At Home in the Ancien Régime

A study tour with William Hood,
visiting professor, Institute of Fine Arts


Dear Alumni and Friends of the Institute of Fine Arts,

Just two hours from Paris, the Loire Valley is home to many of the most exquisite châteaux in the world. With the end of the Hundred Years' War, medieval fortresses were rebuilt as pleasure palaces, where Renaissance ideas took tangible form. Join Institute of Fine Arts Visiting Professor William Hood on a special program to rediscover the glorious art and architecture of pre-Revolutionary France. Wander in the elegant formal gardens and step inside picturesque castles to see how the royals really lived.

Begin in Tours, that lovely city on the Loire, with a four-night stay at the Domaine de la Tortinière, a family-run château-hotel that has hosted presidents, artists, and film stars. See the château that inspired the tale of Sleeping Beauty and marvel at the double-spiral staircase—designed by Leonardo da Vinci—at the Château de Chambord. Visit the Château de Chenonceau, known as "the castle of the ladies," to learn the story of the love triangle that led to its beautiful design.

Travel to Paris, stopping en route at Fontainebleau, which owes its present form to the great François I, the arts patron who brought the Renaissance to France. Spend four nights at the Hôtel Pont Royal, former haunt of Hemingway and Fitzgerald. Discover the royal intrigue behind the creation of the Château de Vaux-le-Vicomte, and spend a full day at Versailles, where the Sun King lived in greater luxury than any other crowned head of Europe. A visit tothe starkly modernist Maison de Verre offers a fascinating and rare opportunity to study a Parisian townhouse of the art Art Deco period.

We hope you will join us on this exceptional exploration of the art of the Ancien Régime.

Sincerely,
Patricia Rubin
Judy and Michael Steinhardt Director
Institute of Fine Arts


William HoodWILLIAM HOOD is the Mildred C. Jay Professor Emeritus of Art History at Oberlin College, where he taught courses in Italian Renaissance and Baroque Art, as well as Spanish Art of the Golden Age and French Art of the Ancien Régime. From 2008 to 2010, he was Visiting Professor in Italian Renaissance Art History at Columbia University, and is currently a Visiting Professor at the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. A recent Andrew W. Mellon Fellow at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Dr. Hood has also been a Fellow of the American Academy in Rome and of the Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies at Villa I Tatti in Florence.

Dr. Hood holds a Ph.D. from the Institute of Fine Arts and is the author of the acclaimed book Fra Angelico at San Marco and numerous articles on Italian art from 1350 to 1650. He has lectured at the Metropolitan Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the J. Paul Getty Museum, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. His greatest pleasure as a lecturer is to speak directly in front of the subject—something only travel makes possible!