Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Rafael Chacón

photo of Rafael Chacón

Hipólito 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 Ph.D. in art history with honors from the University of Chicago, having been awarded numerous research fellowships to study in Europe and the Mediterranean basin, including an award from the Spanish Ministry of Culture for his dissertation on Michelangelism in renaissance art. 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. during the late 19th century. He has also been awarded the top national and international prizes for his research in the field of vexillology or flag studies. Rafael has been an expert for many Smithsonian Journeys programs in Cuba, Egypt, Europe, and Russia. 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.

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

- Smithsonian Journeys Traveler

Upcoming Tours

Southern Italy and Sicily

15 days | Starting at: $6,974
Oct 18, 2024 - Nov 1, 2024
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Cruising from Morocco to Spain’s Andalusian Coast

8 days | Starting at: $6,290
Apr 13, 2025 - Apr 20, 2025

Casablanca to Lisbon on the 184-guest Le Bellot
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Italy’s Apulia: A One-Week Stay in Polignano a Mare

9 days | Starting at: $4,690
Apr 23, 2025 - May 1, 2025
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Treasures of the Alps: Swiss Trains and Italy's Lake District

14 days | Starting at: $7,692
Aug 28, 2025 - Sep 10, 2025
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Treasures of Southern Spain and Portugal

15 days | Starting at: $6,374
Oct 13, 2025 - Oct 27, 2025

Featuring Historic Paradores and Pousadas
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