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 nearly 30 years. Her research focuses on the arts of the 17th and 18th centuries and includes articles on the religious paintings of Rembrandt and Vermeer. Of special interest is the influence of Italian cultural attitudes on the visual output of these Dutch artists and others. Her book on the changing reception and meaning of Thomas Gainsborough’s Blue Boy was published in summer 2019.

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

Waterways of Holland and Belgium

9 days | Starting at: $3,490
Apr 19, 2021 - Apr 27, 2021

A River Cruise from Amsterdam to Antwerp
Tour Details ››

Highlights of Italy

16 days | Starting at: $6,074
Oct 19, 2021 - Nov 3, 2021
Tour Details ››