Art Excursions, Inc.


Tour Highlights

Perfect timing -- early fall in the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills

Art Excursions has developed a tour of the Hudson River Valley and the Catskills in recognition of the region’s importance in the history of American art. Dramatic scenery and remarkable light have made this area a magnet for artists and photographers over nearly two centuries. We have crafted a tour that includes important architecture, gardens, museums, and special exhibits during an ideal time of year for scenery and views.

Lyndhurst Estate and Gardens -- One of the “Ten Homes that Changed America”

A Gothic Revival mansion with Tiffany and La Farge windows, Lyndhurst overlooks the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York. The 1838 home stands in a park-like landscape and includes a wonderful collection of original decorative arts. Its noteworthy occupants included: former New York City mayor William Paulding, merchant George Merritt, and railroad tycoon Jay Gould.

Visit the PBS “Ten Homes that Changed America” Lyndhurst page and watch a video segment by clicking this link.

Kykuit -- The Rockefeller estate, art collections and gardens

The six-story mansion known as Kykuit was home to four generations of the Rockefeller family, beginning with the philanthropist John D. Rockefeller, founder of Standard Oil. The mansion displays the Rockefeller art collection as the family displayed it as well as in separate galleries on the ground floor.  The gardens feature more than seventy sculptures.

Union Church of Pocantico Hills -- featuring stained glass by Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse

Ten art glass windows designed by Marc Chagall and Henri Matisse grace the interior of this unassuming church. Chagall designed nine windows for the nave. The commission for “The Good Samaritan” (the largest window) honored John D. Rockefeller. As a tribute to his mother, Nelson Rockefeller commissioned Matisse to design the Rose Window.

Hyde Park -- The Vanderbilt Mansion and Gardens

One of the region's oldest Hudson River estates, Hyde Park (The Vanderbilt Estate) preserves the standard of domestic life enjoyed by society’s elite during America’s Gilded Age. Originally designed by McKim, Mead and White for Frederick Vanderbilt, the mansion sits on more than 200 acres featuring manicured landscapes, additional buildings, woodlands, and formal gardens.

Val-Kill -- The Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site

When Eleanor Roosevelt said “The greatest thing I have learned is how good it is to come home again” she was certainly thinking of her modest cottage known as Val-Kill. The Roosevelts enjoying picnicking on their estate away from the main house, Eleanor eventually decided to build a cottage and workshop at one of these scenic spots. Financed by Eleanor and two friends, “Val-Kill Industries” became a skills-training program aimed at reviving the art of furniture-making, metalwork and weaving. This became a model for various New Deal recovery programs. After FDR's death in 1945, Val-Kill became Mrs. Roosevelt's permanent home.

Springwood Estate (The FDR Home) and The FDR Presidential Library and Museum

“All that is within me cries out to go back to my home on the Hudson River.” Born at Springwood, FDR decided to make the family home is own; he is also buried here. FDR’s father, James, purchased this estate in 1866 and commenced with remodeling and expansion projects. FDR himself remodeled the home to give it the Colonial Revival appearance it has today. During his four terms, FDR made nearly two hundred trips to his home which had become a de facto “summer White House.”

Springwood Estate also features the first Presidential Library and Museum in the United States. FDR himself commissioned the library to be built on land that he and his mother donated. The building is built of local fieldstone in a Dutch Colonial style. A museum presents exhibits about FDR, the Great Depression and World War II.

“Becoming Tiffany: From Hudson Valley Painter to Gilded Age Tastemaker” AND other SPECIAL EXHIBITIONS

We’ve designed our itinerary to ensure that you experience the following special exhibitions at Hudson River Valley venues.

  1. The exhibit “Becoming Tiffany: From Hudson Valley Painter to Gilded Age Tastemaker” (at Lyndhurst) features more than fifty early and rarely-exhibited works including glass and mosaics, rare textiles, early paintings by Louis Comfort Tiffany, and furniture and decorative arts from private collections.

  2. The exhibit “Picturesque And Sublime: Thomas Cole’s Trans-Atlantic Inheritance” celebrates the 200th anniversary of Cole’s arrival from England in 1818. The show presents masterworks on paper by major British artists, including Turner and Constable, together with paintings by Cole to demonstrate how Cole transformed the British landscape tradition into the American Sublime.

  3. The exhibit “The Art of War: American Poster Art 1941-1945” (at the FDR library and museum) features more than 150 posters that vividly illustrate the wide-ranging impact World War II had on American society. The exhibit will spotlight the talented illustrators and graphic artists who created these posters for government agencies. A partial list includes Norman Rockwell, James Montgomery Flagg, N.C. Wyeth, Ben Shahn, and Theodore Geisel (Dr. Seuss). The exhibit will also feature special displays that relate the stories behind some of the best-known posters. These include J. Howard Miller’s famous “We Can Do It” poster with the figure of “Rosie the Riveter,” Norman Rockwell’s “Four Freedoms” posters, and James Montgomery Flagg’s enduring image of Uncle Sam proclaiming “I Want You.”

  4. The exhibit “Custom and Costume: Middle Eastern Threads at Olana” marks the first public display of the historic costumes Church collected on his 1867-68 journey to the Middle East. Olana’s main house makes a perfect setting for the exhibit because its design was inspired by Church’s travels. The collection awed contemporaries including Mark Twain, a regular guest at Olana.

Olana -- The Frederick Church Estate

Olana is the home, studio and designed landscape of Hudson River School artist Frederic Edwin Church (1826-1900) and his family. The 250 acre historic estate features a Persian-inspired mansion filled with original sketches, studies and paintings by Church. A diverse decorative arts collection includes objects from around the world.

Cedar Grove -- The Thomas Cole Estate

A founding member of the Hudson River School, Thomas Cole came to the village of Catskill for the first time in 1825 on a sketching trip. He returned in subsequent years, eventually boarding at Cedar Grove, a farm owned by a local merchant. Visitors today can still enjoy the panoramic views of the Catskills that Cole himself enjoyed when he and his family lived here.

Accommodations in Tarrytown

Art Excursions understands that our choice of accommodations contributes to the overall experience of the boutique tours we design and lead. Consequently, our clients have come to expect a high standard of hotel as well as a location that is ideal for easy access to shops, galleries, museums, restaurants, theaters and concert venues.

This Hudson River Valley tour is based in Tarrytown, New York. Located on the east bank of the Hudson River, Tarrytown has a bustling downtown filled with boutiques, antiques shops, art galleries, restaurants, and beautiful parks. The town boasts a rich history, a scenic riverwalk (pictured) and easy access to the Sleepy Hollow Lighthouse.

Interested in visiting Manhattan independently before or after our tour?

Tarrytown is easily accessible from Grand Central Terminal in NYC. Metro North Railroad provides frequent service that takes between 40-55 minutes each way depending on stops. Off-peak fares cost less than $10 each way.

Tour Study Leader and Host -- Art Historian Jeff Mishur

Art historian Jeff Mishur, co-owner of Art Excursions, hosts this tour. In a recent article about “Top Private Art Guides,” The Wall Street Journal referred to Jeff as an expert armed with an advanced degree and “equipped to give the most veteran aesthete the thrill of a new perspective.“

Jeff is a sought-after guide for private tours of architecture, public sculpture and museum collections. He has taught on the university level for more than twenty years. He is also a popular lecturer on various cultural subjects. Art Excursions is pleased to offer as part of this small group tour itinerary a lecture or private tour from Jeff discussing the works of the Hudson River School. Jeff also makes commentary about various tour venues.


  1. Accommodations for four nights in Tarrytown offering convenient access to performance venues, shopping, restaurants, galleries, and more

  2. Admissions and private tours as highlighted above

  3. Tour hosting, commentaries and handouts provided by Art Excursions

  4. Four breakfasts

  5. Three lunches

  6. One welcome dinner

  7. Transportation to and from all itinerary elements

  8. Fully guided with some Independent time at each event on the itinerary

  9. Driver gratuities

  10. The opportunity to add extra nights at a special rate.


Gratuities for tour leader, tour guides and hotel staff; incidentals at hotel; costs for items not specified above; Airfare and airport transfers. We can book airfare on your behalf if you prefer not to make your own arrangements.  We do charge a $45 per ticket booking fee for this service.


$2,525 per person for a room with one king bed

$2,545 per person for a room with two double beds

$275 single supplement


Our boutique tours are ideal for single travelers, singles traveling together, or couples. We typically have a mix of these types of travelers. If you wish to know why we charge a single supplement or have any other questions, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or email us.


Group size is limited. Reservations accepted first-come, first-served. For more details please email artexcursions@yahoo.com or call 630/671-9745.


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Hudson River Valley Art, Architecture and Gardens -- September 22-26, 2018

Featuring Kykuit, Olana, Lyndhurst, the FDR home, Val-Kill and much more

P.O. Box 92, Riverside, IL 60546 • 630.671.9745 • artexcursions@yahoo.comwww.artexcursions.com

© Art Excursions, Inc. 2018. All rights reserved.