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Travel Program

The Fine Arts Museums Travel Program offers exclusive opportunities to explore destinations around the globe with our expert curators. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access at leading museums, viewings of renowned private collections, visits to artists’ studios, and luxurious accommodations and dining on domestic and international trips designed exclusively for the Museums’ valued supporters.

For more information about the travel program, please contact us at patronscircle@famsf.org or 415.750.3508.

Upcoming Trips*

Washington, D.C. | March 8–11, 2021* - NEW DATES
Join Timothy Anglin Burgard, Distinguished Senior Curator and Ednah Root curator in charge of American art, in our nation’s capital for the next domestic travel program to explore the theme of the American Dream. In preparation for an exhibition of the same name forthcoming at the de Young, and fortuitously timed during a crucial election year, we will venture to a region that serves as the crucible for many of our ideas surrounding liberty and democracy, civil rights, dissent, immigration, workers, the pursuit of happiness, and more. 

The itinerary will offer new ways to experience several of the iconic national museums we all know so well, featuring curatorial insights during private, before-hours tours and visits to rarely accessible spaces. These behind-the-scenes visits will allow us to dive deep into permanent holdings reflecting the exhibition’s themes, such as Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series at The Phillips Collection, scenes from the Great Depression as in John R. Grabach’s The Fifth Year at the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and issues from slavery to civil rights at the newest Smithsonian Institution: the National Museum of African American History and Culture. The trip will also feature visits to newly opened art spaces, like Glenstone and the National Gallery of Art's East Building, to explore modern masterpieces and D.C.’s burgeoning contemporary gallery scene; as well as access to stunning private collections; plus much more. 

The domestic travel program is an exclusive opportunity for Benefactor level donors and the Leadership CircleView the trip itinerary highlights and registration information.

*Due to travel restrictions and safety precautions in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), all 2020 trips as part of the Donor Travel Program have been postponed until 2021. 

Egypt | October 16–24, 2021* - NEW DATES​​​​​​​
Join director and CEO, Thomas P. Campbell, with curator in charge of ancient art and interpretation, Renée Dreyfus, on a special journey to Egypt, including the cities of Cairo and Luxor, for the Leadership Circle's next annual international trip. One of the cradles of civilization, this destination will offer the opportunity to explore contemporary art alongside monumental sights and historical artifacts that carry unique resonance with our Museums’ collection of ancient art.

Coinciding with the opening of the highly-anticipated new Grand Egyptian Museum, travelers will be among the first to access this vast treasure trove of over 100,000 objects, many of which will be displayed for the first time, and to see the new home of the colossal statue of Ramses II. This adventure down the Nile will incorporate a wide array of special visits from private collections and artist studios to the iconic temples at Karnak and the Valley of the Kings; plus one-of-a-kind activities to experience the culture of the region, like a felucca river tour and shopping in the Khan el-Khalili bazaars.

With explorations of archaeological dig sites and tombs not otherwise open to the public, our program will feature exclusive access to ancient wonders, enhanced by insights from leading scholars in the region: famed Egyptian archaeologist Zahi Hawass as well as Mostafa Waziri (the former and current Secretaries General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, respectively). And no trip to Cairo would be complete without a stop at the timeless Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx! Travelers will enjoy top-tier culinary delights and luxurious accommodations along the Nile River.

A sample itinerary will be available in the coming months.

The international travel program is an exclusive opportunity for donors in the Leadership Circle. Invitations with specific itinerary and registration details, pricing, and more trip information will be mailed in Spring 2020 to eligible donors.

Updated invitations with revised itinerary and registration details, pricing, and more trip information will be mailed in Winter 2020–2021 to eligible donors, with online registration for the trip available through our tour operator, Arts & Travel, at that time.

Past Trips

Vienna | October 14–19, 2019 
Our international travel program visited Vienna to fully immerse ourselves in this popular destination for music, the arts, palaces, and picturesque gardens! Over five days of exclusive programming, Director and CEO Thomas P. Campbell and contemporary curator Claudia Schmuckli led the group through this iconic European city for the arts from many ages. The itinerary included special opportunities like an entire morning at the Kunsthistoriches Museum to see the permanent collection and the exhibition Caravaggio & Bernini, which premiered during the trip. The group explored Vienna's most memorable offerings: the Liechtenstein Garden Palace, the Spanish Riding School, Belvedere Palace, and a night at the Staatsoper; paired with backstage artistic experiences that share connections to our own collection, like the Augarten Vienna Porcelain Factory and the Albertina to see an exhibition of work by Albrecht Dürer. They also enjoyed Austria through once-in-a-lifetime visits to artists’ studios, private collections, and much more. Travelers stayed at the Hotel Sacher Wien—namesake of the Original Sacher-Torte, and savored top-tier culinary delights, including dinner at Michelin-starred restaurant Le Ciel and delicacies at one of the oldest coffee houses in Vienna.

View the trip itinerary.

Mexico City | April 9–12, 2019 
Our domestic travel program went international (but kept it continental!) just for 2019. Claudia Schmuckli, curator in charge of contemporary arts and programming, and Christina Hellmich, curator in charge of Africa, Oceania and the Americas and the Jolika Collection of New Guinea Art, led participants on an adventure to the most populous city in North America and one of its most important cultural centers. An encyclopedic locale, Mexico City was the perfect setting to explore the rich artistic history of the mesoamerican region, capital of the Spanish colonial empire, and a vibrant, emerging contemporary art scene. The group enjoyed curator-led tours of national museums; a day trip to Puebla; visits to the stunning private collections of Rodrigo Rivero Lake and of Gabriela and Ramiro Garza, plus the studios of prominent artists Eduardo Terrazas, Pedro Reyes and Carla Fernandez, and Betsabeé Romero; and much more. Travelers feasted on culinary delights at Contramar, Mural de los Poblanos, and Pasillo de Humo; and stayed at the Four Seasons Mexico City on the grand boulevard of Paseo de la Reforma, just a short stroll away from the trendy neighborhoods of Condesa and Polanco.

View the trip itinerary

Berlin I October 8–13, 2018

Led by Melissa Buron, Director, Art Division and Claudia Schmuckli, curator in charge of contemporary arts and programming, travelers enjoyed a deep dive into the vibrant, multifaceted art and culture scene of Germany’s capital city. The trip immersed travelers in the world of the old masters and contemporary artists alike, including curator-led tours of national museums and visits to stunning private collections and the studios of prominent artists Olafur Eliasson and Ai Weiwei. Other highlights include an excursion to Frederick the Great’s extraordinary Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam and the opportunity to experience the city’s world-renowned musical excellence with a concert by the celebrated Berlin Philharmonic in their iconic building designed by Hans Scharoun. Travelers dined at Grill Royal and Restaurant Käfer on the roof of the Bundestag and stayed at the luxurious Regent Berlin, in the heart of the historic Mitte district, overlooking the Gendarmenmarkt. 

View the trip itinerary.

Boston I June 6–9, 2018

Led by Timothy Anglin Burgard, Ednah Root Curator in Charge of American Art, participants enjoyed extraordinary activities in Boston. Over three days of exclusive programming, guests enjoyed curator tours at the city’s most beloved art centers, including the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the new Art of the Americas Wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, and the conservation labs at the Harvard Art Museums. Attendees also explored some of Boston’s finest sprawling gardens and private collections, ranging from historic decorative arts to modern and contemporary art, and celebrated our nation’s history with special visits to the Paul Revere House and the Old North Church. Accommodations at the stylish Taj Boston in the beautiful Back Bay neighborhood along with dining experiences featuring seasonal New England dishes and international fare rounded out our insider experience in this dynamic cultural capital.

View the trip itinerary.

London I October 2–7, 2017

Led by former director and CEO Max Hollein and Melissa Buron, director, art division, participants enjoyed a week of extraordinary activities in London. Highlights included visits to the studios of internationally renowned artists Sir Anish Kapoor, Edmund de Waal, and Sir Antony Gormley; exclusive visits to the homes of several prominent collectors; private curator-led tours at the National Gallery, Leighton House Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Royal Academy, and Tate Britain; a day trip to the English countryside for a special tour of Highclere Castle (made famous from the popular Masterpiece Theatre show, Downton Abbey) with Lady Carnarvon; and VIP access at Frieze London, one of the world’s leading contemporary art fairs. Special dining experiences included a welcome dinner at the hotel’s eighteenth-century William Kent Room and a closing event at The Wallace Collection. Guests were accommodated at the luxurious Ritz London on Piccadilly Street in the St. James’s district.

View the trip itinerary.