Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Rafael Chacón

photo of Rafael Chacón

H. Rafael Chacón is Bruce and Suzanne Crocker Director of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture and Professor of Art History and Criticism at The University of Montana-Missoula where he lectures on a broad range of art historical subjects. He received his doctorate in art history with honors from the University of Chicago, having been awarded numerous research fellowships to study in Europe, including an award from the Spanish Ministry of Culture for his dissertation on Michelangelism in Renaissance sculpture. He has written on a range of topics related to Renaissance and baroque art, both in Europe and in the Americas, most recently focusing on revival style architecture in the U.S. Northwest during the late 19th century. Rafael has been an expert for many Smithsonian Journeys programs in Cuba and Western, Central, and Eastern Europe. He has twice walked the Camino de Santiago, the ancient pilgrimage route across France and Spain.

What Our Travelers Say

Wonderful, interesting lecturer and very well prepared. Rafael made the trip exceptional and that's how we describe the difference between Smithsonian and other tours.

- Barbara M.

Rafael is a passionate teacher and a talented lecturer. His presentations were completely engaging, enjoyable, and memorable. He is thoughtful, clever, funny, and informed. He has a particular talent for customizing his presentations for the particular audience. He was, in a word, superb.

- Cate F.

Lectures were excellent. A deligtful personality and very knowledgeable. Great contribution to the trip.

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Rafael was very knowledgeable and an outstanding lecturer. I learned so much - and he was always most approachable, kind, and accomodating.

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

By the Expert

Upcoming Tours


9 days | Starting at: $4,490
Apr 19, 2022 - Apr 27, 2022

A One-Week Stay in the Heart of Spain
Tour Details ››

Spain’s Andalusia

9 days | Starting at: $4,290
Sep 15, 2022 - Sep 23, 2022

A One-Week Stay in Antequera
Tour Details ››

France and Spain’s Basque Region

9 days | Starting at: $4,790
Sep 24, 2022 - Oct 2, 2022

A One-Week Stay at the Parador de Hondarribia
Tour Details ››