Smithsonian Journeys Experts

Valerie Hedquist

photo of Valerie Hedquist

Valerie Hedquist is a professor of art history at the University of Montana.  She earned her Ph.D. with honors at the University of Kansas and has been teaching and writing for over twenty years. During her academic life, she has also continued to explore and teach the art and architecture of Italy, a country whose language and literature she studied while an undergraduate at the University of Minnesota. Valerie has travelled with students to many national and international locations, including several trips to Italy.  She has written reviews and catalogue essays for museum exhibitions, broadcast radio programs, and presented papers to local, regional, and international meetings on an array of topics from the plague in art to the use of assemblage in contemporary artistic processes.  In summer 2011, her book on the art and life of Montana artist, Fra Dana was published.  Since 1975, she has explored Italy from Palermo, Sicily to Asti in the Piedmont region.

What Our Travelers Say

So happy to have had Val with us, what a plus! We felt prepared and enhanced in knowledge for the next day's adventure.

- Traveler, Highlights of Italy

Valerie was just the right person to make our trip so successful. She's a wonderful and enthusiastic leader, very knowledgeable with a great personality. 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

Funny, enthusiastic, energetic - her knowledge was inspiring and her enthusiasm was contagious! 

- Previous Journeys Traveler

Valerie contributed in many ways to the success of our tour. She provided a firm scholarly footing, but helped us all in many ways. She was exceptionally approachable and helpful and fun.

- Kristin and Mousa I., Highlights of Italy

Valerie's knowledge about the subjects of her presentations, her enthusiasm, her sense of humor all made her presentations outstanding - informative and fun. She made herself available to answer questions outside of her presentations as well.

- Sally F., Village Stay in Southeast Italy - Apulia

Absolutely outstanding! She was exceptional in her knowledge and delivery! She  went above and beyond to make this a great trip!

- Smithsonian Traveler, Highlights of Italy

By the Expert

Upcoming Tours

Italy's Lake District

9 days | Starting at: $3,990
Oct 6, 2017 - Oct 14, 2017

A One-Week Stay in Stresa Featuring Lake Maggiore, Lake Como, and Lake Orta
Tour Details ››

Highlights of Italy

16-17 days | Starting at: $5,574
Multiple Departures
Tour Details ››

Waterways of Holland and Belgium

9 days | Starting at: $2,890
Apr 25, 2018 - May 3, 2018

A River Cruise from Amsterdam to Antwerp Aboard the 160-guest Amadeus Silver
Tour Details ››

Northern Italy

15 days | Starting at: $5,474
Oct 10, 2018 - Oct 24, 2018

Featuring the Italian Lake District, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Alpine Tyrol, and Venice
Tour Details ››