Valerie Hedquist is an associate 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. As a Fulbright Scholar, Hedquist researched the religious art of the Dutch 17th-century in Utrecht. During her academic life, she has continued to explore and teach the art and architecture of the Netherlands, where she has traveled with students and pursued additional scholarly work, most recently on the plague. In addition to publications and presentations on the religious paintings of Vermeer and Rembrandt, Hedquist has written reviews and catalog essays for museum exhibitions, broadcast radio programs, and presented papers to local, regional, and international meetings on Dutch themes. Since her first visit to the Ghent Altarpiece in 1975, she has returned to the Low Countries whenever she can to enjoy frites and fietsen, French fries and cycling.