Travel Opportunities

Your Tour Director:

Henry Matthews manages GVSU’s extensive art collections and he organizes exhibitions and a variety of related educational programs. He also seeks ways to connect the university to art communities around the world. Henry was formerly the Director of the Muskegon Museum of Art, on the staff of the Detroit Institute of Art and an instructor at numerous colleges and universities.  A passionate believer in the inestimable value of travel, Henry has been conducting distinctive tours to destinations around the globe for more than 30 years.

2015 Travel Opportunities

Making plans for Christmas 2015?    Now’s the time to start planning and saving for a wonderful magical adventure in Vienna with GVSU Galleries and Collections Director Henry Matthews.  This year’s trip to Vienna  sold out so a waiting list has already  been set up for a possible 2015 trip.  Also coming in the fall of 2015 is an enlightening and wonderful trip  to the Netherlands including Amsterdam and The Hague.   Please contact Henry Matthews at matthewh@gvsu.edu for more details..

For more information contact Whitney at Witte Travel & Tours at 616-954-9676 or whitneyk@wittetravel.com

Current tour:

Christmas in Vienna

 
 

Vienna in December...mit Schlag!

Music, Art & Christmas Markets

Join the GVSU ART GALLERY for a magical week in Vienna!

We’ll immerse ourselves in all this rich, prestigious city has to offer … Christmas markets with their enticing aromas, sparkling lights and unique wares; sumptuous palaces; the incomparable Vienna Boys Choir; legendary Lippizaner horses; inviting cafés; fabulous museums; and a variety of musical performances.

“Mit Schlag” means with cream—that’s the way the world-famous Sachertorte is served and what our whole week in Vienna will be like!

One extraordinary highlight of our tour is an intimate concert with GVSU music faculty and international Classical Music Award Nominees Arthur Campbell and Helen Marlais in the 75-seat Bösendorfer Recital Hall at the Mozarthaus. Stereo Magazine raves, “Campbell’s and Marlais’ playing is always exact, elegant, without excess. The beauty of this genuinely joint playing is so engaging that it seems to lack for nothing.” This very special event is made possible by Bösendorfer Pianos, Inc.

Before the concert, we’ll enjoy a private tour of the apartment in which Mozart lived and worked from 1784 to 1787. This is where the great composer wrote “The Marriage of Figaro” and three of the six Haydn Quartets. It is the only Viennese apartment occupied by Mozart that is still intact today. Immediately following the performance, we’ll be Campbell’s and Marlais’ guests at a private reception.

Past Tours:

Map of Italy

 
 

Italy 2013

The group experienced the great Italian cultural center of Perugia and Venice in the late fall of 2013. This was a cultural double hitter; first, for the 20th anniversary celebration of Grand Rapids' sister city relationship with Perugia, followed by the unforgettable and magical charms of Venice during the 55th Venice Biennale, one the the most important contemporary art competitions in the world. 

They explored the ancient charms of Perugia, capital city of Umbria, founded by the Etruscans in the 6th century BCE.  A classic hill top city densely filled with layers of magnificent architecture reflective if it's long and proud history, Perugia offered spectacular views of the surrounding Umbrian countryside, including its neighbor, Assisi.  The journey included ancient tombs and medieval castles, renaissance palaces and baroque churches, and museums filled with masterpieces of Italian art.  They enjoyed the local cuisine and the warmth of its people.

The next stop was north to Venice, the light, waters, and architecture of which are legendary.  Included were the 55th International Art exhibit, La Biennale di Venezia!  They explored the historic riches of the floating city.  Her museums, churches, palaces, art and culture are unforgettable. Venice never disappoints.

Vienna city hall

Vienna, City of Dreams and Glittering History

October 18-28, 2010

As part of GVSU’s 50th Anniversary celebration year, Henry Matthews lead an in-depth exploration of one of the world’s great cultural treasures - Vienna, the capital of Austria and the former Austro-Hungarian empire.
The group visited some of the world’s greatest intact art collections ever assembled by a single family over many centuries. Private guides led them through the museums and glittering palaces and gardens built by the Hapsburg dynasty. Time was spent lingering in historic coffee houses and enjoying cultural performances of the famed Lipizzaner horses in their white marble performance hall as well as the opera and concerts - just some of the planned highlights of their visit.

Budapest and Prague Extension

October 28-November 3, 2010
To round out the experience, an optional extension was offered to the two other cities which defined this former empire: glorious Budapest, ancient capital of the former Hungarian kingdom and magical Prague, capital of the Czech Republic and arguably one of the most beautiful urban centers in the world.


 

Taj Mahal

India
December 28, 2007 - January 15, 2008

Deccan Golden Triangle Extension
January 13-18, 2008

The group tour enjoyed the colorful, inexhaustible energy of this country.  It included visits to ancient, abandoned cities in the middle of the desert and rides on painted elephants to magical Marharaja palaces perched precariously on cliff sides.  Also visited was the spectacular Taj Mahal!

 

Colosseum

Eternal Rome
October 12 - 22, 2007

The group visited Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain in the historical center of Rome.  Day two in Rome was spent viewing other sites in the city including the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and St. Paul's.  The next couple of days the group visited the Vatican again and took a boat tour along the Tiber River.  Also included were trips to Florence, Trivoli and Ostia plus stops at many ruins, museums, piazzas, artist markets, churches and an excavation site.

 

Nefertiti Bust

Ancient Egypt in Europe
Paris-Amsterdam-Berlin

May 16 - 28, 2006

Dresden Extension
May 28 - 31,2006

This group tour was directed by Henry Matthews of GVSU and Paula Gangopadhyay, Curator of Education and Public Programs for the Public Museum, Grand Rapids, Michigan.  The trip was designed to complement the exhibition "Treasures of Ancient Egypt:  The Quest for Immortality", featured at the Van Andel Museum Center.  They visited famous and lesser know important Egyptian collections in Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin.  Also visited where art and history museums, sculpture gardens and royal palaces.

 

Giraffe

South Africa
February 26 - March 10, 2005

Lion Sand River Lodge Safari in Kruger National Park Extension
March 9 - 13, 2005

Included in this trip were Cape Town, Robben Island and the prison where Nelson Mandela was for 18 of the 27 years he was imprisoned, vineyards in the Stellenbosch region, a once in a lifetime 2 day ride on the fabled Blue Train to Pretoria; then on to Johannesburg and the Apartheid Museum, and Seweto.

 

Sydney Opera House

Down Under with GVSU
Australian Discovery

May 14 - 28, 2004

New Zealand South Island Extension
May 28 - June 2, 2004

This group tour explored Australia and several of her exciting cities enjoying the great beauty and majesty of this magnificent continent and meeting its warm and friendly people, traveled through vast stretches of the central Outback region and swam in the Great Barrier Reef.

 

Pharaoh Seti I

Egypt
Land of Pharaohs and mysteries

December 27, 2002 - January 9, 2003

London/Paris Extension
January 9 - 13, 2003

The group on this tour visited Cairo, cruised the Nile River, viewed ancient temple sites including those at Esna, Komombo and Aswan, and entered ancient tombs and feared their curses!

 

If you are interested in traveling with us in the future, or for more information, please contact Henry Matthews at matthewh@gvsu.edu