Institute of Classical Architecture & Art

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Private Palm Beach

November 30 - December 3, 2017

Tour arranged by Classical Excursions

We have wealthy industrialist Henry Flagler to thank for founding the town of Palm Beach, Florida. Attracted by the area’s warm, balmy weather and tropical environment, Flagler, whose own estate Whitehall, designed by Carrère and Hastings in 1902 and is still visited by the public, helped establish Palm Beach as a premiere locale for the winter social season. It soon became a resort town with lavish hotels and opulent residences designed by such architects as Addison Mizner, Maurice Fatio, Howard Major and Clarence Mack.

Over 100 years of graceful evolution that has never faltered, Palm Beach is world-renowned for its extraordinary beauty and quality of life. The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art invites you to join this Private Palm Beach tour of some of the city’s most significant homes and interiors.

For further information, contact Tom Hayes, contact@classicalexcursions.com, 413-445-7972.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

Image Credit: Flickr / Ray_LAC


Japan: Architectural, Decorative Arts & Garden Treasures

November 10 -20, 2017

Tour arranged by Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) is pleased to announce an exclusive tour of the treasures of Japan, during which participants will be received by members of the Japanese cultural elite for exclusive visits of historic estates, offering a rare opportunity to savor unique architecture, art collections, and gardens in Kyoto, Nara, Naoshima Island, Nikko, and Tokyo.

Highlights of this tour include:

Kyoto:

  • Walking tour with an expert of Japanese wooden architecture in the old Gion district to explore traditional architecture of tea houses, restaurants, and geisha houses

  • Private visit to the Katsura Imperial Villa and Gardens, one of Japan’s most important large-scale cultural treasures. The villa and garden in their present forms were completed in 1645 as the residence for the Katsura Family, members of Japan’s Imperial Family

  • Curator-led visit to the Kyoto National Museum, one of Japan’s oldest and most distinguished museums, hosting a wide variety of Japanese archaeological relics, sculptures, ceramics, calligraphy, costumes, and paintings

  • Curator-led visit to the Miho Museum, designed by renowned architect I.M. Pei, located in the Shiga mountains outside Kyoto. The Museum houses Mihoko Koyama’s private collection of Asian and Western antiques. Highlights of the collections have been featured in traveling exhibitions at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1996

  • Exclusive Tea Ceremony inside the Sagawa Museum, an architecturally unique museum where the tea room is constructed under the water garden to resemble a floating isle. You will admire raku bowls, masterpieces crafted by the ceramic artist Raku Kichizaemon, 15th generation member of the Raku family. For 450 years, successive generations of the Raku family have passed down the raku technique and tradition without any modification

  • Visit to the Sanjusangendo Temple, built in 1164, known for its Hall of Thirty-Three Bays, Japan’s longest wooden structure, housing 1,001 large wooden statues of Kannon, the Goddess of Mercy

  • Visit to the emblematic complex of Nara, former capital of Japan from 710 to 794, where eight temples, shrines, and ruins remain and collectively form “Historic Monuments of Ancient Nara,” a UNESCO World Heritage Site, accompanied by an architectural historian. Discover en-route the Great Buddha at the Todai-ji Temple complex

Teshima Island & Naoshima Island:

  • Accompanied by a curator, we will visit the Teshima Art Museum, housing one of the most intriguing contemporary installations in Japan, uniting the creative visions of artist Rei Naito and architect Ryue Nishizawa. The museum stands on a hill, overlooking the Seto Inland Sea; in this setting, nature, art and architecture come together in limitless harmony

  • Visit to Naoshima Island, Japan’s major destination for avant-garde art and architecture with unique buildings designed by architect Tadao Ando and outdoor artworks by world-renowned artists such as Yayoi Kusama, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Niki de Saint Phalle, Dan Graham, and Michelangelo Pistoletto

  • Curator-led visit to the Chichu Art Museum, where we will admire works by Claude Monet, Walter De Maria, and James Turrell. We will also visit the Lee Ufan Museum

Tokyo & Nikko:

  • Lunch at the Park Hyatt Tokyo’s New York Grill to savor the best wagyu (Kobe beef) in Tokyo and admire a stunning view of the city

  • Tour by private luxury coach to admire the architectural treasures of Tokyo, designed by world-renowned architects such as Le Corbusier, Frank Lloyd Wright, Tange Kenzo, and Tadao Ando

  • Dinner at the residence of the French Ambassador to Japan

  • Visit to the Meiji Shrine complex, dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and his wife Empress Shoken. Surrounded by a large forested area, the main shrine buildings offer a peaceful atmosphere contrasting with the densely built-up and bustling city of Tokyo

  • Dinner at the members-only Tokyo American Club, an extravagant and magnificent contemporary complex, designed by the acclaimed American architectural firm Pelli Clarke Pelli, where we will be welcome by prominent members

  • Stroll in Ueno Park, followed by a curator-led visit to the Nezu Museum, founded in 1941 to conserve and exhibit the collection of pre-modern Japanese and East Asian art that Nezu Kaichir (1860-1940) had passionately built

  • Visit to one of the last traditional kimono makers, Yasutaka Komiya, designated as a “holder of important intangible cultural property” and as an “honorary citizen of Tokyo,” using old dyeing techniques, hand paintings and gold embroidery

  • Day trip to Nikko, a stunning concentrated consortium of Japan’s spectacular temples, with gorgeous mountain scenery, waterfalls, huge ponderosa pines, cedars, and fall foliage

  • Visit to Ryuzu Waterfall and Lake Chuzenji, as well as the elegant Italian Embassy Villa, a former summer residence of the Italian Ambassador to Japan, located on the southeastern shore of Lake Chuzenji

  • Farewell dinner at the private residence of a distinguished art collector

Our significant and privileged discovery will be led by Dr. Monika Hinkel, lecturer and curator in the field of Japanese art, architecture and gardens. Dr. Hinkel is a Research Associate of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS, University of London, the only Higher Education institution in Europe specializing in the study of Asia, Africa and the Near and Middle East. Dr. Hinkel was Curator of Japanese art at the Museum of East Asian Art in Cologne, and spent three years as a Guest Researcher at the Gakushuin University in Tokyo.

Participants will enjoy five-star accommodations at the Hyatt Regency Kyoto, the JR Hotel Clement in Takamatsu, and the Capitol Hotel Tokyo.

For more information and to register: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling: pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com; or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com

The tour price is $10,995 per person double occupancy; $12,990 single occupancy. Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

To make your required donation, click here.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Martin Falbisoner, Wikimedia Commons/Kimon Berlin, Wikimedia Commons/Jaycangel, Wikimedia Commons/Gorgo


Genoa, Turin & Milan: Exceptional Private Estates, Gardens & Historic Sites

October 14-21, 2017

Tour arranged by Exclusive Cultural Tours

Optional Extension: The Lakes – Saturday, October 21st to Wednesday, October 25th (departure): 4 days / 4 nights

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is pleased to offer this exceptional tour, during which we will be received by members of the Italian cultural elite for exclusive visits of historic, emblematic estates, offering a rare opportunity to savor unique architecture, decor, art collections and gardens in Genoa, Turin, and Milan, with an optional extension to Lake Maggiore and Lake Como.

Contessa Violate Balbo Di Vinadio, maiden name Contessa dei Conti Brandolini, will accompany us on our significant discoveries in Genoa, Turin, and Milan to emblematic private residences and sites, where we will be welcomed by their distinguished hosts, Italian aristocrats.

Highlights of the tour include:

Genoa:

  • Private visit to the Castello Mackenzie, a historical manor offering a perfect example of Gothic Revival architecture. Built between 1893 – 1905, it was designed by Gino Coppedè, renowned Art Nouveau architect

  • Private reception at the Palazzo Nicolosio Lomellino, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The palace, built in the 16th century by the Lombard architect Giovanni Battista Castello, called Il Bergamasco, features admirable stuccowork and magnificent fescoes by Bernardo Strozzi, whose work had considerable influence on artistic developments in both Genoa and Venice

  • Visit to the historic center of Casale Monferrato to admire its many splendid palazzi, dating from the 15th to the early 19th century, restored to baroque and neo-classical style.

  • Private visit with the Owner to the Castello di Camino. Built in the 11th century and enlarged at the end of the 18th century, surrounded by a sumptuous park, overlooking the Basso Monferrato hills, Castello di Camino is considered one of the most beautiful castles in Italy, both for its architecture and its perfect state of preservation

  • Truffle discovery during the Alba White Truffle Festival & Lunch at a private estate in Racconigi, a baroque residence of French influence built in 1773 by architect Carlo Ceppi.

  • Visit to the exquisitely well preserved 15th-century small town of Saluzzo, with cobbled streets, churches, and elegant palaces, perched on a hill overlooking a vast, lush plain, followed by a Private reception at the marvelous historic residence of an aristocratic family


Turin:


  • Dinner at the exclusive, members-only club Societa del Whist Accademia Filarmonica, of the Piedmont aristocracy and the elite, housed in a magnificent palace with exceptional décor.

  • Private visit & Lunch at a historic residence with admirable décor and works of art, welcomed by the owners, an aristocratic Italian family.

  • Dinner at the private residence of a distinguished art collector.

  • Private visit to the Bramafam Revello garden & Lunch with the owner, Paolo Pejrone, student of Russell Page and among Italy’s leading garden designers.

  • Exclusive private visit to the gardens of the Agnelli family residence, Villar Perosa – one of Italy’s most splendid examples of garden design, rarely opened to visits.

  • Private visit to the Villa Silvio Pellico, a magnificent 18th-Century villa with an extraordinary garden designed by Russell Page.


Milan:

  • Lunch at the prestigious, aristocratic, members-only club Circolo dell’Unione, whose members are of the old nobility of Milan and Lombardy, with admirable architecture and décor.

  • Early evening visit to Cenacolo Vinciano to view The Last Supper, painted by Leonardo da Vinci, closed to the public during our visit.

  • Private cocktail reception at the famous Galleria Lia Rumma, welcomed by Lia Rumma, a leading contemporary art gallerist presenting works of her private collection, including artists Michelangelo Pistoletto, Anselm Kiefer and William Kentridge.


Optional Extension: Lake Maggiore & Lake Como:

Our significant and privileged discovery of Lake Maggiore & Lake Como will be led by Steven Desmond, an architectural historian and landscape consultant specialized in the conservation of historic parks and gardens. Author of “Gardens of the Italian Lakes”, Steven lectures at Oxford University and at the National Association of Decorative & Fine Arts Societies. He is an advisor on historic gardens to the National Trust and broadcasts for the BBC. He is also a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture and Professional Associate of the Royal Horticultural Society.

  • Luncheon with Conte Jacopo Cicogna Mozzoni at his magnificent Villa Cicogna Mozzoni on Lake Maggiore, one of the most elaborate gardens of northern Italy displaying unique Renaissance frescoes.

  • Private visit to the illa Visconti Borromeo Litta, inspired by the Medici villas in Tuscany, first built in 1585 by Count Pirro I Visconti Borromeo with architect Martino Bassi. This vast estate, with its sumptuous gardens spreading over 10 acres, houses an exceptional collection of mosaics, statues, frescoes, and more, by the leading artists of the time, including Francesco Brambilla, Marco Antonio Prestinari, Camillo Procaccini, and Giovanni Battista Volpino.

  • Luncheon with the owner Azzurra Sommi Picenardi at Villa Sommi Picenardi, where we will admire a beautiful example of terraced Italian Garden.

  • Private visit to Villa Della Porta Bozzolo in Casalzuigno, built in the 16th century with an impressive Baroque terraced garden and water features added in the 18th century.

  • Private visit to Villa Balbianello, where the natural setting on a promontory and the architectural harmony of the villa and garden make for one of the most impressive gardens of the area.

  • Visit to Isola Bella with its monumental Baroque palace & majestic Italian gardens, offering a series of terraces planted with roses, oleanders and pomegranates, descending to the Lake.

  • Farewell dinner at the historic and exemplary private residence of an aristocratic family on Lake Como.

For more information and to register: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling: pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com; or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com

The tour price is $9,000 per person based on double occupancy. The tour price is $10,000 for single occupancy. Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

To make your required donation, click here.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Casalmaggiore Provincia, Wikimedia Commons/Daderot, Wikimedia Commons/Henry Kellner


New 20th and 21st Century Classicism in England

September 28 - October 5, 2017

Tour arranged by Classical Excursions

In the 1977 edition of Classical America, Editor William A. Coles wrote an article titled “The Architecture of Raymond Erith, R.A.” Erith was considered the most distinguished English classical architect of the post-World War II era, a time when the endeavor of classical architecture in Great Britain (as well as in America) was nearly extinguished. Erith had died four years earlier, but fortunately his former pupil and then business partner was Quinlan Terry, who today continues the highly respected and successful practice in Dedham, Essex.

Coles underscored this important stance: “…that American classical architects be in touch with their counterparts abroad. Work in different countries will always differ according to local tastes, materials, and traditions of building, but the experience of classical design is a precious accumulation which must be shared if it is to continue and to prosper. Our Classical America President John Bayley and Mr. Quinlan Terry have both spoken of the essential uses of experience in architecture. Mr. Bayley, during his work on the Frick Museum extension, remarked to me that for a design problem which he had to solve laboriously, a McKim or a Trumbauer would most likely have had a solution at hand because they had encountered the problem before…. Mr. Quinlan Terry…makes a similar point: ‘a knowledge of Vitruvius is fundamental, but knowledge tempered by experience is essential to avoid amateur results…’ ”

With these thoughts in mind, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA), in collaboration with Classical Excursions, is pleased to inform you that Clive Aslet, renowned architectural historian, former editor-in-chief and now editor-at-large of Country Life magazine, will lead an eight-day tours with special access to some of England’s finest new classical architecture.

Focusing briefly on London and then the counties encircling the city, as well as Cambridge, Clive will take us to see city and country residential work, collegiate settings, new urban communities, and even the studios and homes of some of the leading classical architects today.

The excursion will include the work of Raymond Erith, Quinlan Terry, John Simpson, Robert Adam, Hugh Petter, George Saumarez Smith, Craig Hamilton, and Ben Pentreath, among others, and proves that 20th and 21st century classical architecture in England remains thriving and influential.


Highlights of the tour include:

  • Visit to the Queen’s Gallery, Buckingham Palace designed by architect John Simpson

  • Private lunch and tour at the new classical Laskett Gardens and home with owner Sir Roy Strong, CH, the former director of the National Portrait Gallery and Victoria & Albert Museum

  • Visit to Easton Neston, an early 18th century house by Hawksmoor with a new wing and restoration designed by Ptolemy Dean for the American designer Leon Max

  • Visit to Williamstrip Park, c. 1700, a Cotswolds country house redesigned by John Soane in 1791 and restored a few years ago by architect Craig Hamilton, who also added a new family wing and a separate Greek Revival pool house. Mark Gillette was the interior designer for the projects

  • Visit to Fawley House, Oxfordshire, brought up to date by Ben Pentreath

  • Visit to Great House, Dedham, the former home of Raymond Erith, and now the home of his daughter Lucy Archer

  • Visits to the ADAM Architects offices at Winchester, as well as nearby country houses

  • Visits to the Gothick Villa, Corinthian Villa, and Hanover Lodge designed by Quinlan and Francis Terry Architects in Regent’s Park, London

  • Visit to Poundbury, the new traditional town commissioned by the Duchy of Cornwall in Dorset preceded by a talk on its development by architect Hugh Petter

  • Visit to McCrum Yard at Eton College designed by John Simpson, as well as Howard Theatre at Downing College, University of Cambridge designed by Quinlan and Francis Terry Architects

  • Private events hosted by Quinlan Terry at his home Highham Hall, and by John and Erica Simpson at their London home, among others

    For further information, contact Tom Hayes, contact@classicalexcursions.com, 413-243-4155.


Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

Image Credit: Quinlan and Francis Terry Architects, Wikimedia Commons/Stephen McKay


Private Bar Harbor and Mt. Desert Island

August 24 - 27, 2017

Tour arranged by Classical Excursions

The towns of one of Maine’s most revered resort islands were described by the maritime historian Samuel Eliot Morison in his book, The Story of Mount Desert Island, “It used to be said that to be a summer resident at Bar Harbor you needed money but no brains; at Northeast Harbor you wanted brain but no money; but at Southwest Harbor, neither brains nor money!”

Morison was a longtime resident, and the island;s trademark town has been Bar Harbor, which in the late 19th century became a summer stopover for the upper echelons of American society. Other towns on the island witnessed the seasonal stays of university presidents, professors, scientists, and the clergy, among others. From the standpoint of the island’s rustic vernacular architecture constructed mainly of wood shingle siding and field stone, one town didn’t supersede another.

The island has been a destination for inspiration, relaxation, and outdoor activities since the 1840s. Ar first, Hudson Valley School painters, most notably Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, travelled to Mount Desert Island, and in particular to Bar Harbor, to paint images of the area’s spectacular seascapes and landscapes.

After the Civil War, great hotels were built for vacationers or “rusticators,” but ultimately the “cottages,” rambling shingle-style mansions, and middle class summer residences took over the landscape. Disaster hit Bar Harbor with the Great Fire of 1947, when a third of its 222 cottages were destroyed. Today, with a social history that rivals Newport, the Berkshires, and Tuxedo Park, and great scenic beauty all its own, Mount Desert Island remains a major summer destination. Like most of the 19th century resorts, many of the seasonal homes remain in private hands, while others have become museums, belong to institutions, or offer overnight accommodations as bed and breakfasts.

What connotes the shingle style? In his book on the area’s most famous architect, Maine Cottages: Fred L. Savage and the Architecture of Mount Desert, architectural historian John M. Bryan states that for “practical and economic factors” wood shingles weather well. The fact that they overlap can allow movement with changes in climate without dampness penetrating. New England shingles, made of “rot-resistant white cedar,” were turned out in vast quantities in squared off or rounded shapes.

One other major aspect of Mount Desert Island is nature and the cultivation of beautiful gardens. One person stands out for her highly talented contribution, the legendary landscape designer Beatrix Farrand, who summered at Bar Harbor for over half a century, creating over 60 gardens. One of her greatest projects is the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Garden at the Eyrie, the family estate at Seal Harbor. Large collections of plants from her Reef Point home can now be seen at the Asticou Azalea Garden and Thuya Garden, both at Northeast Harbor. Another Farrand garden can be found at her last home, Garland Farm, Salisbury Cove, now the headquarters of the Beatrix Farrand Society.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art (ICAA) in collaboration with Classical Excursions is pleased to announce that an exclusive tour is being offered of Bar Harbor and other significant towns and areas on extraordinary Mt. Desert Island.

An opening lecture on “The Shingle Style on Mount Desert from William R. Emerson to Robert A.M. Stern” will be given by Earle G. Shettleworth, Jr who serves as director of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission and is the Maine State Historian. He has written extensively on Main history and architecture. We will have two guides, Sargent Gardiner, an architectural historian whose family has summered at Bar Harbor for several generations and who is also a partner with Robert A.M. Stern Architects, as well as architectural historian Willie Granston, a native of Mt. Desert Island.

Tour highlights include:

  • A private tour of Redwood, Bar Harbor, designed by William R. Emerson, considered to be one of the most architecturally important summer cottages in Maine

  • A private tour of La Rochelle, Bar Harbor, designed by Andrews, Jacques & Rantoul, with its unique and elegant blend of French Renaissance and English Georgian architecture

  • A private visit to Skylands, designed by Duncan Candler, built of local pink granite with grounds designed by landscape architect Jens Jensen. Edsel Ford and his family summered here, and it is now the Seal Harbor estate of Martha Stewart

  • A private tour of Garland Farm at Salisbury Cove with the president of the Beatrix Farrand Society

  • A private visit to Mountaintop House, a 21st century shingle-style house by Albert, Righter & Tittmann

  • A private tour of The Turrets, Bar Harbor, designed by Bruce Price. The mansion is an interpretation of the French chateau style with a complex roof line of a wealth of projections, capped towers, and dormers

  • A tour by boat of Somes Sound to view the estates that line the shore

  • Exclusive tours of Bar Harbor and Northeast Harbor

  • Overnight accommodations at the Harborside Hotel, Spa and Marina, overlooking Frenchman’s Bay in Bar Harbor.

    For further information contact Tom Hayes, contact@classicalexcursions.com or 413-445-7972.


The tour price is $2,295. A $400 single supplement applies. Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

Image Credit: Sargent C. Gardiner


Private Paris & Beyond

June 9 - 17, 2017

Tour arranged by Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Consultant, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is delighted to announce the travel program Private Paris & Beyond: Exemplary Private Sites, Residences, Chateaux & Gardens. Guests will experience behind the scenes access to some of the city’s most fascinating architectural treasures.
Tour Highlights:

-Private Behind-the-Scenes Full-day Visit to the Château de Versailles, the day it is closed to the public. We will visit Marie-Antoinette’s estate, including the Petit Trianon, and rooms not open to the public: the Théâtre de la Reine, the Pavillon Français, and the Chapelle de la Reine.

-Private Day trip & Lunch at Jacques Garcia’s historic Château du Champ de Bataille, near Paris: Château du Champ de Bataille is one of the finest 17th century estates in France and houses an exceptional collection of art. We will also enjoy a private visit of the splendidly restored French gardens inspired by Le Nôtre.

-Private reception at Hôtel de La Rochefoucauld-Doudeauville, the magnificent private residence of the Italian Ambassador to France. With its exquisite French Regency décor and the 18th-century Théatre Sicilien, transported from the Palais Butera de Palerme in Sicily, and an enchanting garden, the Hôtel is classified a French Historic Monument.

-Recital with celebrated pianist Jay Gottlieb & Dinner Reception at a Private Residence located in a beautiful 17th century hôtel particulier, housing handsome décor and impressive works of art, 16th century to Contemporary. Our hostess is a prominent member of the art world, author, specialist in Frida Kahlo and Marc Chagall, and organizer of noteworthy art exhibits.

-Private Visit to the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte with Alexandre de Vogüé, for a memorable discovery of his family’s emblematic residence. Built from 1658 to 1661 for Nicolas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s finance minister, Vaux-le-Vicomte was one of the most influential works of architecture and décor of mid 17th-century Europe. For the first time, architect Louis Le Vau, landscape architect André le Nôtre, and artist-decorator Charles Le Brun worked together to achieve this exceptional feat, which marked the commencement of the “Louis XIV style.” Following our visit, we will enjoy drinks in the gardens with our host.

Our expert lecturer:
Pierre-Jean Cornuat, is a French national expert guide and has been leading architectural, decorative arts, and garden tours for over 30 years all over France, including Paris and its surroundings, the Loire Valley, Normandy, Champagne, Burgundy, Alsace, and other regions. He studied French history and Art history at the Ecole Nationale de Commerce and at the Ecole du Louvre.

Accommodation:
Guests will stay at the new 4-star luxury hotel & spa Le Saint, 5 rue du Pré aux Clercs, 75007 Paris, in the elegant Saint-Germain-des-Près.
Their Superior rooms are beautifully furnished, with marble bathrooms, gracious service, and a fabulous
location. http://lesainthotelparis.com

Tour Price:
$8,750 per person double occupancy;
$9,750 single occupancy;
+ a fully tax-deductible $500 contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund

Tour Price Includes:
8 days of private visits and receptions;
8 nights accommodation in 4-star luxury hotel;
8 breakfasts;
5 lunches;
5 dinners;
transportation to and from all events in a private coach; all private visits and expert lecturers.

This unique, behind-the-scenes travel program, with exceptional access, will be limited to 20 participants. The Tour Price is based on 18 confirmed participants.

For more information and to assure availability of this significant tour: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com Confirmed participants will receive a full itinerary of this exceptional tour.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

To make your required donation, click here.

Photo Credits: Audrey Chtchepine


The Rich Art & Architectural Heritage of Andalusia, Spain

May 14 - 21, 2017

Tour arrangements by Classical Excursions

Andalusia, Spain is known as “the bridge between two continents,” Africa and Europe, as well as “the gateway to Europe”. The Andalusian region has been coveted by many cultures since the earliest period of mankind, and it is one of the areas of settlement of our prehistoric ancestors. The diversity of the landscapes, which form the Andalusia region, provide an entire regional spectrum. It is this variety of environments that create a superb mix of visual and cultural experiences within a unique range of monumental cities to traditional towns. Andalusia has been a continual source of inspiration for architects, artists, composers and writers.

With that in mind, the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is inviting you to join art and architectural historian Dr. Johan Cederlund, director of the Anders Zorn Museum, on an exclusive tour of the finest areas and sites that behold this extraordinary region of southern Spain. Dr. Cederlund is a veteran tour leader and lecturer, as well as an author of books on art and architecture and curator of international art exhibitions viewed in Spain, Sweden, New York and California.

Dr. Cederlund will start his private tour in Malaga, located on the glamorous Costa del Sol and home to centuries of civilizations: Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors and Iberians. Modern Malaga is a cultural center offering a wide array of first-rate art museums and superb cuisine. Among other sites featured on the itinerary are private visits to two art museums. Museo Picasso, which is housed in a 16th-century palazzo called El Palacio de Buenovista. The second, Museum Carmen Thyssen, a splendid private collection affiliated with the Thyssen- Bornemisza family of Madrid and focusing on 19th century Spanish paintings.

In Malaga, we will visit the historic town center including the Plaza de la Constitucion, the cathedral, Picasso’s childhood home and the Roman theater. We will also see the intriguing 11th century Moorish fortification Alcazaba.

For anyone visiting Andalusia, a stop at Granada is a must. The Alhambra palace is considered one of the finest examples of Islamic architecture in Spain. It attracts more visitors than any other historic monument in Europe. Our tour includes a private visit to this exceptional and singularly unique building in the world.

Other highlights in Granada include a private visit to the Carmen Los Cipreses, one of the more important buildings in the historic Albayzin Moorish quarter of Granada facing Alhambra, and the privately owned Nasrid house.

During the tour, participants will also visit Cordoba and its famed Moorish mosque La Mezquita de Cordoba, which was completed in the year 900 and became an important prototype for future Moorish architecture. Cordoba became a world-class metropolitan city with a population of more than 100,000. While in Cordoba, we will also stop at the Royal Palace Alcázar de los Reyes Cristianos for an exclusive tour of the palace and the gardens.

We continue on to Andalusia’s capital city of Seville, known architecturally as a transitional city between Moorish and Spanish Spain. Here we will visit the art museum, Museo de Bellas Artes de Sevilla, housed in a 16th century fort, originally a cloister. The museum features paintings from the golden age of Spanish art, works by such world-renowned artists Murillo and Zurbaran.

While in Seville we also visit the royal palace Real Alcázar, originally built by Moorish Muslim kings and known to be the most beautiful palace in Spain. It is considered one of the best examples of mudejar architecture found on the Iberian Peninsula. The upper levels of the palace are still used as the Seville official residence of the royal family and is a Unesco World Heritage site.

In Seville participants also visit the Casa de las Dueñas which is the official residence of the Dukes of Alba in the city, and was the favored residence of Cayetana, 18th Duchess of Alba.

Another palace that we will visit on the tour is the Countess of Lebrija’s home in Seville, Palacio Lebrija. The Palacio Lebrija known to be the best-paved house in the world with over 500 square meters of Roman Mosaic flooring. The countess was an archaeology enthusiast and therefore incorporated many original Roman finds into the house.

Casa De Salinas is a fine example of a classical XVI century Andalusian courtyard house inspired by Greek and Roman architecture with Moorish details interspersed throughout. The owners of this privately owned palace will greet us with a welcome drink to make our private visit extra special.

The tour will also feature a visit to the XV century privately owned Casa Palacio Bailén with the owners in the heart of historic Seville; dinner at the private home of the Consul General of Italy in Seville, Palacio Casa Fabiola; a special farewell dinner on the roof top terrace of Santo Tomás, a private home in Seville with spectacular views of the most significant monuments in the city; and lunch with the Marquis of Domecq at his home Palacio Domecq of Jerez.

Another beautiful city not to be missed is Cadiz, known as Europe’s oldest city, founded by the Phoenicians more than 3000 years ago. In Cadiz, we will explore the historic city center with its charming narrow passageways and cobblestone streets.

Our accommodations include a four-night stay at the renowned five-star Hotel Alfonso XIII in the heart of historic Seville, a two-night stay at the Vincci Selección Posada del Patio in Malaga, and the Alhambra Palace Hotel in Granada.

For further details, please contact contact@classicalexcursions.com or 413-446-8728.

The tour price is $4500 per person, based on double occupancy. A single supplement of $1,200 per person applies. Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Make your contribution online now, or call 212.730.9646 ×106.

Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons/José Luiz Bernardes Ribeiro; Wikimedia Commons/Cat


Classical Atlanta, Past and Present (Sold Out)

April 20 - 23, 2017

Tour arranged by Classical Excursions

This tour is currently sold out.

Atlanta’s classical tradition is a rich architectural heritage that since the early years of the 20th century has never ceased to thrive. Philip Trammell Shutze (Atlanta’s most revered), J. Neel Reid, Lewis Edmund Crook, Jr., James Means, Norman Davenport Askins, Stan Dixon, William Harrison and Young Pak, are just some of the names that come to mind in the pantheon of the southern city’s classical architects, past and present. The work of such interior designers as Jackye Lanham, Tammy Connor, Judy Bentley, Bunny Williams and Brian McCarthy have created with great integrity interiors that secure the classical tradition for today’s living styles.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is pleased to announce an extended weekend tour of some of Atlanta’s best classical architecture, past and present. Thanks to ICAA travel committee members Barry Hutner and Stan Dixon, as well as others, the highest standards have been maintained in the selection of private homes for the tour. Among these are Eagle House by J. Neel Reid, inspired by Tintinhull House in Somerset, England, a Regency-style house also by J. Neel Reid, Olsen House by Stan Dixon, Nawench owned by Jackye Lanham and Mori House, Swan House and the May Patterson Goodrum House, all by Philip Shutze. These are just a few of the tour sites.

An opening dinner at the exclusive Piedmont Driving Club with a lecture by renowned architectural historian Elizabeth Dowling, a dinner in a splendid private home and a cocktail reception at another are just a few of the highlights for the tour. Overnight accommodations have been reserved at the Ritz Carlton, Buckhead.

For further information contact Tom Hayes, contact@classicalexcursions.com or 413-243-4155.

Image Credit: Flickr / Jim Bowen


Classicism in the Caribbean: Great Houses & Gardens of Barbados (sold out)

February 11 - 18, 2017

Tour arranged by Classical Excursions

THIS TOUR IS CURRENTLY FULL

Of all the British Caribbean islands, Barbados boasts the largest array of preserved buildings and great houses reflecting the influence of British Georgian/Palladian architecture. Colonization of the Caribbean left its mark not only through immigration and wealth but also through the architecture left behind. The explosion of wealth generated from the booming sugar industry ensured that after a series of hurricanes and fires, Barbados was rebuilt in high style, heavily influenced by British Georgian architecture.

The Georgian and Palladian influence seen in Barbados’ many public buildings from the 18th century, such as Government House in Bridgetown, had a lasting impact on the subsequent vernacular architecture of Barbados. It can be seen in the detailing on plantation or “great houses,” right down to the simplest of wooden so called “chattel houses.” Chattel houses were the vernacular expression of economical portable and expandable housing for the average “Bajan” working class person.

In Barbados, the fusion of classical elements from the British Georgian architecture, such as arches, quoins and arcades, meld beautifully with the more traditional Caribbean features such as the demera window and bell pelmet hoods. This unique fusion has created what we refer to as “Caribbean Georgian” architecture. A typical “Bajan” or Barbadian house features verandas enclosed by a series of fixed demera windows (a feature borrowed from Guyana). The demera window is a full-length window hinged at the top and pushed out for ventilation.

The bell pelmet or hood is also a typical Bajan feature found on the vernacular buildings of Barbados. A series of arcades or arches and double staircases also show the Georgian influences. Coral stone blocks were most commonly used on the older houses. After slavery was abolished in the Caribbean, cargo ships coming to the islands replaced African slave cargo with either brick or timber ballast. Hence, the appearance of wooden and masonry houses became more frequent in Barbados.

During the height of the sugar industry, the island was depleted of its timber and replaced by plantations producing sugar. Barbadians were henceforth dependent upon timber from other countries for building. Even today many of the newer buildings on the island clearly incorporate many historic features such as jalousied demara windows, quoins, arches and the typical Bajan bell pelmet hood over the window.

Classical Excursions and The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art invite you to join us on this exclusive week-long exploration of Barbados’ finest and most historic Caribbean Georgian classical homes and public buildings. Visits to rarely seen Barbadian homes such as Leamington House, where Oliver Messel stayed during the restoration of his own house Maddox House. Leamington, originally a plantation house from the 1830s was purchased by Messel’s friend Jack Heinz (of the Heinz Corporation), and redecorated by Messel. Oliver Messel then went on to design a garden pavilion on the estate to serve as a guest-house and banquet hall. Hollywood icons such as Greta Garbo were entertained at Leamington throughout the years.

Clifton Hall, Drax Hall and Halton House are just a few of the other privately owned Great houses that we will be visiting on this exclusive excursion. The tour also includes visits to Fustic House and Maddox House. These historic properties are the legacy of Oliver Messel, legendary British set designer, artist, architect and interior designer, who with clever style and flair achieved designs of incredible adaptability.

We are very fortunate to have Senator Sir Henry Fraser lead our exclusive tour. He is the foremost expert on Barbadian architecture and ambassador of historic preservation on this beautiful island, having written numerous books on architecture including Historic Houses of Barbados. A lecture by Sir Henry, as well as talks by representatives from the National Trust of Barbados, are special highlights of this exclusive travel program.

Our luxurious accommodations are at the Crane Resort, located on a secluded part of the island directly on Crane Beach, voted one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world. A favorite quote about Barbados and the Crane comes from Raymond Savage from his book titled Barbados on the Crane 1936: “ The air is incomparable….and its beneficial, ozone laden wind soon produces a feeling of intense exhilaration and peace to even the most brain-weary or physically ill of mortals.”

Meals include dinners and lunches in private homes and exclusive restaurants such as the Sandy Lane Resort. The Sandy Lane sugar plantation and Great House was purchased by Ronald Tree shortly after building Heron Bay. He later expanded Sandy Lane and opened it as a five-star luxury resort. Celebrities from around the world frequent Sandy Lane. There will also be a bit of time to enjoy the beautiful Crane Beach.

For further information, please contact contact@classicalexcursions.com, 413-243-4155.

Tour price $4000.00 per person based on double occupancy/garden-view suite, $4600.00 per person based on double occupancy/ocean-view suite. Single supplement applies.

A fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required in order to participate. To make your contribution to the ICAA now, please use this link.

Image Credit: Lani Summerville


Private New York

December 1-4, 2016


For nearly a decade and a half, Private New York has been the continuing story of ever-evolving opulent and creative architecture and interiors – a canvas for the work of celebrated architects, designers and artisans, and a venue for the viewing of great historic architecture. 2016 will be without exception.

As with past Private New York tours, we will be given special entrée to some of the finest city residences, beginning with an elegant apartment belonging to a prominent couple that overlooks Central Park at 1107 Fifth Avenue (Rouse & Goldstone, architects, 1925) and is furnished with one of the great collections of French antiques. The apartment is part of a triplex once belonging to Mrs. Marjorie Merriweather Post.

Interior designers William Brockschmidt and Courtney Coleman will be on hand to escort us through the fabulous Park Avenue apartment they have decorated for Fernanda Kellogg and Kirk Henckels. Carolyne Roehm, the highly talented tastemaker that she is, will show us how she has turned what was once an early 20th-century artist’s studio into the most beautiful abode for living privately and entertaining graciously. The Belle Epoque splendor of the newly restored rooms of the Park Avenue Armory conjure up the names of such designers as Louis Comfort Tiffany, Stanford White and Herter Brothers.

Traveling from the Upper East Side, we move on to Gramercy Park to visit architect David Parker at his masterfully redesigned townhouse that faces the historic private park. Next is the stunning Greenwich Village townhouse of interior designer Steven Gambrel and James Anderson. Nearby is the residence of Courtney and Nicholas Stern and their three children. He heads Stern Projects, a high-end residential contracting company and she is an interior designer with her own firm. His father is Robert A.M. Stern, whose firm brought the four-story 1847 Greek Revival townhouse up to date. The tour would not be complete without a private visit of the restored Georgian-Federal Morris-Jumel Mansion (1765, remodeled c.1810) in Upper Manhattan.

The four-day excursion will open Thursday evening with a symposium at the New York School of Interior Design on “The Legacy of Parish-Hadley” lead by interior designers Bunny Williams and Alexa Hampton and architect Mark Ferguson. Dinner at the Cosmopolitan Club will follow the event. Lunch on Friday will be offered at the Lotos Club, once the Beaux Arts mansion belonging to Margaret Vanderbilt Shepard (Richard Howland Hunt, architect, 1900).

These are just a few of the exclusive sites that we will visit during our tour. For further information, please contact Thomas Hayes, Director of Classical Excursions, at tom@classicalexcursions.com, 413-243-4155.

Tour price is $1550.00 per person, excluding hotel.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. To make your contribution to the ICAA now, please use this link.


Private Houses & Gardens of South Africa

November 12-19, 2016

Known for its magnificent scenery the Cape of Good Hope region will open its doors to a hidden world of magnificent art, architecture and gardens. From the thatched and gabled manor houses of the 17th century Dutch settlers and the influence of the Dutch East India Company to the mansions of the Rand Lords this tour will encompass 250 years of colonial architecture.

The group will stay five nights at the world famous Mount Nelson Hotel set below the backdrop of Table Mountain, along with two nights at the renowned Lanzerac hotel & spa in Stellenbosch. We will visit the famous botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch as well as four outstanding private gardens. The tour will take in private wine estates and the art collections of some of the Cape’s great families. The tour is led by Graham Viney, renowned international interior designer from South Africa, and author of
two books including the landmark Historic Houses of South Africa.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE

Built in c.1665 as a star fortress and the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, this, the oldest surviving colonial building, houses a collection of national treasures, paintings, furniture, glass, silver and porcelain.

MICHAELIS COLLECTION

Donated in 1914 by Sir Max Michaelis, this world-class collection of mostly Netherlands art contains masterpieces by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Van Dyke and Jacob van Ruisdael

KOOPMANS DE WET HOUSE

This house museum is furnished as a home for a well-to-do Cape family during the late 18th Century. It houses some of the best pieces of Cape furniture and silver in the country, in addition to a priceless collection of ceramics. A household such as this would only have been able to function with its share of servants and slaves, and recent research has brought to light the names and professions of some who lived in the house at the time, as well as the kinds of activities they would have pursued.

GROOT SCHUUR

The former Cape Town residence of the state president, the gabled Groote Schuur (‘Big Barn’) was originally built in 1667 to serve as the VOC’s granary before it was bought by Cecil John Rhodes in 1893 and converted into a grand mansion and office by his chum Architect Sir Herbert Baker. Along with the building, Rhodes bought several other properties on Table Mountain’s eastern slopes during the late 19th century, including the summer house of Rudyard Kipling, the Woolsack, and Mostert’s Mill. On the slopes above the University of Cape Town campus you can still see the ruins of the lion enclosure known as the Groote Schuur Zoo, which replaced the original cage-like structure commissioned by Rhodes in 1897. Rhodes died in 1910 and bequeathed his estate to the nation; an elaborate neoclassical shrine was erected in his memory.

RHODES MEMORIAL

The memorial, which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, was built in 1912 to honour former Cape Colony prime minister and mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes. The position chosen was Rhodes’ favourite viewing site. The memorial was built in recognition of Rhodes’ contribution to Cape Town and the colony. The funders spared no cost in ensuring that it was an appropriate tribute to his contribution to South Africa. Built from Cape granite quarried on Table Mountain, the memorial consists of 49 steps – one for each year of Rhodes’s life. The Doric columns were inspired by Rhodes’s appreciation of classical architecture, and the eight lions were modelled on those at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, Londo

IRMA STERN MUSEUM

Irma Stern (1894-1966), was a major South African artist who achieved national and international recognition in her lifetime. The permanent collection on display shows Irma Stern’s development as an artist whose subject matter included exotic figures, portraits, lush landscapes and still lifes conveyed in a variety of media, ranging from oils and water colors to gouache and charcoal. The Irma Stern Museum was established in 1971 and is the house the artist lived in for almost four decades. Several of the rooms are furnished as she arranged them while upstairs there is a commercial gallery used by contemporary South African artists.

GROOT CONSTANTIA

In 1685, during an annual visit to the Cape, Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein granted the grounds of Groot Constantia to Simon van der Stel the VOC Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. Van der Stel built the house and used the land to produce wine as well as other fruit and vegetables, and for cattle farming. Following Van der Stel’s death in 1712 the estate was broken up and sold in three parts: Groot Constantia; Klein Constantia; and Bergvliet.

In 1779 the portion of the estate including Van der Stel’s Cape Dutch-style manor house was sold to the Cloete family, who planted extensive vineyards and extended and improved the mansion by commissioning the architect Louis Michel Thibault. The wine cellar was added by Cloete in 1791. The house remained in the possession of the Cloete family until 1885, during which period the estate became famous for its production of Constantia dessert wine. In 1885 Groot Constantia was purchased by the government of the Cape of Good Hope and was used as an experimental wine and agricultural estate.
In 1969 the manor house became part of the South African Cultural History Museum, and in 1993 the estate passed into the ownership of the Groot Constantia Trust. The exhibition in the house is managed by Iziko South African Museum, and is particularly focused on rural slavery and the life of slaves during the early Cape colonial period.

RUST EN VREDE

In Rhodes’ last years he went to live in his tiny cottage by the sea at Muizenberg, away from the cold and damp of Groote Schuur. Just above his cottage, Rhodes planned with Herbert Baker a house ‘on a great high terrace-wall, designed so that from the house and stoop the public road would be hidden, and there would be seen through white columns the fullest sweep of the blue sea and rhythm of white surf, and the two far-off mountain promontories which shelter the entrance to False Bay.

This dream was never to be fulfilled, as Rhodes had an even more burning desire: that he might save sufficient monies to endow scholarships at Oxford – the Rhodes Scholarships. So the house was left unfinished. However, Sir Abe Bailey completed Rust en Vrede, from the foundations upwards, building it according to the original plan commissioned by Rhodes. Baker’s watercolor perspective drawing shows the house roughly as it was built: white, with tall gables and twisting chimneys against the soft red-ochre of the roof, all grouped above arcaded loggias. It was the prototype of houses Baker was yet to build in other parts of Africa. The interior is a mixture of styles, with Lutyensesque countrified beamed ceilings contrasting with a sophisticated and almost Art Deco green marble drawing room.

FRESH WOODS

Fresh Woods is the private garden of Peter and Barbara Knox-Shaw. It contains a remarkable rose collection of both species and old and new hybrids, many raised from seed from the wild or cuttings of wild-collected species. Begun in the 1950’s, roses are planted informally. They cover old apple trees, climb along fences and are mixed with other shrubs and herbaceous perennials. This garden is particularly valuable for the conservation of old roses from the Cape and for preserving collections of wild roses. Although a private garden, it is open regularly. It is known throughout the world and is a source of propagation material and a center for the exchange of rare and valuable varieties.

KIRSTENBOSCH

Kirstenbosch is the name of a famous botanical garden nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town. The garden is one of nine National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa’s six different biomes. The most beautiful garden in Africa, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world.

BABYLONSTOREN

Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. Not only the manor house from 1777, but pioneer structures all the way back to the founding of the farm in 1690. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall.

The Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the farm.  It was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia.  It also hails back to the mythical garden of Babylon. Spanning eight acres, the Babylonstoren garden is formal in structure.  Every one of over 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible. The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens and includes a prickly pear maze.  Gravity feeds water into waterways from a stream into the garden as it was done for 300 years.
Following the bell tower axis, the old cellar axis or the Babylonstoren hill axis, walks span over three kilometers in the garden.  During spring, 7 000 clivias bloom down by the stream, where a secluded path runs in the shade of wild olives and oaks.

MORGENSTER

For 300 years Morgenster has attracted and inspired people through its blend of beautiful surroundings, excellent terroir and a manor house recognized as one of the great houses of the Western Cape. It is refreshing to look back on the people and periods of history that created this marvelous place and to appreciate their contribution.

RUSTENBERG

The garden is situated next to the Cape Dutch homestead Schoongezicht, which dates back to 1814. In 2001, Rozanne Barlow, wife of the current owner of the Rustenberg Estate, undertook to regenerate and restore the garden. Walls were constructed, and the site where the old tennis court stood has been transformed into an eleven circuit Chartres-style labrynth, laid out in half brick and river stone. The twenty-five meter long swimming pool was converted into a lily pond and is now home to many Koi fish. The charming pergola, originally built by John X Merriman, supports climbing roses, clematis and other fragrant climbers.

The garden is essentially laid out in a formal style with four distinct areas accessed by pathways, the hard landscaping has pulled the sizeable site of one hectare comfortably together.The planting can be described as English, with roses, foxgloves, salvias, agapanthus, sedum, anemones, day lilies and much more – really a plants lover’s dream. The changing of the seasons bring interesting and beautiful changes – there is always something to catch the eye. The ‘borrowed’ surrounding landscape of vineyards, green pastures and the majestic Simonsberg mountain backdrop make a magical place.

STELLENBERG

In upper Kenilworth stands the beautiful Stellenberg, a Cape Dutch property dating back to original Van Der Stel ownership. Fortunately it has been blessed with sensible and caring owners – starting with the Felthams, who required Stellenberg in 1878, who did not succumb to the fashion of the times by removing gables, replacing thatch with corrugated iron or to tamper with the Cape Dutch windows and shutters. Finally the Ovenstones acquired Stellenberg in the 1950?s and today, nearly 60 years later, Stellenberg remains one of the most beautiful Cape Dutch houses in the Cape Peninsula. The garden, as it is now, commenced in 1987 with the Herb Garden. Graham Viney and Gary Searle were inspirational in the planning and planting of this garden as in other areas of the garden too. In 1989 the Walled Garden, designed by David Hicks was begun. The Rose Garden which was executed in 1989 has been removed and a new parterre has been designed in its place (2001) by Franchesca Watson. The feel that the link between house and this new garden relates better to the house and provides a better balance to the rest of the garden. New ideas and inspiration have taken place from year to year and planting schemes have changed reflecting old and looking towards the contemporary and the future of gardening.

VERGELEGEN

When Willem Adriaan succeeded his father, Simon van der Stel, as governor of the Cape in 1700, it didn’t take long before he claimed a modest 30,000 hector piece of land for himself just as his father had done in his time at Constantia. It took three days by oxwagon to reach Willem Adriaan’s farm on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland mountain range overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; hence its name ‘Vergelegen’, meaning ‘situated faraway’. Six years after he started planting vines, Willem Adriaan had half a million vine stocks. He laid out fruit orchards and orange groves, planted camphor and oak trees, and established eighteen cattle stations with 1000 cattle and 1800 sheep. Willem Adriaan also built reservoirs and dug irrigation canals. He built himself a beautiful Cape Dutch homestead, added a corn mill and many other subsidiary buildings.When, in November 1705, reverent Francois Valentijn visited Vergelegen he uttered the now well-known words: “I saw this Estate with exceptional pleasure, since everything was laid out wonderfully finely.”

The younger van der Stel was a man of divergent interests, but his enthusiasm to turn this barren land into an agricultural paradise got the better of him and after only six years in office, Willem Adriaan was found guilty of corrupt practices and was ordered to return to the Netherlands in October 1706. Nevertheless, Willem Adriaan was considered a genius for his knowledge of farming and his visionary mind contributed greatly to the agricultural development of the Cape.

Visits to Ida’s Valley, a private Cape Dutch farmstead owned by the Erskine family, and La Garonne, an 18th century house & garden, privately owned by the Rupert family and beautifully situated below the mountains in the Franschhoen Valley.

A fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required in order to participate. To make your contribution to the ICAA now, please use this link.

For additional information please contact contact@classicalexcursions.com, or by phone 413-446-8728

Image Credit: Lani Summerville


Private Chateaux of the Loire Valley with Le Prince Jardinier, Louis Albert de Broglie

Friday, October 14th to Saturday, October 22nd, 2016

Among the tour highlights:
Participants will stay at the Chateau de la Bourdaisière, where Le Prince Jardinier, Prince Louis Albert de Broglie and Princess Françoise de Broglie, will welcome them. The Château de la Bourdaisière, built between the 14th and 16th centuries, listed as a French Historic Monument, member of the Castles & Hotels Collection, is located in the heart of the chateaux of the Loire, between Tours and Amboise. The elegant rooms were recently restored and decorated by the owners with beautiful fabrics famous Braquenier and Frey.

Among the Tour Highlights:

Among the Tour Highlights:

New! Private visit to the Château de Chenonceau with the Chief Curator, one of France’s jewels, famous for the exceptional quality of its art collection of renowned artists, including Murillo, Rubens, Van Loo, and many more.

Festive candlelight dinner in the troglodyte cellar of Château de la Bourdaisière, with the Prince Louis Albert and the Princess Françoise de Broglie. A very special evening!

Private visit to the Château d’Ussé & its remarkable French Garden designed by Le Nôtre, considered one of the most beautiful gardens in the Loire Valley, built between the 15th and 17th centuries, labeled a French Historic Monument, warmly welcomed by the Duke of Blacas and his family. Château d’Ussé was the setting for Charles Perrault’s legendary fairy-tale book, “Sleeping Beauty”.

Private visit & Cocktail Dinner at the 15th-century Château du Clos Lucé, labeled a French Historic Monument, former summer residence of the Kings of France and the final dwelling of Leonardo de Vinci, with the owners, François and Gonzague Saint Bris, historian and philosopher.

Private visit & Lunch at the Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire, once the home to Catherine de Medici, Diane de Poitiers, and the Princess de Broglie. We will visit the collections with the curator Chantal Colleu-Dumond and the magnificent sculpture park with Gérard Dosba, head gardener, hosting installations by renowned artists such as Giuseppe Penone, Tadashi Kawamata or Patrick Dougherty.

Private visit with the owner, Henri Carvallo, to the Château de Villandry, built between the 16th and 18th centuries, labeled a French Historic Monument and a Remarkable French Garden, beyond exquisite. Henri Carvallo’s great-grandmother, Ann Caroline Coleman, American, contributed immensely to the restoration of the château.

Festive farewell dinner at the 15th-century Royal Château d’Amboise with the curator Jean Louis Sureau. This emblematic castle and its landscaped gardens offer one of the most remarkable panoramas of the Loire valley. A marvelous way to end our program!


DOWNLOAD THE ITINERARY

For more information and to assure availability of this significant tour: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com Confirmed participants will receive a full itinerary of this exceptional tour.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

Images courtesy of wikimedia.org and flickr (Benh Lieu Song).


Adler & Shaw: Classicism on Chicago's North Shore

September 29 – October 2, 2016

SOLD OUT

Howard Van Doren Shaw (1869 – 1926) and David Adler (1882 – 1949) were two of the Chicago area’s leading architects whose names are synonymous with stunning country houses in established North Shore communities like Lake Forest and Lake Bluff. Shaw’s brilliant work reveals his admiration for the English country house designs of Sir Edwin Lutyens and the Arts and Crafts ideas of Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Adler, whose talent was keenly sought after by the next generation of wealthy clients, is widely favored today for his genius at classical design and detailing inspired by his training at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. The ICAA is pleased to announce an extended weekend tour of a selection of both architects’ most important country houses.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Make your contribution online now, or call 212.730.9646 ×106.

For further information contact Thomas Hayes, Director, Classical Excursions, 413-243-4155 or tom@classicalexcursions.com.


Highbrow Gardens of the Lowlands: Gardens of Netherlands & BelgiumRegister Now!

July 10-16, 2016

Tour arranged by Boxwood Tours

Register now to secure your place on this tour and receive a complimentary copy of Axel Vervoordts’ Living with Light or Piet Oudolf’s Planting: A New Perspective

Highbrow Gardens of the Lowlands: A Special Garden Tour to the Gardens of Netherlands & Belgium
 

The Low Countries of Europe now form three distinct nations: The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg. In this tour we concentrate on the coastal regions bounded by the North Sea from Amsterdam in the Netherlands to Bruges in the eastern Flanders district of Belgium. This region is justly famous for horticultural excellence.

We will see the best known, classic Dutch and Belgian gardens as well as more recent private creations. Beginning in the province of Gelderland, home to stunning gardens of manors and castles, we’ll then head south to our base in historic Antwerp where we find that Belgian gardens are like Belgian chocolates, intricate, delicious and exclusive.

Onward to Amsterdam, focusing on the canal gardens, traveling by boat from one town house to another, and ending at our hotel on the Keizersgracht. This is a very beautiful part of Amsterdam, full of small shops, canals, bridges, elegant leaning town houses and so very many bicycles. Guests will visit a private garden designed by the famous Jacques Wirtz as well as Axel Vervoordt’s Kasteel van ‘s-Gravenwezel. Throughout the tour we are introduced to the leading names in Dutch and Belgian horticulture and garden design with works by Mien Ruys, Michael van Gessel, Piet Oudolf and Daniel Ost to name but a few: all dedicated designers and horticulturists who have changed and are changing the backyards of the world.

Dr Sophieke Piebenga

VIEW ITINERARY

Accommodations: We have carefully selected three fine hotels: The Dylan, Amsterdam is a 17th century town house on the Keizersgracht with individually designed rooms offering a haven of style and tranquillity; Kasteel Engelenburg, a colonial style country house surrounded by parkland and woods; and Hotel ‘t Sandt, a stylish 17th century town house hotel within walking distance of all the main highlights of the vibrant city of Antwerp.

Tour Price:
£2650 (approx. $4,016 USD*) per person. A single supplement of £450 (approx. $682 USD*) is levied by the hotels.

*price in USD is approximated based on recent exchange rate.

A separate fully deductible contribution payment of $500 per person to the Institute’s Annual Fund should be made directly to ICAA. For questions
regarding the donation, call the Institute at 212-730-9646 ×106 or click here
to make your donation online now.

To register, please use this link, or contact mail@boxwoodtours.co.uk

Images courtesy of Chris Ghyselen and wikimedia (top).


Great Houses & Gardens of Scotland

June 4-11, 2016

Arranged by Classical Excursions.

Join the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art’s President, Peter Lyden, on this magnificent tour of Scotland.

During this week-long excursion, expertly arranged by Classical Excursions and Mark Donnelly, we will visit some of the finest examples of Palladian and Adam Style buildings and homes in Scotland including Georgian House (1796), The Register House (1774-1789) and The Royal Exchange (1753-1754) in Edinburgh, as well as Hopetoun House, Dumfries House, Mellerstain, Floors Castle, Arniston, Manderston and Gosford, Sir William Bruce’s Hopetoun House and many more.

The 18th Century is often described as the Golden Age of Scottish decorative
arts and architecture. The capital city of Edinburgh itself has been named the
“The Scottish Enlightenment in Stone” and “The Athens of the North.” The concept for the city plan was conceived in the 1750s as the old town had become crowded and outdated. A competition was held to find a design for a new and modernized town, and it was a young architect by the name of James Craig who took home the prize. The fine architectural ensemble that was created had no equal and is still considered to be the largest intact Georgian city in the world.

Sir William Bruce was a late 17th Century Scottish “gentleman-architect” described as “the effective founder of classical architecture in Scotland.” A prominent figure in introducing the Palladian style to his native country,
Bruce’s career parallels that of Inigo Jones and Christopher Wren. One
of Bruce’s most important works that guests will see is his own Palladian
country house at Kinross (1693).

There were two primary figures who were particularly influential during the 18th Century in Scotland, advocating a new “purer” style in architecture and interior decoration, a reaction away from the Baroque and Rococo. Their names were Robert and James Adam. While Robert was the more pre-eminent of the two, as brothers, together they introduced and disseminated the Adam Style to Scotland. Their father, William Adam, the foremost architect in Scotland (“His Genius for Architecture pushed him…into a high degree of Reputation”), had also introduced the Palladian style to that country, especially with his design for Haddo House (1732).

Their elder brother, John, who had worked for their father, sponsored a Grand Tour through Italy for Robert and James. The tour was instrumental in helping the pair gain knowledge of the motifs of the Roman, Greek and Etruscan; motifs which they blended with Palladian architecture to create their neo-classical style during the rise of the romantic period of the late eighteenth century.

Upon their return from Italy, Robert and James joined John in establishing a flourishing architectural and decorating business in Britain, even importing Italian “artificers” or artisans to help carry out the commissions. The brothers later published a book entitled The Works in Architecture (1773-1779). These volumes helped to promote and make their style fashionable and available throughout Europe. The Scotsmen were the first architects to advocate for an integrated style for architecture and interiors, with walls, ceilings, fireplaces and furniture all designed in a single uniform style. The style was introduced in the United States during the Federal period. It also had a great influence especially in Russia and Ireland.

Participants will spend two nights at the spectacular and highly private Kinross House, with exclusive use of the property that was completely refurbished just a few years ago, along with five nights at the George Hotel in the historic center of Edinburgh.

Charles Wemyss, a distinguished scholar of Scottish classical architecture, consultant for the restoration of Kinross House, and author of Noble Houses of Scotland, will lecture before the group.

Tour Price: $5,600.00 per person based on double occupancy. There is single supplement of $800.

A fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required in order to participate. To make your contribution to the ICAA now, please use this link.

Limited space available and early registration is suggested. Please contact Lani Summerville at Classical Excursions for a complete itinerary and to reserve your space, lani@classicalexcursions.com, or call (860) 454-4867.


The French Riviera: Exemplary Private Villas, Estates and Gardens

Friday, June 3rd to Sunday, June 12th, 2016 (Optional Extension through Wednesday, June 15th)

Among the tour highlights:

  • Private visit to the astounding Hanbury Botanic Gardens & Villa, followed by a reception at the private residence of a eminent member of the Hanbury family.
  • Private evening reception at the remarkable contemporary residence of an internationally renowned architect and interior designer, overlooking the Riviera in Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, where we will be welcomed by the owner.
  • Private Visit to a magnificent Florentine-style Villa on the hillside of Menton, with admirable frescoes, sculptures, intricate busts and stained glass windows, where galas were held for artists and dignitaries, from F. Scott Fitzgerald to Coco Chanel.
  • Excursion to Saint-Honorat Island, a Mediterranean Refuge, boasting centuries of history and culture, a haven of natural beauty and birdlife. We will visit the Lérins Abbey, a Cistercian monastery, founded in the 11th century, with an active monastic community. Today the monks cultivate vineyards and produce fine wine and liqueur.

    Download the itinerary for this tour here.

OPTIONAL EXTENSION PROVENCE: LE MUY & SAINT-TROPEZ: PRIVATE ESTATES & ART COLLECTIONS, SUNDAY, JUNE 12TH TO WEDNESDAY, JUNE 15TH, 2016

Among the tour highlights:

  • Private reception with Bernar and Diane Venet at their residence and Foundation in Le Muy, a sculpture park and galleries housing Venet’s
    creations, as well as 100 emblematic works from his personal collection of
    conceptual and minimal art by 80 artists, including Man Ray, Lichtenstein,
    Richard Serra, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, and many more.
  • Private visit to the Château Sainte-Roseline, with the owners, a prestigious estate created for Pope Jean XXII, one of the finest historical sites in Provence, and an award-winning cru classé vineyard of the Cotes de Provence. Our hosts will also exceptionally receive us at their private residence in the 12th century abbey, with a magnificent collection of museum-quality art and artifacts. The notable architect Jean-Michel Wilmotte restored the entire estate in 1996.
  • Private Visit to the Cogolin Manufacture with the director, a high-end hand-woven rug manufacturer founded in 1924.

For more information and to assure availability of this significant tour: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com Confirmed participants will receive a full itinerary of this exceptional tour.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.

This program is eligible for 32 AIA LU credits.

Images courtesy of nyalanews.com (top) and Anna Stevensen (bottom)


Outstanding Private Residences & Gardens: Tangier, Taroudant & Marrakech.

Thursday, May 12th to Sunday, May 22nd

The US and Morocco share a rare and long standing bond – The Kingdom of Morocco was the first country to recognize United States’ nationhood and was host to the world’s first US embassy. As the gateway to Africa, Morocco’s exotic melting pot of wide-ranging peoples and cultures and its legendary tolerance of all religions, throughout the centuries, has culminated in a country of exceptional richness, depth and diversity.

A once-in-a-lifetime experience, our program opens the doors to many of Morocco’s most exquisite private residences and gardens, never accessible to the public, celebrated for their unique and unparalleled architecture, glorious interiors, museum-quality art
collections, and lush gardens with stunning views. This unimaginably privileged program reveals the history and culture of Morocco as well as the splendid private lives of our illustrious hosts.

Among the tour highlights:

Private visit & buffet lunch with renowned Italian horticulturist and novelist Umberto Pasti at his dream house, where works of art and treasures from all over the world cohabit tastefully: 17th-century German armoire, carpet fragment from 17th-century Iran, 19th-century Fez pottery, 16th-century tiles from Seville, Anatolian kilims, 18th-century Venetian screen… An invitation to dream and travel!

Visit & Lunch at the late Chilean artist Claudio Bravo’s stupendous palace and gardens. Over a ten-year period, Claudio Bravo created this stunning, sprawling property in the Taroudant countryside with fabulous views of the Atlas Mountains. The artist’s private refuge and paradise, it was also the setting for his last work. With remarkable architecture and a décor that he personally designed, ancient treasures of the region, and an enchanting park, Claudio Bravo’s palace exemplifies his love of Taroudant and its welcoming people.

Dinner with our host at the residence of Abdou Kholfi, a distinguished Moroccan architect and interior designer esteemed for his knowledge of traditional Moroccan culture, as illustrated in his exquisite Taroudant residence. A passionate collector, we will view his outstanding collection of contemporary Arab and North African paintings, antique furniture and decorative arts, enjoy a convivial buffet dinner and marvel over the beautiful sunset.

Luncheon at Villa Oasis, a lavish private residence belonging to a very influential art collector, never opened to the public. Designed by the renowned American interior designer Bill Willis, this fabulous residence has no equivalent.

• Exclusive visit to the exquisite Majorelle Gardens, an oasis in the center of the city, with Madison Cox, Vice-President of the Foundation Majorelle, followed by a visit to the magnificent Berber Museum.

For more information and to assure availability of this significant tour: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com Confirmed participants will receive a full itinerary of this exceptional tour.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. 


Classical Villas & Gardens of the Italian Lake Region: Following Edith Wharton

May 11-18, 2016

Tour Highlights:

A private motor launch takes us to Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore for lunch and to visit the “ten-tiered wedding cake” garden from the 17th Century, which is, as Wharton describes, “richly ornamented with vases, statues and obelisks, jasmine, myrtle and pomegranate.” Nothing has been altered, including the island’s Baroque palace, to be visited as well, with its series of stunning Baroque reception rooms and amazing grotto-like rooms decorated entirely with pebbles and shells.

Following in the footsteps of Queen Victoria and other luminaries is the boat trip to neighboring Isola Madre, the island garden also owned by the noble Borromeo family since the 16th century and one of the oldest botanical gardens in Italy, a lush fantasy of a double-loggia villa, hedges of camellias, palms, papyrus, bananas, and Brazilian parrots.

A private tour on Lake Como of the magnificently sited Villa Carlotta at Tremezzo reveals its position beyond elaborate iron gates and at the top of a series of terraced gardens. They are designed to look out of as well as look into. The panoramic views of the lake are spectacular, even more so from the upper stories of the villa, which contains a fine collection of early 19th Century neoclassical furniture, and paintings of the Lombardian.

We will boat across Lake Como to the almost perfect lakeside setting of Bellagio for the restaurants and shops that charmingly line the lakefront (the original is superior to Las Vegas’s version!). Further along the promenade is the neoclassical Villa Melzi, situated directly across from Villa Carlotta and surrounded by an English-style garden of exotic plants and cypresses. Here Liszt wrote his Dante Sonata.

At Villa della Porta Bozzolo at Casalzuigno, built in the 16th Century, we will see the glorious 18th Century gardens with stairs ascending from the villa, elaborate fountains, water features and an aedicula decorated with frescoes. The unusual main axis of the garden is parallel to the side of the villa – thus disregarding the classical rules of aligning the principal garden axis with the main room of the villa.

We will drive to Villa Cicogna at Bisuschio near Lake Lugano for a very special day, touring the magnificent 16th-century villa, which partially encloses a beautiful sunken garden – a favorite of Edith Wharton. Your guides and hosts for lunch are the owners of this enchanting property, who are descendants of the original aristocratic family. A memorable Lake Como highlight is lunch and a stroll through the magnificent Renaissance garden at the incomparable Grand Hotel Villa d’Este at Cernobbio on Lake Como. Edith Wharton says the garden begins near the lake, where a lawn and flowerbeds are laid out before a backdrop of a pair of walls, a Baroque grotto and fountain all composed of pebbles and shell-work of varying colors. “Above this rises a tapis vert shaded by cypresses, and leading to the usual Hercules in a temple. The peculiar feature of this ascent is that it is bordered on each side with narrow steps of channeled stone, down which the water rushes under overlapping ferns and roses to the fish-pool below. We begin the tour of the exquisite Villa Balbianello at the Baroque watergate where our private motor launch has put us ashore. We ascend through the immaculately maintained gardens along paths bordered with plane trees that skirt the edge of Lake Como.

Balustraded terraces, an 18th-century garden house and loggia overlook gorgeous views of the lake and mountains. An afternoon is spent shopping and strolling through the town of Como, for centuries the center of the Italian silk textile industry and a mecca for designers and buyers.

Giardino di Villa Rizzardi possesses, among other treasures, a rare 18th Century semi-circular and tiered garden theater with high boxwood hedges that act as a stage with wings and a changing room (theater is still performed here) and Villa Mosconi Bertani, a charming 18th Century building containing frescoed architectural features and an extensive park with avenues, a lake and fountains. North of Verona at Grazzana is the majestic 17th Century Villa Allegri Arvedi, a Wharton favorite, famed for its broderied-parterre terrace and exquisite family chapel, both designed on a central axis with the villa.

In Verona, we will tour and have lunch al fresco in the vast city garden of Villa Giusti, a fortress-like structure similar to the palazzos in Florence. Horizontal box parterres contrast with vertical cypresses, and a towering cliffside carved with a grotesque mask lure the visitor up the garden path; Mozart and Goethe were visitors.

Judith Chatfield, who lived in Italy for a number of years, is a lecturer and author of such books as A Tour of Italian Gardens and The Classic Italian Garden.

For further information contact Lani Summerville, lani@classicalexcursions.com or call (413) 446-8728.

The tour includes a two-night stay at Grand Hotel Borromees, Stresa, three-night stay with lake view rooms at Hotel Belvedere, Bellagio, Lago Como, and a two-night stay at the Palazzo Victoria, Verona.

Tour price: $4950 per person based on double occupancy with a $1000 single supplement. A tax deductible donation of $500 per person to ICAA is required.

Participants on this tour are eligible to receive 17 AIA LU credits.


Jefferson's Country: Classical Charlottesville and Surrounding Counties

May 5-8, 2016

SOLD OUT

Like a ripple in a pond, the influence of Thomas Jefferson, the architect, on classical architecture is widely known. Its prevalence is especially felt in his own neighborhood, counties like Albemarle, Orange and Clarke of western Virginia, an area where one discovers three centuries of glorious classical houses, let alone the finest university campus in America. Whether Jefferson was the designer of the University of Virginia or his own Monticello and Poplar Forest, or the man of architectural ideas offered to family and friends who were planning houses, his imprint remained strongly evident. Even some area houses designed by later architects reveal something of the Jeffersonian character.

What is that imprint, one that he would hold steadfastly throughout his life? He was instinctively attracted by the idea of the circular pattern, as opposed to the usual rectangular ones of the earlier Georgian era. House plans, he advocated, should incorporate principal rooms and details arranged around a central core, some designed in the shapes of octagons (the “Sky Room” at Monticello), semi-octagons (Monticello’s parlor), circles (the Rotunda at the university and the bull’s eye windows at Farmington) or ovals (the drawing room at Redlands or the Blue Room at the White House).

In addition, proof of Jefferson’s passion for the classical is found in such documents as the letter Colonel Isaac Coles wrote to John Hartwell Cocke in 1816: “With Mr. Jefferson I conversed at length on the subject of architecture. Palladio, he said ‘was the bible.’ You should get it and stick close to it…He is a great advocate of light and air – as you predicted he was for giving you Octagons…”

Like the great Andrea Palladio, Jefferson, who owned an English translation of his mentor’s I Quattro Libri (The Four Books on Architecture), cherished the lessons to be learned from ancient Roman architecture, especially the columned temple, an architectural theme seen throughout the Charlottesville area (Farmington for one) and certainly in settled regions of the nation starting in the early 19th century.

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art invites you to join a four-day tour from Thursday, May 5 to Sunday, May 8 of some of the Charlottesville area’s finest examples of classical architecture with a focus on private homes and historic houses from Montpelier Plantation, the home of James and Dolley Madison, an extraordinary restoration project, to Vitruvius House, a 21st century inspiration based on Palladio’s Villa Badoer. In between we will also visit such sites as Blue Ridge Farm by William Lawrence Bottomley, Mount Sharon and its extraordinary gardens by Charles Stick, Redlands with its Georgian and Federal facades and beautiful interiors along with many more.

Our expert lecturer and tour guide will be K. Edward Lay, Cary D. Langhorne Professor Emeritus of Architecture, University of Virginia with additional input from Calder Loth, retired senior architectural historian of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources.

The tour will include a reception at Vitruvius House, other private functions and three-night accommodations at the four-star Boar’s Head Inn located on a 573-acre estate.

For further information, please contact Thomas Hayes, director of Classical Excursions, at tom@classicalexcursions.com, 413-243-4155.

Due to the private nature of many of the tour sites, they are subject to change while others will be added.

Participants on this tour are eligible to receive 17 AIA LU credits.


Private Portugal: Exemplary Private Residences & Gardens: Lisbonne, the Douro Valley and O’Porto”Register Now!

Saturday, April 23rd to Sunday, May 1st, 2016

From its early history under the Romans, Visigoths and Moors, to its rise as the first global empire, Portugal has played a crucial role in world history. Established in the 12th century, Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, its influence culminating in the 15th and 16th centuries, when this Iberian nation achieved a naval dominance unequalled in the world, establishing the first maritime route to India and colonizing areas in Africa, Asia, South America and Oceania.

As a result of this long and complex history, Portugal offers various architectural treasures ranging from archeological sites, such as the best preserved remains of a Roman village which we will discover in Conímbriga, to contemporary style. We will observe Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Neoclassical architecture, as well as styles unique to Portugal: Manueline, the exuberant Portuguese version of late Gothic, and the Pombaline style, a blend of late Baroque and Neoclassicism that developed after the earthquake in Lisbon of 1755.

The gardens we will explore also offer a great testimony of Portugal’s rich history, reflecting the Moorish influence as well as Italian Renaissance and Neoclassical to Art Deco style. The constant introduction since the 16th century of new species of flora from the former Portuguese colonies also makes these gardens botanical conservatories of tropical and subtropical plants from almost every continent.

Guided by our expert lecturer Cristina Leal, a scholar of Portuguese history and art, we will discover the treasures of Porto, the Douro Valley, and Lisbon.
We will be welcomed by members of the Portuguese cultural elite for exclusive visits and receptions in their private residences, offering a rare opportunity to savor their unique architecture, with remarkable art collections and gardens.

Among the tour highlights:

  • Private visit at the historic and magnificent Palácio of the Marquises of Fronteira, still a private residence, including the remarkable gardens and the Battle room, also called the “Sistine Chapel of azulejos panels”.

  • Private visit with the curator of the Serralves Foundation Gardens, designed in an Art Deco style, with a strong influence of French gardens of the 16th and 17th centuries.

  • Private luncheon with the owners of the Paço de S. Cipriano manor housing stately rooms splendidly decorated with ancient azulejos, crafted-leather chairs, coffered ceilings and beds canopied in damask, and boasting a formal French garden with centuries old camellias.

Our Expert lecturer:

Dr. Cristina Leal completed her degree in Germanic Languages and Culture at the Rijksuniveristeit Groningen in the Netherlands and her degree in Tourism in her hometown of Lisbon. Her ability to read both Dutch and Portuguese 16th century documents enabled her to successfully finish a Masters in Art History on the topic of 16th and 17th century Portuguese and Dutch tiles and a Masters in History of the Discoveries on the First Voyage of the Dutch to Java and their interactions with the Portuguese in Asia. She is currently Chairwoman of the Portuguese Association of Tour Guides and Tour Managers. She has guided tours for prestigious clients such as the Friends of the National Galleries of Scotland, the Friends of the National Tile Museum, and the Friends of the Gulbenkian Museum.

Note: Several of our visits will also be led by curators.

Guests are encouraged to register before January 20th, 2016 to secure a space on the tour. (deadline February 15th, 2016)

Tour Price:
Early Registration (before January 20th, 2016):
$8,500 per person double occupancy; $9,500 single occupancy; based on 15 participants; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund. All ICAA members are welcome to attend ICAA tours.

Registration after January 20th, 2016 (deadline February 15th, 2016):
$8,850 per person double occupancy; $9,850 single occupancy; based on 15 participants; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund. To secure the early tour price, participants are encouraged to sign up before January 20th. All ICAA members are welcome to attend ICAA tours.

To make your contribution to the ICAA now, please use this link.

Tour Price Includes: 8 days of private visits and receptions; 8 nights accommodation in 5-star luxury hotels; 8 breakfasts, 8 lunches, receptions, 5 dinners; transportation to and from all events in a private coach; all private visits and expert lecturers. All rooms are spacious, elegantly appointed and equipped with wifi and air conditioning.

For more information and to assure availability of this significant tour: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com

Confirmed participants will receive a full itinerary of this exceptional tour.

First image courtesy of wikimedia.org; second image courtesy of Marcia Weber; third image courtesy of Margaret Kendrick.


Sir Edwin Lutyens & Imperial New DelhiRegister Now!

February 13-21, 2016

Arranged by Classical Excursions

On February 8, 1931, The Statesman, the Indian English-language newspaper, reminded its readers of the background of 20 years earlier that would lead to the formal inauguration of India’s new capital, opening on February 10 and lasting two weeks: “New Delhi can be said to have been born at two o’clock on Tuesday, December 12, 1911. The great Durbar [in Calcutta] was drawing to its interminable close. Homage had been paid… An immense strain must have been imposed upon Their Majesties [King George V and Queen Mary, Emperor and Empress of India, a title that was presented first to Queen Victoria, the king’s grandmother, at Delhi in 1877]… At the end, His Majesty rose and made a short announcement: ‘We have decided upon the transfer of the seat of the Government of India from Calcutta to the ancient Capital of Delhi’… The secret had been extraordinarily well kept.”

The subject of moving the capital of the “Crown Jewel” of the British Empire had been under discussion since 1868, though there had been resistance all along. A more central location for the vast country where government could be carried on year-round without the more severe equatorial climate of Calcutta that caused yearly interruptions. In addition, by 1911, the move would ease the installation of certain political reforms that had been resisted by Calcutta’s elite – thus the reason for secrecy. On December 15, Their Majesties laid two simple stones near the new site outside Delhi, thus giving “material effect to the important announcement.”

An empire needed grandeur. New Delhi was the selected place and Edwin Landseer Lutyens and Herbert Baker would be the chief architects to carry through the creation of one the world’s great urban establishments – as one London newspaper headline would eventually read, “The New Delhi: A City to Rival Paris and Washington.”

Lutyens was sought after mainly for his great English country houses while Baker was recognized for the government buildings in South Africa, as well as for projects in Australia, France, Belgium, and Britain. Lutyens was the first to be chosen (the monumental project met a long-sought desire), and Baker, who had been a friend and colleague, was to follow. Walter George, Robert Tor Russell and others became part of the larger architectural team that also included members of the Delhi Town Planning Committee.

When Lutyens signed on, he had one proviso, and that was to design some of the main buildings. Because of his excellent professional and social connections (his wife, Emily, happened to be the daughter of Lord Lytton, the first viceroy of India), Lutyens was able to obtain the commission to design Government House, the viceroy’s palace and the premiere building, which would turn out to have 340 rooms, 35 loggias and 37 fountains among quantities of other features, brilliantly incorporating both Mughal decorative features (the elephant, temple bell, lotus, shell and cobra fountains) and Western elements (the column, the arched opening and classical symmetry) and concluding with a unique hybrid style.

Baker designed the two secretariat buildings, named North Block and South Block (now offices for the prime minister and the cabinet) and framing Government House (now Rashtrapati Bhavan or President’s House), as well as a hexagonal plan for Council House, which was rejected for Lutyens’s circular plan (now Parliament House, 570 feet in diameter). Baker also designed houses beyond the confines of the Viceregal Estate.

Government House would be given prominence on Raisina Hill at one end of the ceremonial avenue called Kingsway (now Rajpath) and at the other of this dramatic vista would be the All-India War Memorial (now India Gate). Just beyond was the statue of King George V located in the center of Princes Park. Bordering its hexagonal sides were the mansions of some of the maharajas of India. Lutyens was the architect for these, including Hyderabad House (now used by the prime minister for entertaining officials), Patiala House, Jaipur House (now the Museum of Modern Art) and Bikaner House.

Because of his years of collaborating with Gertrude Jekyll, the great English garden designer, Lutyens was able to take on such tasks as overseeing the lining of the broad avenues with indigenous trees, creating mini-gardens at rotaries and above all, planning the Mughal water gardens at Government House with its canals and layered lotus fountains. These and other landscape features within the geometric grid of the urban scheme were thoughtfully created and laid out, making them all part of the greater plan. To this day New Delhi is considered a garden city despite the vast increase of buildings.

Within Government House, Lutyens designed Durbar Hall, the circular throne room located beneath a central dome inspired by the Buddists stupas, a State Dining Room (now Ashoka Hall), a ballroom decorated with rich frescoes in the Indo-Persian style, subsidiary public rooms, private apartments for the viceroy and his family and a multitude of guest suites and service rooms. Carpets, copies of magnificent Mughal floor coverings, were custom woven in Kashmir. The furniture was designed by Lutyens using teak from Burma and central India, ebony and Kashmiri walnut and other regional woods. Indian artists were hired to paint the murals and frescoes. Lutyens oversaw all of this, as well as fireplaces, lights and chandeliers, paintings, upholstery and so much more.

Author Elizabeth Wilhide’s description of the architect’s work overall rings true with his achievements in New Delhi, “…Lutyens’s work displays a remarkable synthesis of function and artistry…[His] brilliance was to breathe new life into traditional forms and themes…The notion of taste – an intrinsic sense of rightness in design – informed every creative decision…marrying the vernacular with the classical, the formal and the natural, the result is an important and enduring legacy of design…”

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art is proud to announce an extraordinary exclusive seven-day tour of Sir Edwin Lutyens and Imperial New Delhi, exploring under special aegis the architecture and wonder of this fabled city. Expert Dr. Gavin Stamp will be our guest scholar, lecturer and guide for the tour. Dr. Stamp has written extensively on Lutyen’s work, is a patron of the Lutyens Trust and honorary professor at the departments of architecture at both Cambridge and Glasgow Universities, as well as a honorary fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and the Royal Institute of British Architects. Our collaboration with the Indian National Trust for Art & Culture Heritage will give us exclusive entrée to government and other buildings. Fully arranged five-star accommodations have been reserved at the legendary Imperial Hotel.

The tour land cost is $6700.00 per person with a $1000.00 single supplement. A fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required in order to participate. Registration deadline is August 20, 2015.

Please contact Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions to reserve your space, lani@classicalexcursions.com or call (860) 454-4867.

Ask Lani about the optional add-on tour of “The Golden Triangle”, which includes Agra, Jaipur and Nimaj scheduled for February 21–28, 2016, immediately following the main Lutyens tour. Price $2700 per person based on double occupancy/$800 pp single supplement with 15 or more participants.


Private NashvilleRegister Now!

December 3-6, 2015

Tour arranged by Classical Excursions and David White, Nashville ICAA Chapter President.

Nashville, also tagged Music City USA, is synonymous with the sound of country music and as a hotbed of musical talent. The Grand Old Opry is world famous and music publishing companies abound on Music Row. Literally, music is made here in more ways than one.

Long before this state capital became Music City USA, it was known as the Athens of the South, renowned for its cultural, academic and artistic life. Universities, museums and public arts facilities have continued to create an environment for artistic expression that is hard to beat in any other Southern city.

Nashville has its own opera company, an award-winning symphony (based in the glorious Driehaus-Prize-winning Schermerhorn Symphony Center by classical architect David Schwarz) and an innovative and growing visual arts scene (for one, the Frist Center for the Visual Arts comes to mind, located in a 1934 post office building), as well as film and theater initiatives. This plus a widely diverse economy and thriving young population has caused Nashville to become the “In” city located on the banks of the serpentine Cumberland River.

There are the 1859 State Capitol in the style of a Greek temple by William Strickland; Centennial Park from 1896, featuring an exact replica of the Parthenon, a monument to the creativity and energy of the New South; the glass-covered 1903 Arcade of Shops with Palladian entrances; Belle Meade Plantation from 1820, not for growing cotton, but for breeding racehorses; Country Music Hall of Fame with windows that represent piano keys, and so much more.

And when it comes to high-style architecture and interior decoration, there is a creative energy offered with a dash of Southern hospitality. As the city spreads out over rolling hills with its 108 parks and 19 Greenways, one comes upon top-flight communities like Belle Meade and Forrest Hills. It is here that most of the focus will be for the Private Nashville tour sponsored by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

Take, for example, the comfortable and stylish home decorated by the New York firm of Brockschmidt & Coleman and featured in Elle Décor where the owners will host a private dinner party for us. A couple (she’s an interior designer), who are highly knowledgeable in classical architecture and antiques, will welcome us at a reception at their fabulous home that gives a nod to Palladio. A 10-year-old “Federal Farmhouse” designed to look as if it has undergone years of transition will give us an insight into the work of famed architect Ken Tate. This is just the beginning of a line-up of gorgeous homes that compose Private Nashville.

Attractive and comfortable three-night accommodations are arranged. The itinerary will begin Thursday evening, December 3, with an opening dinner and lecture and will end Sunday at 12:30 pm, December 6.

Land Cost: $2,150; $375 single supplement.
A separate fully deductible contribution payment of $500 per person to the Institute’s Annual Fund should be made directly to ICAA. For questions regarding the donation, call the Institute at 212-730-9646 ×106 or click here to make your donation online now.

For inquiries, contact Tom Hayes at Classical Excursions, tom@classicalexcursions.com or lani@classicalexcursions.com Tel:860-454-4867

Due to the private nature of many of the tour sites, they are subject to change while others will be added.


Private South AfricaRegister Now!

November 9-16, 2015

Known for its magnificent scenery the Cape of Good Hope region will open its doors to a hidden world of magnificent art, architecture and gardens. From the thatched and gabled manor houses of the 17th century Dutch settlers and the influence of the Dutch East India Company to the mansions of the Rand Lords this tour will encompass 250 years of colonial architecture. The group will stay five nights at the world famous Mount Nelson Hotel set below the backdrop of Table Mountain, along with two nights at the renowned Lanzerac hotel & spa in Stellenbosch. We will visit the famous botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch as well as four outstanding private gardens. The tour will take in private wine estates and the art collections of some of the Cape’s great families. The tour is led by Graham Viney, renowned international interior designer from South Africa, and author of two books including the landmark Historic Houses of South Africa.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE
Built in c.1665 as a star fortress and the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, this, the oldest surviving colonial building, houses a collection of national treasures, paintings, furniture, glass, silver and porcelain.

MICHAELIS COLLECTION
Donated in 1914 by Sir Max Michaelis, this world-class collection of mostly Netherlands art contains masterpieces by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Van Dyke and Jacob van Ruisdael

KOOPMANS DE WET HOUSE This house museum is furnished as a home for a well-to-do Cape family during the late 18th Century. It houses some of the best pieces of Cape furniture and silver in the country, in addition to a priceless collection of ceramics. A household such as this would only have been able to function with its share of servants and slaves, and recent research has brought to light the names and professions of some who lived in the house at the time, as well as the kinds of activities they would have pursued.

GROOT SCHUUR The former Cape Town residence of the state president, the gabled Groote Schuur (‘Big Barn’) was originally built in 1667 to serve as the VOC’s granary before it was bought by Cecil John Rhodes in 1893 and converted into a grand mansion and office by his chum Architect Sir Herbert Baker. Along with the building, Rhodes bought several other properties on Table Mountain’s eastern slopes during the late 19th century, including the summer house of Rudyard Kipling, the Woolsack, and Mostert’s Mill. On the slopes above the University of Cape Town campus you can still see the ruins of the lion enclosure known as the Groote Schuur Zoo, which replaced the original cage-like structure commissioned by Rhodes in 1897. Rhodes died in 1910 and bequeathed his estate to the nation; an elaborate neoclassical shrine was erected in his memory two years later.

RHODES MEMORIAL
The memorial, which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, was built in 1912 to honour former Cape Colony prime minister and mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes. The position chosen was Rhodes’ favourite viewing site. The memorial was built in recognition of Rhodes’ contribution to Cape Town and the colony. The funders spared no cost in ensuring that it was an appropriate tribute to his contribution to South Africa. Built from Cape granite quarried on Table Mountain, the memorial consists of 49 steps – one for each year of Rhodes’s life. The Doric columns were inspired by Rhodes’s appreciation of classical architecture, and the eight lions were modelled on those at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London.

IRMA STERN MUSEUM
Irma Stern (1894-1966), was a major South African artist who achieved national and international recognition in her lifetime. The permanent collection on display shows Irma Stern’s development as an artist whose subject matter included exotic figures, portraits, lush landscapes and still lifes conveyed in a variety of media, ranging from oils and water colors to gouache and charcoal.

The Irma Stern Museum was established in 1971 and is the house the artist lived in for almost four decades. Several of the rooms are furnished as she arranged them while upstairs there is a commercial gallery used by contemporary South African artists.

GROOT CONSTANTIA In 1685, during an annual visit to the Cape, Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein granted the grounds of Groot Constantia to Simon van der Stel the VOC Governor of the Cape of Good Hope. Van der Stel built the house and used the land to produce wine as well as other fruit and vegetables, and for cattle farming. Following Van der Stel’s death in 1712 the estate was broken up and sold in three parts: Groot Constantia; Klein Constantia; and Bergvliet. In 1779 the portion of the estate including Van der Stel’s Cape Dutch-style manor house was sold to the Cloete family, who planted extensive vineyards and extended and improved the mansion by commissioning the architect Louis Michel Thibault. The wine cellar was added by Cloete in 1791.The house remained in the possession of the Cloete family until 1885, during which period the estate became famous for its production of Constantia dessert wine. In 1885 Groot Constantia was purchased by the government of the Cape of Good Hope and was used as an experimental wine and agricultural estate. In 1969 the manor house became part of the South African Cultural History Museum, and in 1993 the estate passed into the ownership of the Groot Constantia Trust. The exhibition in the house is managed by Iziko South African Museum, and is particularly focused on rural slavery and the life of slaves during the early Cape colonial period.

RUST EN VREDE
In Rhodes’ last years he went to live in his tiny cottage by the sea at Muizenberg, away from the cold and damp of Groote Schuur. Just above his cottage, Rhodes planned with Herbert Baker a house ‘on a great high terrace-wall, designed so that from the house and stoop the public road would be hidden, and there would be seen through white columns the fullest sweep of the blue sea and rhythm of white surf, and the two far-off mountain promontories which shelter the entrance to False Bay. This dream was never to be fulfilled, as Rhodes had an even more burning desire: that he might save sufficient monies to endow scholarships at Oxford – the Rhodes Scholarships. So the house was left unfinished. However, Sir Abe Bailey completed Rust en Vrede, from the foundations upwards, building it according to the original plan commissioned by Rhodes. Baker’s watercolor perspective drawing shows the house roughly as it was built: white, with tall gables and twisting chimneys against the soft red-ochre of the roof, all grouped above arcaded loggias. It was the prototype of houses Baker was yet to build in other parts of Africa. The interior is a mixture of styles, with Lutyensesque countrified beamed ceilings contrasting with a sophisticated and almost Art Deco green marble drawing room.

HAWTHORNDENE
The Hawthorndene Homestead was built by Captain John Spence who owned this part of the original Oude Wijnberg Estate from 1881 until 1888. It was built in the Renaissance manner comprising of more than thirty rooms. This restrained Victorian design includes bay windows, a turret, cast-iron balconies and a French-type mansard roof. Mining magnate, J B Robinson, bought Hawthornden in 1891. He left to live in London before returning in 1917, settling in Wynberg with his wife Elizabeth Furgeson. Their daughter, Ida married Count Labia, who later became Prince Labia. Their descendants still occupy this stately home.

FRESH WOODS
Fresh Woods is the private garden of Peter and Barbara Knox-Shaw. It contains a remarkable rose collection of both species and old and new hybrids, many raised from seed from the wild or cuttings of wild-collected species. Begun in the 1950’s, roses are planted informally. They cover old apple trees, climb along fences and are mixed with other shrubs and herbaceous perennials.

This garden is particularly valuable for the conservation of old roses from the Cape and for preserving collections of wild roses. Although a private garden, it is open regularly. It is known throughout the world and is a source of propagation material and a center for the exchange of rare and valuable varieties.

KIRSTENBOSCH
Kirstenbosch is the name of a famous botanical garden nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town. The garden is one of nine National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa’s six different biomes. The most beautiful garden in Africa, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world.

BABYLONSTOREN
Babylonstoren is one of the best preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition. Not only the manor house from 1777, but pioneer structures all the way back to the founding of the farm in 1690. The Koornhuis (for storing wheat and hay) and the old cellar are exceptionally fine. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall. The Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the farm. It was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia. It also hails back to the mythical garden of Babylon. Spanning eight acres, the Babylonstoren garden is formal in structure. Every one of over 300 varieties of plants in the garden is edible. The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens and includes a prickly pear maze. Gravity feeds water into waterways from a stream into the garden as it was done for 300 years. Following the bell tower axis, the old cellar axis or the Babylonstoren hill axis, walks span over three kilometers in the garden. During spring, 7 000 clivias bloom down by the stream, where a secluded path runs in the shade of wild olives and oaks.

MORGENSTER
For 300 years Morgenster has attracted and inspired people through its blend of beautiful surroundings, excellent terroir and a manor house recognized as one of the great houses of the Western Cape. It is refreshing to look back on the people and periods of history that created this marvelous place and to appreciate their contribution.

RUSTENBERG
The garden is situated next to the Cape Dutch homestead Schoongezicht, which dates back to 1814. In 2001, Rozanne Barlow, wife of the current owner of the Rustenberg Estate, undertook to regenerate and restore the garden. Walls were constructed, and the site where the old tennis court stood has been transformed into an eleven circuit Chartres-style labrynth, laid out in half brick and river stone. The twenty-five meter long swimming pool was converted into a lily pond and is now home to many Koi fish. The charming pergola, originally built by John X Merriman, supports climbing roses, clematis and other fragrant climbers. The garden is essentially laid out in a formal style with four distinct areas accessed by pathways, the hard landscaping has pulled the sizeable site of one hectare comfortably together. The planting can be described as English, with roses, foxgloves, salvias, agapanthus, sedum, anemones, day lilies and much more – really a plants lover’s dream. The changing of the seasons bring interesting and beautiful changes – there is always something to catch the eye. The ‘borrowed’ surrounding landscape of vineyards, green pastures and the majestic Simonsberg mountain backdrop make a magical place.

STELLENBERG
In upper Kenilworth stands the beautiful Stellenberg, a Cape Dutch property dating back to original Van Der Stel ownership. Fortunately it has been blessed with sensible and caring owners – starting with the Felthams, who required Stellenberg in 1878, who did not succumb to the fashion of the times by removing gables, replacing thatch with corrugated iron or to tamper with the Cape Dutch windows and shutters. Finally the Ovenstones acquired Stellenberg in the 1950’s and today, nearly 60 years later, Stellenberg remains one of the most beautiful Cape Dutch houses in the Cape Peninsula. The garden, as it is now, commenced in 1987 with the Herb Garden. Graham Viney and Gary Searle were inspirational in the planning and planting of this garden as in other areas of the garden too. In 1989 the Walled Garden, designed by David Hicks was begun. The Rose Garden which was executed in 1989 has been removed and a new parterre has been designed in its place (2001) by Franchesca Watson. The feel that the link between house and this new garden relates better to the house and provides a better balance to the rest of the garden. New ideas and inspiration have taken place from year to year and planting schemes have changed reflecting old and looking towards the contemporary and the future of gardening.

VERGELEGEN
When Willem Adriaan succeeded his father, Simon van der Stel, as governor of the Cape in 1700, it didn’t take long before he claimed a modest 30,000 hector piece of land for himself just as his father had done in his time at Constantia. It took three days by oxwagon to reach Willem Adriaan’s farm on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland mountain range overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; hence its name ‘Vergelegen’, meaning ‘situated faraway’. Six years after he started planting vines, Willem Adriaan had half a million vine stocks. He laid out fruit orchards and orange groves, planted camphor and oak trees, and established eighteen cattle stations with 1000 cattle and 1800 sheep. Willem Adriaan also built reservoirs and dug irrigation canals. He built himself a beautiful Cape Dutch homestead, added a corn mill and many other subsidiary buildings. When, in November 1705, reverent Francois Valentijn visited Vergelegen he uttered the now well-known words: “I saw this Estate with exceptional pleasure, since everything was laid out wonderfully finely.” The younger van der Stel was a man of divergent interests, but his enthusiasm to turn this barren land into an agricultural paradise got the better of him and after only six years in office, Willem Adriaan was found guilty of corrupt practices and was ordered to return to the Netherlands in October 1706. Nevertheless, Willem Adriaan was considered a genius for his knowledge of farming and his visionary mind contributed greatly to the agricultural development of the Cape. Visits to Ida’s Valley, a private Cape Dutch farmstead owned by the Erskine family, and La Garonne, an 18th century house & garden, privately owned by the Rupert family and beautifully situated below the mountains in the Franschhoen Valley.

To Reserve a space:
Please contact Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions at 860-454-4867 or lani@classicalexcursions.com to register for this tour. Space is limited, therefore immediate registration is suggested. Tour price: $5000.00 per person based on double occupancy, single supplement $1000.00. A separate fully deductible contribution payment of $500 per person to the Institute’s Annual Fund should be made directly to ICAA. For questions regarding the donation, call the Institute at 212-730-9646 ×106 or “click here”:http://www.classicist.org/donate-now/ to make your donation online now.


Private Naples: Exemplary Palaces, Villas, Gardens & Archeological SitesRegister Now!

October 17–25, 2015

Tour Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs

The ancient port city of Naples’ rich and compelling history dates back nearly 3,000 years and bears the traces of the early Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Normans and the later European powers of Spain and France. For decades Naples was one of the great capitals of Europe, reaching its cultural zenith during the reign of King Charles VII, under whose reign Herculaneum and Pompeii were discovered, the palaces of Portici and Capodimonte were built and the Archeological Museum was founded. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Naples’ historic city center is the largest in the world.

Our exclusive program, organized and conducted by Pamela Huntington Darling, will offer an intimate group of discerning travelers privileged access to sites of unparalleled historic importance and incomparable beauty in Naples, Ravello, Positano, the Phlegraean Fields, Pompeii, and Herculaneum—most listed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Guided by our expert lecturers, we will discover admirable private palazzi and villas, monuments and museums to observe masterpieces of architecture, art, interior and garden design, as well as some of the world’s foremost archeological sites. We will be received by Italian nobility and esteemed members of the cultural elite for exclusive visits, luncheons, receptions and dinners in their remarkable private residences with marvelous gardens and views of the Bay of Naples.

We will reside at the 4-star luxury Hotel Excelsior, located on Via Partenope, on the Bay of Naples, with spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast, equal in elegance to Naples’ famous palaces, encapsulating the Old World charm and tradition with modern comfort, and fine, personable service; Via Partenope, 48; 80121 Naples.

VIEW TOUR HIGHLIGHTS >>

Tour Price: $7,500 per person double occupancy in Deluxe Double Sea-View rooms; $8,250 per person single occupancy in Superior Double City-View rooms; $8,500 per person single occupancy in Deluxe Double Sea-View rooms; based on a minimum of 15 participants, maximum 22 participants for this private tour; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 donation to the ICAA’s Annual Fund. All Travel Program participants must be active members of the ICAA

Tour Price Includes: 8 days of private visits and receptions; 8 nights hotel accommodation at the 4-star luxury Hotel Excelsior; 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, cocktail receptions, and 5 dinners in prestigious private residences; all costs involved in the program, transport to and from events during the tour, all private visits, and expert lecturers.

We recommend arriving a day or two prior to our official program to be rested. Our negotiated hotel rates are offered for early arrival. An additional expert-guided afternoon and evening are proposed on October 16th (at cost: 150€ per person), including: the Farnese Collections, National Museum of Capodimonte, with masterpieces including works by Botticelli, Raphael and Titian; refreshments at the Belle Époque Caffè Gambrinus, the oldest cafe in Naples, an architectural landmark; and dinner at the Transatlantico restaurant, on the quaint pier across from our hotel.

To assure availability, please reserve before May 15th. For more information and to reserve: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling: pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com or call (Paris, France): Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Click here to make your donation online now.


Secret Rome & the Countryside: Exemplary Private Palaces, Villas & Gardens and Archeological SitesRegister Now!

October 3–11, 2015

Tour Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs.

Called the Eternal City, Rome is a treasure trove of architecture and art, history and culture, and has been an essential destination for sophisticated travelers for centuries. Yet behind the city’s great monuments and museums lies a Rome unknown to even the most seasoned visitors. Our exceptional program offers an intimate group of discerning travelers unprecedented access to Rome’s most exclusive and evocative treasures—a secret Rome of exquisite palazzi, villas and gardens, world-class art collections, and momentous and behind-the-scenes sites accessible only to the privileged few.

By exclusive personal invitation of Italian nobility, ambassadors, curators and eminent members of the Roman elite, for eight unprecedented days we will discover exemplary private palazzi, castles and villas — rarely, if ever, opened to the public — in the city and surrounding countryside, as well as legendary archeological sites open only by special request.

Some highlights of our trip: We will enjoy a private visit to the renowned Galleria Borghese, with the chief curator, on a day closed to the public and dine with the Baroness Coppa Solari at her private palazzo Massimo di Pirro. We will go behind the scenes to the Vatican Gardens and view two of its exemplary private sites. We will be warmly received for an exclusive private dinner with Prince and Princess Boncompagni Ludovisi at their residence, Villa Aurora.

During our privileged discovery tour, we will observe the development of Roman architecture, décor, art, and landscape design with expert lecturers, architect Thomas Rankin, historian Anthony Majanlahti, and art historians Sara Magister and Frank Dabell.

To view a detailed daily itinerary of our exclusive Private Rome tour, please click here.

Tour Price: $8,000 per person double occupancy; $9,000 single occupancy; based on a minimum of 15 participants, maximum 22 participants; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 donation to ICAA. Members at the Contributor or Individual-Professional level or higher may attend the ICAA tours.

Tour Price includes: 8 days of private visits and receptions; 8 nights accommodation at the elegant 3-star luxury Albergo del Senato: Superior rooms double occupancy; Double rooms single occupancy; 8 breakfasts; 6 lunches; cocktail receptions; and 5 dinners in private residences; all costs involved in the program, transport to and from events during the tour, all private visits and expert lecturers.

Accommodations: We will stay at the 3-star luxury Hotel Albergo del Senato, ranked Trip Advisor’s 6th best lodging of 1,264 hotels in Rome, in the heart of the historic city, on Piazza della Rotonda, in front of the Pantheon. Each room is handsomely decorated in a classic style with Rubelli furnishings and all the modern amenities: Wi-Fi, air conditioning and satellite TV. Superior rooms have views on the Pantheon, and the rooftop terrace has wonderful views of Rome. www.albergodelsenato.it

For more information and to assure your participation, please confirm before July 25th.

Reservations are confirmed according to registration date. Confirmed participants will receive a full itinerary. Please email Pamela Huntington Darling: “pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com”:mailto:pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com or call: Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81 (France).

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Click here to make your donation online now.


Private Charleston

October 1–4, 2015

Tour Arranged by Classical Excursions

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT

The name Charleston rings a silver bell when it comes to elegant classical architecture at its best: a magnificent spectacle of pastel stucco, columned piazzas, and ironwork balconies beautifully restored by talented architects and preservationists, and many enchantingly decorated by equally talented interior designers.

A lifestyle of charm, grace, and hospitality developed when Charleston became a leading port of the 18th and early 19th centuries, a way of life that continues to this day. One would like to think that the architecture has something to do with this, or perhaps the lifestyle set the standard for the architecture. In either case, Charleston is like no other city.

Charlestonians learned early on about the advantages of preserving its beguiling antebellum surroundings. What was preserved later on was under bombardment in April 1861, when Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor was fired upon. The city suffered enormously both during and after the Civil War.

It wasn’t until well into the 20th century when economically flattened Charleston discovered the potential of it historic homes (there are some 3,000 still standing) and public buildings, never razed in the name of unrealized progress. The city became, by law in 1931, the country’s earliest advocate of historic preservation that saved whole sections, thereby recognizing the aesthetic and economic value of its architectural legacy.

  • Gatewood House, a magnificent 1843 Greek Revival residence that New York architect Gil Schafer has sensitively restored and modernized. Here, the owners will host Sunday brunch.
  • Roper House, owned by America’s leading collector of classical houses, Richard Jenrette. The rooms are gorgeously furnished with museum-quality Empire furniture and appropriate period window treatments.

This is only the beginning with more sites to be announced, including the work of the city’s highly rated architects and interior designers, including Glenn Keyes and Amelia Handegan.

Three-night accommodations have been reserved at the The Mills House Wyndham Grand Hotel, opened in 1853 and now a member of the Historic Hotels of America, authorized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

For further information, contact Tom Hayes, director of Classical Excursions, tom@classicalexcursions.com, (413) 243-4155.



Private Paris & Beyond: Exemplary Classical Architecture, Decorative Arts, Residences, Chateaux & GardensRegister Now!

September 11-19, 2015

Tour Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs.

Back by popular demand, ICAA’s “Private Paris & Beyond” tour offers unrivaled access to the finest classical architecture, decorative arts and gardens in and around Paris, including exclusive visits and receptions with prominent officials, private collectors and acclaimed lecturers.

For eight days, “Private Paris & Beyond” will offer participants expert-led, behind-the-scenes visits to outstanding examples of French classical architecture by notable architects François Mansart, Louis Le Vau, Antoine Lepautre, Jules Hardouin Mansart, Ange-Jacques Gabriel, and Claude-Nicolas Ledoux, as well as highlights in 1930s and contemporary architecture.

Guests will enjoy exclusive access to ambassadorial residences, renowned French institutions, private residences and châteaux of distinction, most inaccessible to the public, owned by French aristocracy and distinguished art collectors. With our hosts and expert lecturers, we will view the highest level of décor, rare art collections and gardens, and enjoy private receptions, music recitals, and dinners with the owners.

To view a detailed daily itinerary of our exclusive “Private Paris & Beyond” tour, please click here.

Tour Price: $8,250 per person double occupancy; $9,250 single occupancy; based on a minimum of 15 participants, maximum 22 participants; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 donation to ICAA. Members at the Contributor or Sole Practitioner level or higher may attend the ICAA tours.

Tour Price Includes: 8 days of private visits and receptions; 8 nights accommodation in a 3-star, elegant boutique hotel; all breakfasts, 6 lunches, cocktail receptions, and 5 dinners in private residences; all costs involved in the program, transport to and from events during the tour, all private visits, and expert lecturers.

Accommodations: We will stay in elegant Saint-Germain-des-Près at the Hotel Saint Vincent, 5 rue du Pré aux Clercs, hotelsdufaubourgsaintgermain.com; or the Hotel Duc de Saint Simon, 14 rue Saint-Simon; hotelducdesaintsimon.com. Rooms are beautifully furnished with marble bathrooms and gracious service.

For more information and to assure availability of this significant tour: Please email Pamela Huntington Darling: pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com; or call (Paris, France) Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com Confirmed participants will receive a full itinerary of this exceptional tour.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Click here to make your donation online now.









Rome Drawing Tour

June 6-13, 2015

The Institute of Classical Architecture and Art is pleased to announce the 2015 Rome Drawing Tour.

You’re invited to join instructors of the ICAA and affiliated institutions to spend a week studying through drawing, the architecture, urbanism and landscapes of Rome. Participants at all levels will enjoy ample opportunity to gain practical knowledge of the classical tradition as manifested in Rome, while developing skills in observational drawing and watercolor. The tour is open to architects, artists, and enthusiasts of the classical tradition.

HIGHLIGHTS OF THIS YEAR’S TOUR:*

  • Drawing sessions while surrounded by the remnants of Ancient Rome including the Temple of Fortuna Virilis, the Temple of Hadrian, and the Arch of Titus
  • Watercolor sessions in front of the Tempietto and amongst the lush landscape surrounding the Villa Aurelia
  • Intimate lunch and a tour of the American Academy in Rome
  • A day trip to Tivoli with drawing sessions at the Villa Adriana and the Villa d’Este

*Subject to change

Watch videos of tours from past years here and here.
 
Credit hours from this trip may be counted toward the completion of the Certificate in Classical Architecture.
 
Application deadline extended to May 15, 2015.
Program Fee: $3200 ($3000 for members)
AIA/CES CEHs AVAILABLE
 
Includes cost of instruction, lecture fees, daytrip fees, opening reception and closing dinner, museum entrance fees, and double accommodation. A limited number of single rooms are available for an additional supplement.

For more information and to reserve a place on the trip, please contact Anthony Del Aversano at adelaversano@classicist.org or call (212) 730-9646 ext. 115.

Information regarding scholarship opportunities are available here and here.
 


Great Country Houses & Gardens of Northern Ireland & The Republic of Ireland

May 24-31, 2015

Inspired by the architecture of Inigo Jones, who was the first to establish the Palladian style in 17th century England, Ireland at the same time developed its own dramatic Palladian movement starting with the new façade for the country house, Castletown, designed by Allessandro Galilei in 1719. He provided details that reflected Palladio’s villas in the Veneto, such as colonnaded connections that linked the main building to end pavilions.

The leading architect of Palladian country houses in Ireland was Sir Edward Lovett Pearce, who provided interior details at Castletown among other work. He developed a style that combined baroque inventiveness, movement, and boldness with the somberness of the English Palladian style. Castletown and at least 16 other outstanding Irish country houses will be included on this tour offered by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

The tour begins in Northern Ireland, with its glorious country houses set in bucolic settings and ends in Dublin. Many of the houses on the itinerary are privately owned.

This exclusive tour will include a stay at the privately owned Ballywalter Park, an Italianate Palazzo built in 1846 and now the family home of Lord Dunleath, along with a two-night stay at Belle Isle Castle, home of Lord Nicholas Hamilton and decorated by David Hicks.

The tour concludes in the Republic of Ireland with a three-night stay at the five-star Merrion Hotel, located in the heart of Dublin.

This travel excursion is led by Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions, who has organized five previous tours to Northern Ireland, (including one of the first tours after the conclusion of the civil unrest), along with Mark Donnelly, private art consultant and a former Sotheby’s agent. Robert O’Byrne, one of Ireland’s best-known writers on architecture and design, as well as a board member of the Irish Georgian Society will also be joining us for a day of specially selected private houses. Peter Lyden, President of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, will also be joining the tour as our special host.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

  • Mount Stewart, Newtownards, County Down: Originally built in 1804 and later extended, the first architect was George Dance, the teacher of Sir John Soane. Filled with magnificent antiques, the Regency-styled house contains 22 chairs used at the Congress of Vienna (1815) and given to Mt. Stewart’s owner, Lord Castlereagh, British Foreign Secretary and member of the Londonderry family. Mt. Stewart’s gardens cover 80 acres and are considered the most complete in Ireland, thriving in the area’s subtropical microclimate. Overlooking Strangford Lough is the exquisite small banqueting pavilion inspired by the Temple of the Winds in Athens. Our visit is led by Lady Rose Lauritzen and includes cocktails in her private apartment.
  • Grey Abbey, a tour and luncheon at this lovely privately owned Georgian house from 1762. Our visit is hosted by the owners William and Daphne Montgomery.
  • Florence Court, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh: An important Irish Georgian mansion, it was named after Lady Florence Cole, the wife of Sir John Cole, the owner who probably had built around 1730 the finally proportioned center block of the house. A later generation in the 1760s added flanking arcaded wings with end pavilions. The vigorous treatment of the exterior is repeated in the interior. Lavish Rococo plaster decoration is featured which was painstakingly restored after a fire in 1955. The Venetian Room, staircase and dining room have the most elaborate plasterwork. The house is filled with 18th-century Irish furniture.
  • Visit and lunch at Seaforde House & Gardens. Privately owned and occupied by Lady Anthea Forde, elder sister to Lorde Belmore, and who was brought up at Castle Coole. The house has a severe early 19th century façade and magnificent Greek revival interiors. The gardens are renowned for their rare specimen plants from around the globe.
  • Castle Coole, Enniskillen, County Fermanagh: Considered the finest Neo-classical country house in Ireland, it nearly bankrupted its owner, Armar Lowry-Corry, Earl of Belmore, in his attempt in the 1790s to outdo his brother-in-law and neighbor, the Earl of Enniskillen, at Florence Court. The quality of the Portland stone masonry is exceptional, with the design on all four sides of equal perfection. It continues inside, with harmonious unity and balance in the joinery and plasterwork. The final plans were executed by the English architect, James Wyatt. The plasterer was Joseph Rose, who had been hired by Robert Adam to work at Syon House and Harewood House.in England. Another glory of Castle Coole is that almost all of the Regency furniture is original and still in place.
  • A private visit and tea at Barons Court, hosted by His Grace, Duke of Abercorn. The house was started in 1779 by the architect George Steuart (who also designed Attingham Hall in Shropshire 1783). Later architects involved in redesigning and completing Barons Court were John Soane and Richard and William Morrison. The result was a powerful seven-bay house with a rotunda located in the heart of the building. The main pediment contains the family coat of arms. The interiors range from the classical coffered rotunda encircled by a ring of Ionic columns to a typical Morrisonian library redecorated by the prominent English decorator, David Hicks.
  • A visit to Castletown in County Kildare, Ireland’s first Palladian house to be erected with proper classical proportions and designed by a professional architect, Alessandro Galiliei (1691-1737). This house is said to have inspired the White House.
  • A tour of the incredible Palladian jewel Russborough House. Built in 1741 by Joseph Leeson. “No other Palladian house in Ireland equals it either for its architecture or its spectacular setting”.
  • A rare visit to the Marsh Library founded in 1701 as Ireland’s first public library. One of the few early 18th century buildings in Ireland still preserved and used for its original purpose, the library contains over 25,000 16th, 17th and 18th century books.
  • A tour of the rarely seen Provosts House, owned by Trinity College. This grand mid-18th century town house, is the only 18th century mansion in the Republic of Ireland that still retains is original function and form.
  • A visit to the privately owned 18th century Lodge Park, the home of Robert Guinness. Known both for its grand architecture and amazing 18th century gardens.
  • A tour of the spectacular Arbraccan (former palace of the Anglican Bishop’s of Meath) and now a private home, with author and Irish Georgian Society Board member, Robert O’Byrne.
  • Marino Casino, the pleasure pavilion designed by Sir William Chambers and considered to be one of the most perfect buildings in Europe.

This is only a partial listing, to view the complete itinerary with additional private houses please contact Classical Excursions.

Due to its exclusive nature, this tour is limited to 15 participants. To reserve a space, please contact Classical Excursions at (860) 454-4867 or lani@classicalexcursions.com

Tour Price: $5050.00 per person based on double occupancy, a single supplement of $850 applies. Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.


Morocco: Outstanding Private Residences & Gardens: Tangier, Taroudant, and Marrakech

May 1–10, 2015

Tour Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs.

VIEW TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Accommodations
April 30 (optional early arrival) / May 1 – 4: Tangier We will stay at the legendary four-star El Minzah hotel, set in the historic medina that was home to the cultural elites. Deluxe double rooms are decorated in charming Moroccan style, with furnished terraces and panoramic views of the port. Rooms provide all the modern amenities, including Wi-Fi and air conditioning. The hotel offers two pools, a fitness center and a full-service spa.

May 4 – 7: Taroudant We will be guests of the prominent French owners at their private residence in the medina, a vast private palace of over 40,000 square feet and the former residence of the Pasha of Tiout, with 18 suites, two pools, inner gardens, rooftop terraces, and an outstanding collection of Berber and Moroccan antiques. All suites are elegantly appointed with individual bathrooms, Wi-Fi and air conditioning. (Illustrated in the book L’Art de Vivre à Taroudant.)

May 7 – 10 or 11 (Optional night): Marrakech We will stay at the exquisite five-star La Maison Arabe, optimally situated in the medina. Considered among the best small luxury hotels in Morocco, this elegant riad is renowned for its old-school refinement, exemplary service and internationally acclaimed restaurant. All rooms are spacious, elegantly appointed in Moroccan style and equipped with Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

Tour Price: $8,200 per person double occupancy; $9,250 per person single occupancy; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund. ICAA members at the Contributor or Sole Practitioner level ($150), or higher, are welcome to attend ICAA tours. The tour price is based on 18 participants, maximum 21.

Tour Price Includes: 9 days of private visits and receptions; 9 nights lodging accommodations; 9 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners; airfare between Tangier and Agadir (45 minutes from Taroudant); and transportation in an air-conditioned luxury coach; all private visits and receptions; and expert lecturers.

To assure availability, please reserve by February 10, 2015.

For a detailed itinerary and to reserve: please email: pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com or call Paris, France, Tel. +33 1 45 67 62 81. Website: www.exclusiveculturaltours.com

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Click here to make your donation online now.







The Veneto: The Villas And Palazzos Of Andrea Palladio

April 23 – 29, 2015

Tour Arranged by Classical Excursions

“Andrea Palladio,” writes Prof. Bruce Boucher in his book Andrea Palladio: The Architect in His Time “is arguably the most influential architect the western world has ever produced.” The Institute is pleased to offer a tour of 26 of the great architect’s villas and palazzos that will transport the participants directly to the work of this genius.

Andrea Palladio lived during the 16th century at the height of the Italian Renaissance. Ever since his creations have been a source of inspiration for classical architecture especially in Europe and North America.

The German writer and traveler, Goethe, after viewing Palladio’s buildings, wrote to a friend in 1795: “The more one studies Palladio, the more incomprehensible the genius, the mastery, the richness, the versatility and the grace of this man become.”

Vicenza was Palladio’s adopted city where he became a stonemason and stone carver, considered unusual background for that time, when other architects were trained as painters or sculptors. In the late 1530’s, Palladio came under the patronage and mentorship of Giangiorgio Trissino (1478-1550), a wealthy Vicentine intellectual and talented amateur architect who recognized the younger man’s talents. At his villa at Cricola near Vicenza, Trissino established a humanist academy where young aristocrats received a classical education. Palladio, the son of a miller, became a member of the group and studied classical architecture there. Part of his education included trips to Rome where he studied contemporary buildings and ancient classical ruins, both of which had a great impact on his own designs. Palladio was to become as an architectural scholar “the most learned and exact of his time,” states English architectural historian John Summerson.

Although commissioned to take on such special projects as the loggia of the Basillica, the Teatro Olimpico, the Palazzo Chiericati, all in Vicenza, as well as his great Venetian churches, the majority of Palladio’s work was city palazzos and, more famously, country houses built throughout the Veneto. According the architectural historian Howard Burns, “No architect up to that time…had had as many commissions for villas and palaces.” Whereas other Renaissance architects created and “changed the rules” as they progressed from project to project, Palladio was able to create a unique system of standardized forms and dimensions that could be modified as needed.

Throughout his forty-year career as an architect, he created drawings and used these, as well as drawings by other architects, as resources for his work. From this material he produced I Quattro Libri dell’ Architettura (1570), which was to be reprinted and translated over the centuries, influencing builders and architects alike. The four books focus on construction techniques and principles, palazzos, villas, public buildings and urban works, and restorations of Roman temples.

The tour commences in Vicenza, where we will visit Palladio’s magnificent palazzos, with the incomparable La Rotonda, Palazzo Chiericati, Palazzo Porto-Breganze, and Palazzo Thiene among them. Not to be missed are his ingenious Basilica, the origin of the Palladian window and his amazing Teatro Olimpico, a Renaissance theatre based upon the ancient Roman theatre and still in use today.

This is only the beginning. From centrally located Vicenza we will travel into the Veneto countryside with stops at some dozen villas such as Villa Godi, Villa Saraceno, Villa Emo, Villa Badoer, Villa Barbaro and its elegant Tempietto, Villa Cornaro to name a few. These will be viewed under special auspices.

Our guide will be Laura Leonardi, who is a trained expert for the Centro Internazionale di Studi di Architettura Andrea Palladio on the architecture, art and cultural history as they pertain to Palladio. She has attended the Universita di Trieste, the University of Essex (UK) and the Universita La Sapienza di Roma.

We will be entertained at private functions, including dinner with the owners of Palladio’s impressive Palazzo Valmarana Braga Rosa in Vicenza, as well as private lunches at Villa Emo Capodilista decorated in the Venetian style and Villa Valmarana ai nani with its spectacular intact frescoes by Tiepolo father and son.

Throughout the tour, we will be provided with four-star accommodations at the Hotel Campo Marzio, an elegant boutique hotel situated in the heart of Vicenza near sites, restaurants, and shops.

Due to the private nature of many of the tour sites, they are subject to change while others will be added.

Land Cost: Tour price based on double occupancy is $4,350.00 per person, a $500 single supplement applies. To reserve a space please contact Lani at Classical Excursions, (860) 454-4867 or contact@classicalexcursions.com.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program.


Private Brooklyn

December 4-7, 2014

Arranged by Classical Excursions and the Private Brooklyn Committee
Led by Architectural Historian Francis Morrone

Before 1898, when it merged with New York City, Brooklyn was an independent city, the fourth most populous in the country. If Brooklyn were today an independent city, it would still be the fourth largest city in the country–only New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago have more people than Brooklyn. It should come as no surprise that Brooklyn has retained its own unique civic identity. And today, Brooklyn flourishes as never before.

The original city centered on Brooklyn Heights and Downtown Brooklyn, and was settled by New Englanders who did not care for the Gomorrah across the river. They were high-minded, cultured, committed to the abolition of slavery–like the Rev. Henry Ward Beecher, the most famous man in America in the mid-19th century.

A great industrial and shipping complex developed along the East River waterfront, and in time many staple goods emerged from the factories, from Pfizer’s and Squibb’s pharmaceuticals to Domino sugar. The docks were among the world’s busiest.

The makers of industrial and mercantile fortunes found homes in fashionable neighborhoods such as Park Slope and Clinton Hill, which were among the most affluent communities in the United States. Elegant town houses and mansions stood within a richly appointed public realm of majestic churches, banks, parks, and plazas.

Prospect Park is widely said to be Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux’s masterpiece. McKim, Mead & White’s Brooklyn Museum became one of the world’s great art museums, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music one of the world’s great performing arts venues. While many great New York architects, including McKim, Mead & White, left their mark on Brooklyn, the many indigenous architects?including Frank Freeman, Montrose W. Morris, William B. Tubby, and Frank Helmle–gave Brooklyn a style all its own.

Brooklyn soon eclipsed Manhattan in population, and became the residential haven of middle-class and working-class New Yorkers. Brooklyn was home to a great prospering Jewish middle-class, the sons and daughters of which–like Barbra Streisand and Woody Allen–would do much to stamp the American culture of the second half of the 20th century. Soon, however, Brooklyn’s stock plummeted, as many older neighborhoods declined. The Dodgers decamped for southern California.

By the end of the 20th century, however, many of the declining neighborhoods had turned around. The antiquated housing stock drew new well-heeled devotees and “gentrification” became the hallmark of the era in Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, Fort Greene, Clinton Hill, and Williamsburg. Today, “Brooklyn” connotes the hip, the fashionable–artisanal food culture, meticulously restored row houses, movie stars. In Paris, the trend is for “Brooklyn-style” restaurants.

Our “Private Brooklyn” tour focuses on four neighborhoods: Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Park Slope, and Prospect Park South. The goal is to show the best of both old and new residential architecture and design in Brooklyn, and along the way show why and how Brooklyn–sometimes maddeningly hard to know–became the global trendsetter that it is today.

In Brooklyn Heights we will visit the dazzling penthouse apartment, with unmatched panoramic views of New York Harbor combined with an outstanding art and furniture collection, in the new and much talked-about Brooklyn Bridge Park, of one of the most powerful real estate brokers in New York. We will see a spectacular Greek Revival town house on Columbia Heights, with unsurpassed views from its back windows of lower Manhattan and the East River.

Clinton Hill was, after Brooklyn Heights, the neighborhood of Brooklyn’s elite, especially its richest family, the Pratts. Charles Pratt was a founding partner of the Standard Oil Trust, and on wide, spacious Clinton Avenue he built his own home as well as mansions for several of his sons, all of whom were involved in the family business and philanthropies, of which the best known is Brooklyn’s distinguished design school Pratt Institute.

We will see the Babb, Cook & Willard-designed mansion of Frederic Bayley Pratt, longtime president of Pratt Institute. The house is now the home of current Pratt Institute president Dr. Thomas F. Schutte and his wife, Tess. We will go next door to the former mansion of George Dupont Pratt, also by Babb, Cook & Willard, now part of St. Joseph’s College. A unique feature of Clinton Hill is Waverly Avenue, one of the best-preserved streets of 19th-century carriage houses remaining in the country. Now converted to residences, we will visit one of these. We will also see the Clinton Hill homes of a well-known Food Network host and of the classical painter John Kelley.

Park Slope, developed in the late 19th century, and succeeded the Heights and the Hill as Brooklyn’s most exclusive neighborhood. More recently, when New York Magazine asked the famed statistician Nate Silver to devise a metric for ranking the livability of New York neighborhoods, Park Slope came out number one. Our visit will include a reception at “Villa Berkeley,” the spectacularly restored néo-Grec town house of Clem Labine and Deirdre Lawrence. Clem bought the house–a fixer-upper–in the 1960s. His renovation efforts led him to found the magazine Old House Journal and, later, Period Homes and Traditional Building.

We will have dinner at the fabulous Montauk Club. Once, everyone who was anyone in Brooklyn had to be a member of the Montauk Club. It wasn’t optional. The gorgeous Venetian Gothic clubhouse, by Francis H. Kimball, has been lovingly preserved, and features some of the finest terra-cotta decoration in the country.

En route to the nearby Brooklyn Museum, we will pause to look at Grand Army Plaza, one of the country’s finest public spaces from the City Beautiful era, with its Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Memorial Arch, said by architectural historian Henry Hope Reed to be the finest triumphal arch of modern times, after the Arc de Triomphe in Paris. At the Brooklyn Museum we will enjoy a tour by Briana Miller (both an Institute of Classical Architecture & Art Fellow and a Brooklyn Museum docent) of the museum’s architectural highlights. We will enjoy dinner at the museum’s highly acclaimed restaurant, Saul.

“Private Brooklyn” will also take us to the former Town of Flatbush, south of Prospect Park and Park Slope, where, in the early 20th-century planned community of Prospect Park South, we will visit the “Japanese House,” an improbable and beguiling confection by the great Brooklyn architects Petit & Green.

Accompanying the group on its journeys through Brooklyn will be the architectural historian Francis Morrone, widely regarded as the foremost authority on the history and architecture of Brooklyn.

“Private Brooklyn” has been designed to show off one of the great urban success stories of recent times, a borough that is a city in its own right, and to help you understand the buzz, and why today so many people from around the world choose to move, not to New York City, but to Brooklyn.

Comfortable three-night accommodations have been arranged at the New York Marriott at the Brooklyn Bridge, 333 Adams Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201. The itinerary will begin Thursday evening, December 4, with an opening dinner and lecture by Francis Morrone, and will end Sunday at 12:00 pm, December 7. For inquiries, contact Tom Hayes at Classical Excursions, tom@classicalexcursions.com or (413) 243-4155.

Due to the private nature of many of the tour sites, they are subject to change while others will be added.

Please note a fully tax-deductible donation of $500 per person is required to participate in this Travel Program. Click here to make your donation online now.


Private South Africa: Houses and Gardens of Cape Town and Beyond

November 1–8, 2014

Tour arrangements by Classical Excursions & Mark Donnelly

Known for its magnificent scenery, the Cape of Good Hope region will open its doors to a hidden world of magnificent art, architecture, and gardens. From the thatched and gabled manor houses of the 17th century Dutch settlers and the influence of the Dutch East India Company, to the mansions of the Rand Lords, this tour will encompass 250 years of colonial architecture. The group will stay five nights at the world famous Mount Nelson Hotel, located below the backdrop of Table Mountain, along with two nights at the renowned Lanzerac hotel & spa in Stellenbosch. We will visit the famous botanical gardens at Kirstenbosch as well as four outstanding private gardens. The tour will take in private wine estates and art collections of some of the Cape’s great families. The tour is led by Graham Viney, renowned international interior designer from South Africa, and author of two books including the landmark Historic Houses of South Africa.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS:

CASTLE OF GOOD HOPE
Built c.1665 as a star fortress and the headquarters of the Dutch East India Company, this oldest surviving colonial building houses a collection of national treasures, paintings, furniture, glass, silver, and porcelain.

MICHAELIS COLLECTION
Donated in 1914 by Sir Max Michaelis, this world-class collection of mostly Netherlands art contains masterpieces by Frans Hals, Jan Steen, Van Dyke, and Jacob van Ruisdael.

KOOPMANS DE WET HOUSE
This house museum is furnished as a home for a well-to-do Cape family during the late 18th Century. It houses some of the best pieces of Cape furniture and silver in the country, in addition to a priceless collection of ceramics.

GROOT SCHUUR
The former Cape Town residence of the state president, the gabled Groote Schuur (‘Big Barn’) was originally built in 1667 to serve as the VOC’s granary before it was bought by Cecil John Rhodes in 1893 and converted into a grand mansion and office by Architect Sir Herbert Baker. Rhodes died in 1910 and bequeathed his estate to the nation; an elaborate neoclassical shrine was erected in his memory two years later.

RHODES MEMORIAL
The memorial, which was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, was built in 1912 to honor former Cape Colony prime minister and mining magnate Cecil John Rhodes. The position chosen was Rhodes’ favorite viewing site. Built from Cape granite quarried on Table Mountain, the memorial consists of 49 steps – one for each year of Rhodes’s life. The Doric columns were inspired by Rhodes’s appreciation of classical architecture, and the eight lions were modeled on those at the base of Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square, London.

IRMA STERN MUSEUM
Irma Stern (1894-1966), was a major South African artist who achieved national and international recognition in her lifetime. The permanent collection on display shows Irma Stern’s development as an artist whose subject matter included exotic figures, portraits, lush landscapes, and still lifes conveyed in a variety of media. The Irma Stern Museum was established in 1971 and is the house the artist lived in for almost four decades.

GROOT CONSTANTIA
In 1685, during an annual visit to the Cape, Hendrik Adriaan van Rheede tot Drakenstein granted the grounds of Groot Constantia to Simon van der Stel the VOC Governor of the Cape of Good Hope.
Van der Stel built the house and used the land to produce wine as well as other fruit and vegetables. Following Van der Stel’s death in 1712 the estate was broken up and sold in three parts: Groot Constantia; Klein Constantia; and Bergvliet. Over the years the land has passed through the ownership of several families, and in 1993, the estate passed into the ownership of the Groot Constantia Trust. The exhibition in the house is managed by Iziko South African Museum, and is particularly focused on rural slavery and the life of slaves during the early Cape colonial period.

RUST EN VREDE
In Rhodes’ last years he went to live in his tiny cottage by the sea at Muizenberg, away from the cold and damp of Groote Schuur. Just above his cottage, Rhodes planned with Herbert Baker a house designed to be hidden from the public road with sweeping views of the blue sea and far-off mountain promontories. This dream was never to be fulfilled, as Rhodes had an even more burning desire: that he might save sufficient monies to endow scholarships at Oxford – the Rhodes Scholarships. So the house was left unfinished. However, Sir Abe Bailey completed Rust en Vrede, from the foundations upwards, building it according to the original plan commissioned by Rhodes. Baker’s watercolor perspective drawing shows the house roughly as it was built: white, with tall gables, and twisting chimneys against the soft red-ochre of the roof, all grouped above arcaded loggias. It was the prototype of houses Baker was yet to build in other parts of Africa.

HAWTHORNDENE
The Hawthorndene Homestead was built by Captain John Spence who owned this part of the original Oude Wijnberg Estate from 1881 until 1888. It was built in the Renaissance manner comprising of more than thirty rooms. This restrained Victorian design includes bay windows, a turret, cast-iron balconies, and a French-type mansard roof. Mining magnate J. B. Robinson bought Hawthornden in 1891. His descendants still occupy this stately home.

FRESH WOODS
Fresh Woods is the private garden of Peter and Barbara Knox-Shaw. It contains a remarkable rose collection, including several species and both old and new hybrids, many raised from seed or from wild cuttings. This garden is particularly valuable for the conservation of old roses from the Cape and for preserving collections of wild roses. Although a private garden, it is open regularly. It is known throughout the world and is a source of propagation material and a center for the exchange of rare and valuable varieties.

KIRSTENBOSCH
Kirstenbosch is the name of a famous botanical garden nestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town. The garden is one of nine National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa’s six different biomes. The most beautiful garden in Africa, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world.

BABYLONSTOREN
Babylonstoren is one of the best-preserved werfs (farm yards) in the Cape Dutch tradition, including the manor house from 1777, and pioneer structures dating back to the founding of the farm in 1690. An ornate fowl house, pigeon loft, leaning bell tower, and historic gates embellish a traditional courtyard surrounded by a low, whitewashed wall. Spanning eight acres, the Babylonstoren garden is at the heart of the farm.  It was inspired by the Company Gardens of the Cape, where for centuries ships would replenish with sweet water, vegetables, and fruit at the halfway station between Europe and Asia. It also hails back to the mythical garden of Babylon. All of the 300 varieties of plants in the garden are edible. The garden is divided into fifteen clusters spanning vegetable areas, berries, bees, indigenous plants, ducks and chickens, and also includes a prickly pear maze.

MORGENSTER
For 300 years Morgenster has attracted and inspired people through its blend of beautiful surroundings, excellent terroir, and a manor house recognized as one of the great houses of the Western Cape.

RUSTENBERG
The Rustenberg garden is situated next to the Cape Dutch homestead Schoongezicht, which dates back to 1814. In 2001, Rozanne Barlow, wife of the current owner of the Rustenberg Estate, regenerated and restored the garden. The site was transformed into an eleven-circuit Chartres-style labyrinth, laid out in half brick and river stone. A charming pergola, originally built by John X Merriman, supports climbing roses, clematis, and other fragrant climbers. The landscaping and pathways of the formal-style garden bring together the sizeable one-hectare site. The ‘borrowed’ surrounding landscape of vineyards, green pastures, and the majestic Simonsberg mountain backdrop make it a magical place.

STELLENBERG
In upper Kenilworth stands the beautiful Stellenberg, a Cape Dutch property dating back to original Van Der Stel ownership. Fortunately it has been blessed with sensible and caring owners – starting with the Felthams, who acquired Stellenberg in 1878 and did not succumb to the fashion of the times by removing gables, replacing thatch with corrugated iron, or tampering with the Cape Dutch windows and shutters. Finally the Ovenstones acquired Stellenberg in the 1950s, and today, nearly 60 years later, Stellenberg remains one of the most beautiful Cape Dutch houses in the Cape Peninsula.

VERGELEGEN
When Willem Adriaan succeeded his father, Simon van der Stel, as governor of the Cape in 1700, it didn’t take long before he claimed a modest 30,000 hector piece of land for himself. It took three days by oxwagon to reach Willem Adriaan’s farm on the slopes of the Hottentots Holland mountain range overlooking the Atlantic Ocean; hence its name ‘Vergelegen’, meaning ‘situated faraway’. Six years after he started planting vines, Willem Adriaan had half a million vine stocks. He laid out fruit orchards and orange groves, planted camphor and oak trees, and established eighteen cattle stations with 1000 cattle and 1800 sheep. He built himself a beautiful Cape Dutch homestead, added a corn mill, and other subsidiary buildings. In November 1705, when reverent Francois Valentijn visited Vergelegen he uttered the now well-known words: “I saw this Estate with exceptional pleasure, since everything was laid out wonderfully finely.” Willem Adriaan was considered a genius for his knowledge of farming and his visionary mind contributed greatly to the agricultural development of the Cape.

Visits to Ida’s Valley, a private Cape Dutch farmstead owned by the Erskine family, and La Garonne, an 18th century house & garden, privately owned by the Rupert family and beautifully situated below the mountains in the Franschhoen Valley.

Tour Price & Reservations: Please contact Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions at (413) 446-8728 or lani@classicalexcursions.com to register for this tour. Immediate registration is suggested, as space is limited. Land cost is $5000.00 per person based on double occupancy; a single supplement of $1000.00 applies.

A tax-deductible donation of $500.00 is required, to be made payable to the ICAA by each participant. Click here to make your donation online now.


William Lawrence Bottomley's Richmond and More - SOLD OUT

September 25–28, 2014

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT

Arranged by Classical Excursions

“Ah, yes, this was a man who loved and understood building; this was truly an architect, this Bottomley.”
—Louis Kahn, after viewing Milburne House in Windsor Farms

Considered by both professionals and enthusiasts of classical architecture alike as a master of his profession, William Lawrence Bottomley’s name is synonymous with the best residential architecture in Richmond, Virginia, just as Philip Trammell Shutze is with Atlanta, David Adler with Chicago, and John Staub with Houston.

Throughout his 40-year career spanning the first half of the 20th century, Bottomley designed and executed 186 commissions located from Maine to Florida and as far west as Texas. Although his offices were based in New York City, where his work included elegant townhouses, posh commercial establishments, and River House, still one of the city’s toniest apartment buildings, it is the concentration of gracious urban residences along Richmond’s Monument Avenue and refined country houses in nearby Windsor Farms and elsewhere that draw us to view some of his finest work, including Parrish House, Milburne House, and Redesdale among others.

Susan Hume Frazer quotes the architect in her text, The Architecture of William Lawrence Bottomley, the first comprehensive study of the master architect and designer, “There are certain fundamental ideas, all-too-often neglected, which determine the real success of a design. Any building – whether a house or any other kind – should be planned to fit its uses. It should be both convenient and expressive artistically of its uses. It should fit its setting. It should be interesting in its mass and be simple and restrained in the use of architecture motives. Its character should reflect the best cultural traditions of its locality and also the taste and individuality of its occupants.”

Whether the commission was neo-Georgian, of which he was preeminent, or of French, Spanish, or Italian derivation, Bottomley consistently embraced these principles.

It is with this in mind that the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art invites you to tour Richmond area residences by this uncompromising perfectionist with refined taste, who oversaw virtually every facet of his projects, from exterior design, interior ornamentation and decoration, to the surrounding landscape design.

Upon his death in 1951, a writer gave this tribute to Bottomley: “Marvelously gifted with that rare special sense of scale relationship, like Alberti and Palladio…the brothers Adam and Wren…he [Bottomley] could phase and proportion an architrave like a sonnet and compose all the elements of a building in a rhythmically harmonious entity.”

We would be negligent to not round out the tour with a selection of sites from the rich architectural offerings found throughout the city and surrounding area, including Wilton (1753), Wickham House (1812), Hancock-Wirt-Caskie House (1808), Battersea (1769), and the icon of 18th – century Virginia architecture and inspiration for Redesdale, Westover Plantation (c.1730) on the James River, where the owners will host a private dinner for us.

Attractive three-night accommodations have been arranged at the Berkeley Hotel, a boutique- style hotel in the European manner. The itinerary will begin Thursday evening, September 25, with an opening dinner and lecture by architectural historian Christopher Novelli of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, who will be our guide throughout the tour, and will end Sunday, September 28 at 12:30 pm.

Land Cost: $1,750 per person; $300 single supplement; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund. For inquiries, contact Tom Hayes at Classical Excursions, tom@classicalexcursions.com or (413) 243-4155. Due to the private nature of many of the tour sites, they are subject to change while others will be added.


Private Portugal: Exemplary Private Palaces, Villas, and Gardens, from Porto to Lisbon

June 14-22, 2014

TRAVEL UPDATE! More historic and rare private visits!

Sponsored by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art
Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs

From its early history under the Romans, Visigoths, and Moors to its rise as the first global empire, Portugal has played a crucial role in world history. Established in the 12th century, Portugal is the oldest country in Europe, its influence culminating in the 15th and 16th centuries, when this Iberian nation achieved a naval status unequalled in the world.

Today, Portugal’s world-class vineyards, unspoiled countryside, and superb vestiges of its historic past—including many UNESCO World Heritage Sites—make it one of the most compelling destinations in Europe.

Guided by expert lecturer Cristina Leal, a scholar in the fields of Portuguese history and art, this exclusive program will offer an intimate group of discerning guests unprecedented access to admirable private palaces and wine estates, monuments and museums to view masterpieces of architecture, art, Azulejo tiles, interior décor, and garden design, and sample some of Portugal’s greatest vintage wines as private guests of the estates.

We will devote three days to Porto, two days to Évora and Coimbra, and three days to Lisbon, with day trips to Portugal’s lush vineyards and countryside. We will be received by Portuguese nobility and esteemed members of the cultural elite for exclusive visits, wine tastings, luncheons, receptions and dinners, with gourmet cuisine, in remarkable private residences with marvelous gardens, art collections, and stunning views of the surrounding towns and countryside.

VIEW TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Accommodations

June 14 – June 17, Porto (3 nights) 5-star luxury hotel and spa The Yeatman Resort & Spa is elegantly decorated and set among landscaped gardens with breathtaking views of Porto, two infinity pools, one of Porto’s best restaurants, and a Caudélie spa and gym. www.the-yeatman-hotel.com

June 17 – June 19, Évora (2 nights) 5-star luxury Pousada de Évora Loios hotel is located in the historic center. Once a convent, it is one of Évora’s most precious architectural buildings, with beautifully appointed rooms, arched corridors, vaulted ceilings, beautiful gardens, and a swimming pool. www.pousadas.pt

June 19 – June 22, Lisbon (3 nights) 5-star luxury Pestana Palace Hotel is a 19th-century palace classified as a National Monument. Profusely decorated in the French style with artwork and elegant antiques, the Marquises’ private quarters have been transformed into beautiful and spacious suites. Views of the hotel’s vast gardens can be enjoyed from all royal suites. The grounds also contain a remarkable chapel and swimming pool. www.pestana.com

Tour Price

$7,500 per person double occupancy; $8,250 per person single occupancy; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund. Members at the Contributor or Sole Practitioner level ($150) or higher are welcome to attend ICAA tours. The tour price is based on a minimum of 15 participants, maximum of 20 participants, and an exchange rate of $1.35/1 Euro.

Tour Price Includes: 8 days of private visits and receptions; 8 nights of accommodation in 5-star luxury hotels; 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners; transportation to and from all events in a private coach; all private visits and expert lecturers. All rooms are spacious, elegantly appointed and equipped with Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

For more information and to reserve, please contact Pamela Huntington Darling in Paris, France, at pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com or Tel. 011 33 1 45 67 62 81.


Rome Drawing & Painting Tour

June 7–14, 2014

Join experienced instructors of the ICAA and affiliated institutions for this opportunity to experience Rome while honing your observational drawing and painting skills. Participants at all levels will be provided with a practical knowledge of the classical tradition as manifested in Rome, and enjoy ample time for the observation and representation of classical architecture. This signature study and drawing tour is open to all architects, artists, and like-minded individuals.

Credit hours from this trip may be counted toward the completion of the Certificate in Classical Architecture.

Watch videos from last year’s tour here and here.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: MARCH 1, 2014
40 (15 HSW) AIA/CES CEHs AVAILABLE
PROGRAM FEE: $2,950 ($2,750 MEMBERS)

Includes cost of instruction, lecture fees, daytrip fees, opening reception and closing dinner, museum entrance fees, and double accommodation. A limited number of single rooms are available for an additional supplement. Prices are subject to change due to currency exchange rates.

For more information and to request an application, please email Ryan Bradshaw Greene at rgreene@classicist.org, or call 212.730.9646 × 116.


18th-Century Sweden: The Golden Age of Gustavian Style

June 1-9, 2014

Arranged by Classical Excursions

In 1771, the future Gustav III returned to his native Sweden from the French court at Versailles to ascend the throne as king after his father’s sudden death. The young monarch had been profoundly inspired by French Neoclassical architecture and decorative arts. Later trips to France and Italy gave further impetus to Gustav’s passion for the classical. During his reign (1772-1792), Sweden rose to a level of architectural and cultural sophistication never known before. The king transformed this once removed European country into the “Paris of the North,” setting a standard of style for most levels of Swedish society that continued well into the 19th century.

Join us on this weeklong excursion as you discover the truly beautiful and singularly charming Gustavian style of architecture and decoration, which has attained great popularity in America. The tour is led by Lani Summerville of Classical Excursions and Dr. Johan Cederlund, author of the book entitled Classical Swedish Architecture & Interiors: 1650-1840. We will be hosted by the aristocratic owners of such ancestral country manor houses as Elghammar. Swedish curators and historians will give us exclusive tours and will introduce us to the classical works of such important Swedish architects and designers of the period as Hårleman, Rehn, Adelcrantz, the Masreliez brothers, Sergel, and many others. Many of the manor houses and palaces on the tour are featured in the book, Neoclassicism in the North: Swedish Furniture and Interiors, 1770-1850 by Håkan Groth, as well as Classical Swedish Architecture & Interiors: 1650-1840, and are open exclusively for our group.

Tour Highlights:

A five night stay in a five star hotel in the heart of historic “Old Town” Stockholm, adjacent to the Royal Palace.

A private tour of Sturehof Manor house, renowned for its unique collection of Marieberg tile stoves and its original 18th century Gustavian interiors.

A private tour of Drottningholm Palace, Court Theatre and the Chinese Pavilion. The Drottningholm Court Theatre is considered to be one of the best preserved 18th century theatres in the world, still containing the original sets and operating machinery.

A private tour of the renowned Masreliez Rooms in Old Town. One of the few 18th century apartments left intact in Stockholm. Most of the interior wall paintings and paneling remain along with a wealth of period furnishings from the Gustavian era.

A visit to Svindersvik Manor House, one of the best preserved early Gustavian houses in Sweden. Designed by Court architect Carl Harleman in 1740. Svindersvik is a rare gem, not to be missed.

A visit to the “Palladian” estate Elghammar, privately owned by Duchesse Christina d’Otrante and containing all of its original Russian Empire and late Gustavian furnishings. This grand home was designed by the Court Architect of Catherine the Great, Giacomo Quarenghi.

A day touring 18th century houses and collections such as Hammarby, Leufsta Bruk and others, with renowned preservationist and author Lars Sjoberg.

A lecture by Johan Cederlund, author of the landmark book Classical Swedish Architecture & Interiors 1650- 1840 and current Director of the Anders Zorn Museum & Collections, Mora, Sweden.

Our accommodations for this trip include the elegant five star boutique hotel in Stockholm along with a historic inn located in the charming town of Mariefred. Our private motor coach will transport us to all sights on the tour. As the tour is limited to 20 people, please reserve your space by contacting Lani Summerville at lani@classicalexcursions.com or (413) 446-8728.

Tour Price: $5,200.00 per person based on double occupancy, a $1,000.00 Single supplement applies. Tour price includes a $500 tax-deductible donation to The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art.

*For a complete list of included sights please request a full day-by-day itinerary, this is a partial listing.


Private Shropshire: Great Country Houses in the Heart of England

May 24-31, 2014

Tour Arranged by Classical Excursions

“You will find Weston beautiful. I marvel whether I shall ever see the like of it again! It is a place that always pleased me.”

- Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, June 8, 1878

THIS TOUR HAS BEEN CANCELLED
Further inquires should be directed to Tom Hayes at Classical Excursions, tom@classicalexcursions.com or (413) 243-4155.


Private Morocco: Casablanca and the Imperial Cities

May 10-18, 2014

Exemplary Sites, Private Residences & Gardens of Rabat, Casablanca, Fes, Meknes & Marrakech

Sponsored by the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art

Arranged by Pamela Huntington Darling, Exclusive Cultural Travel Programs

The Kingdom of Morocco’s rich and ancient culture bears the traces of conquerors, invaders, traders, nomads, and colonists—from the Phoenicians and Romans to the Spanish and French. An extravagant mosaic of stunning landscapes, richly textured cities, and welcoming people, Morocco’s high mountain ranges, lush forests, sun-baked deserts, and exotic cities, including many UNESCO World Heritage sites, make for a traveler’s paradise.

As a gateway to Africa, the influence of the many peoples and cultures that have left their mark on this storied country is captured in the architecture and monuments, gardens, art, music, and cuisine. The bustling bazaars and splendid Medinas, Kasbahs, and mosques of Casablanca and the Imperial Cities offer travelers a tantalizing mix of ancient and modern.

For eight magical days, in the company of our expert lecturer Khalid Mouzaki and Pamela Huntington Darling, we will explore some of Morocco’s most important sites and monuments under privileged conditions and will be received by officials and prominent members of the community. We will enjoy rare and unique visits, receptions and dinners with our distinguished hosts, owners of superb private riads (palaces), and villas—not open to the public—celebrated for their architecture, gardens, interiors—many by the famous American interior designer Bill Willis—and world-class art collections. Confidential names and details will be sent to confirming participants.

VIEW TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

Accommodations

We recommend arrival in Casablanca a day prior to the official program. Guests will be met at the Casablanca airport and travel by private car (at cost, count $100 for one or two passengers) to Rabat where they will be greeted by Pamela Huntington Darling and our expert lecturer Khalid Mouzaki, at the elegant Villa Mandarine hotel.

May 9-12: We will stay at the lovely Villa Mandarine hotel set among seven acres of lush flower gardens and mandarin groves. The hotel’s exotic Berber-inspired décor has been meticulously restored to splendor with all the modern comforts, including a pool and full-service spa. www.villamandarine.com.. The night of May 9 is at cost, $275 per room, breakfast included.

May 12-15: Five-star Palais Jamai Hotel in Fes is luxuriously housed in a 19th-century palace among landscaped gardens and ramparts with glorious views of the nearby Medina. www.sofitel-legend.com/fes/en/.

May 15-18: Marrakech’s La Maison Arabe, optimally situated in the Medina, is considered among the best small luxury hotels in the city, a lavish riad famed for its authentic elegance, fine service and internationally acclaimed restaurant; www.lamaisonarabe.com; or Hotel Naoura Barrière, a 5-minute walk from La Maison Arabe, this 5-star hotel has spectacular views of the Medina and the Atlas mountains and offers spacious, elegant light-filled rooms, a luxury spa, and heated pools. www.lucienbarriere.com/en/luxury-hotel/Marrakech-Hotel-Naoura-Barriere/home.html

All rooms are spacious, elegantly appointed, and equipped with Wi-Fi and air conditioning.

Tour Price

$7,250 per person, double occupancy, and $8,250 per person, single occupancy; plus a fully tax-deductible $500 contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund. Members at the Contributor or Sole Practitioner level ($150), or higher, are welcome to attend ICAA tours. The tour price is based on 20 participants, maximum 21.

Tour Price Includes: 8 days of visits and receptions; 8 nights hotel accommodation; 8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners; transportation in a modern air-conditioned coach; all private visits and expert lecturers.

To assure availability, please reserve by March 8, 2014. For more information and to reserve, please contact Pamela Huntington Darling in Paris, France, at pdarling@exclusiveculturaltours.com or Tel. 011 33 1 45 67 62 81.


A Grand Tour of Sicily: Palermo to Taormina

April 25-May 4, 2014

“To have seen Italy without seeing Sicily is not to have seen Italy at all, for Sicily is the clue to everything.”
—Goethe, Italian Journey.

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT

The Institute of Classical Architecture & Art in conjunction with Classical Excursions announces its fourth tour to Sicily. Following the tradition of the most adventurous Grand Tourists of the 18th and early 19th centuries, participants will discover the exotic allure of the Mediterranean’s largest island, which has been host to a spectacular number of cultures throughout its history. The Greeks, Romans, Carthaginians, Arabs, Normans, Spanish and Italians have all left their distinctive mark.

The tour begins in bustling Palermo and progresses to the famous Valley of the Temples at Agrigento. Three nights are spent in Ortygia, the island city of ancient Siracusa with daytrips to Ragussa Ibla and Noto, as well as excursions and walking tours within the city of Siracusa. The last night of the tour is spent in picturesque Taormina.

TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

The magnificent temples of Agrigento includes the Temple of Concord, one of the world’s best-preserved Greek temples.

Palermo’s wealth of Norman, Catalan-Gothic, Baroque and Neoclassical architecture under the shadow of Monte Pellegrino.

The extraordinary mosaics of the Villa del Casale, the 3rd century A.D. summer villa built for a member of the Roman imperial family.

The awe-inspiring and mysterious unfinished Doric Temple at Segesta.

The theatrically baroque cities of Ragusa Ibla and Noto, both rebuilt after the devastating earthquake of 1693 and filled with flamboyant palazzi and breathtaking perspectives.

The surreal Duomo of Siracusa with Greek Doric columns and metopes exposing its temple origins behind an exuberant baroque façade on one of Italy’s most beautiful piazze.

The picturesque resort of Taormina with its Greek/Roman theatre and breathtaking views of Mount Etna and the Ionian Sea.

Dinner parties in private palazzi: The age-old Palazzo Federico in Palermo with its Norman tower and sumptuous suites of rooms; the elegant pink Palazzo Beneventano del Bosco on Siracusa’s sublime Piazza del Duomo; and the exuberant Palazzo Biscari in Catania famed for its extravagant ballroom.

Registration: Contact Classical Excursions, lani@classicalexcursions.com or (413) 446-8728. Tour Price is $4695.00 per person based on double occupancy, $700 Single supplement applies.

Participants are also required to make a $500 fully tax-deductible contribution to the Institute’s Annual Fund — which helps to further our mission of advancing the practice and appreciation of the classical tradition in architecture and the allied arts.


Private Birmingham: A Southern Tour with James Carter and Friends

April 10–13, 2014

Tour Arranged by Classical Excursions

THIS TOUR IS SOLD OUT

Birmingham, Alabama is a little-known city when it comes to its great wealth of classical architecture. What better way to visit the unknown than with James Carter, a long-time resident, well-known architect, and 2013 recipient of two Shutze Awards presented by the Southeast Chapter of ICAA. He possesses impeccable taste and an enormous enthusiasm for the best in traditional architecture. So many of us have come to know him as a friend and an inveterate fellow traveler on many of the Institute’s tours, sharing a love of classical architecture.

That friendship will reach closer to home when James and his committee open doors on an exclusive tour of some of the city’s most beautiful and exquisitely decorated homes.

“Never been to Birmingham?” You are in for a treat. As the state’s biggest city, Birmingham (once called the Pittsburgh of the South), radiates an array of undiscovered traditional architecture built initially on post-Civil War wealth from iron, steel, railroad production, and commercial development at the hub of rail lines and highways.

Today, Birmingham is the nation’s fourth largest banking center after New York, Charlotte, and Chicago. Meredith Corporation, publisher of Better Homes and Gardens, Ladies Home Journal, Southern Living, among other magazines, is headquartered in the city. Of the state’s 20 wealthiest cities, 14 are Birmingham suburbs. Situated in the Appalachian foothills, the area has a wealth of natural beauty, with splendid views, waterways, and lots of greenery, including the many private gardens that will be in full bloom in mid-April.

With this backdrop in mind, we will be hosted by the owners of homes designed by William Lawrence Bottomley, McAlpine Tankersley, Edward Vason Jones, Henry Sprott Long, D.O. Whilldin, Bates Corkern, and Warren, Knight & Davis, among others. James’ own glorious new home will have been completed by tour time and he will host an inaugural private dinner party for us.

Attractive three-night accommodations have been arranged at the new four-star Westin-Birmingham. The itinerary will begin Thursday evening, April 10, with an opening dinner and lecture by architectural historian Philip A. Morris and will end Sunday at 12:30 pm, April 13.

Land Cost: $2,195 per person; a $300 single supplement applies. Tour price includes a $500 tax-deductible donation to the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art. For inquiries, contact Tom Hayes at Classical Excursions, tom@classicalexcursions.com or (413) 243-4155.

Due to the private nature of many of the tour sites, they are subject to change while others will be added.