offered exciting museum experiences, including visits to the ultra-contemporary Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Kansas City’s Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art. Notable exhibitions taking place during our visit were Alfred Maurer: Art on the Edge at Crystal Bridges and American Epics: Thomas Hart Benton, and Hollywood at the Nelson-Atkins. Special tours were arranged at the light-filled Thorncrown Chapel, the home of artist Thomas Hart Benton and the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts (designed by Moshe Safdie, architect for Crystal Bridges). Additionally we visited several remarkable private collections and artist studios, including: Tyson Foods’ Corporate Art Collection, which includes more than 650 works – paintings, bronze statues, photographs and larger-than-life installations; the Belger Loft Collection, which boasts a stunning collection of Tiffany lamps and Arts and Crafts works; the Belger Collection at the Belger Arts Center, with American artworks from 1960-present; the Lawrence Lithograph Workshop Studio, publishers of Ed Paschke, Miriam, Shapiro, and Akio Takamori among many others; the Gary Smith Collection – early American furniture, paintings and decorative arts; the collection of Richard Levin, who collected representational paintings from the first half of the 20thC; the private collection of the Nerman family, founders of the Nerman Museum and collectors of contemporary art and craft. So much to see! And, of course, as is customary with our trips, there were art-filled days punctuated by cocktails, great meals, and more.

Amsterdam/Belgium (2014)

Travelers spent nine days and eight nights exploring the history, art and architecture of Amsterdam, Otterlo, The Hague, Utrecht, Rotterdam, Bruges, Ghent and Brussels. Travelers stayed in deluxe hotel accommodations in Amsterdam and Brussels: The Pulitzer in Amsterdam (located on the beautiful Prinzengracht canal) and at the Amigo in Brussels (located close to the historic main square of the city).

Trip highlights included tours of historic towns, galleries and Museums in The Netherlands and Belgium. In Amsterdam, itinerary sites included the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh museum and the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Travelers visited the Kroller-Muller Museum and sculpture park in Otterlo, both the Mauritshuis and the Geementemuseum in the Hague and Rem Koolhaas’s ultra-modern Kunsthal in Rotterdam. In Bruges and Ghent, the itinerary was full of historic architecture and art, including Bruge’s Gothic city hall (Stadhuis), Expo Picasso, Expo Dali, the Groeningemuseum, and Belgium’s Stedelijk (known as S.M.A.K.). In Brussels, travelers explored the palatial Royal Museums of Fine Arts.

Hudson River Valley (2013)

Led by the Museum’s Executive Director, Pam Myers, a group of Museum Travelers recently enjoyed extraordinary art and cultural experiences in the New York’s Hudson River Valley region, as well as tours and experiences in New York City. The group enjoyed the following cultural experiences:

  • The Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center at Vassar College
  • Dia : Beacon
  • Olana (the Persian style castle and studio of Frederick Edwin Church)
  • Manitoga (the Russel Wright Design Center)
  • Storm King Sculpture Park

In addition, Museum Travelers experienced exclusive visits to private collections, galleries and artist studios, as well as cocktails and great meals, including experiences at the Culinary Institute of America, and much more. Learn more about travelers’ experiences in our June blog post.

Cuba (2012)

In late May/early June, the Museum traveled with Members and friends to the beautiful Cuban cities of Havana and Trinidad. Taking place during Havana’s Biennial 2012, this trip gave Museum travelers the chance to enjoy this exciting festival along with unique excursions to Cuba’s many museums, galleries, and private studios, as well as numerous outings to some of the most famous sites of the country’s cultural heritage.

In addition to first-class accommodations and Cuban cuisine, Museum travelers also experienced and enjoyed a week-long immersion in Cuban arts and culture, including tours of the Plaza de la Revolucion, el Prado and the Cabana Casa, the official hosting facility of Havana’s Biennial 2012. Also on the itinerary were visits to numerous artists’ studios and UNESCO World Heritage sites such as the Hacienda Manaca Iznaga, el Bulevar, el Prado, and a special performance at the Teatro Tomás Terry concert hall. Finally, Museum travelers experienced tours of some of Cuba’s finest museums and cultural institutions, including the Museum of Decorative Arts, the Museum of Fine Arts (“Bellas Artes”), and the Museum and Mausoleum of Che Guevara, among others.

An Art Adventurer’s Glass Tour (2012)

In early June 2012, Members and friends enjoyed a guided tour of Penland School of Crafts where they enjoyed meeting glass artist and instructor Rick Beck, as well as onsite studio visits and demonstrations by resident glass artists Micah Evans and Shane Fero. The tour of Penland was followed by a guided tour and glass demonstration at The EnergyXchange, a nonprofit organization that applies the use of renewable resources and practices for educational opportunities and economic development in the fields of art and horticulture. Also leading the trip and guiding the tour of The Energyxchange was Gwynne Ruckenbrod, Executive Director of HandMade in America. Many thanks to Gwynne and her staff for participating and leading a fascinating and inspiring tour!