An Embarrassment of Riches: Tracing the Dutch Golden Age in Amsterdam & Maastricht’s TEFAF


March 8-15, 2020

In the 17th century, the Netherlands ushered in an era of unparalleled economic and cultural prosperity. Following the Northern Netherlands’ emancipation from the Spanish Habsburgs, they quickly became one of the richest nations in the world, holding the Americas, East Indies, Persia, Arabia, Japan, India, and China all within their trading realm. This Dutch Golden Age brought on a flowering of wealth among the rising merchant class and, in turn, generated unprecedented support for the arts and sciences. Our tour will highlight the treasures of this era, extending into the modern art market with special focus on The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) in Maastricht.  This trip takes us on a journey that illuminates the achievements and splendors of this seafaring culture throughout the centuries.


ITINERARY  (subject to amendment)

March 8

Our tour begins in the fortified medieval town of Valkenburg, situated in an area lined with castles, cobblestoned streets, and charming landscapes. We receive a tour of the historic town before our group gathers in the evening at our accommodations in Maastricht for welcome drinks and dinner at the magnificent country estate Chateau St Gerlach.

D included

March 9

Considered one of the oldest towns in Holland, we explore the bustling center of Maastricht with visits to the Vrijthof, the town’s main square, where we encounter the Basilica of Saint Servatius. The Basilica was built in the 11th century on the saint’s grave and features Romanesque and Gothic elements with a treasury holding important relics and artifacts. We proceed to TEFAF, widely regarded as the world’s leading fair of fine art, antiques, and design, for exclusive dealer-led tours of the show. Our day concludes with an exquisite dinner at the Bistrot de Liege.

B, D included

March 10

We are greeted by curator Lars Hendrikman at the most recognizable of Maastricht’s landmarks, the Bonnefantenmuseum. Designed by architect Aldo Rossi in 1884 and located on the bank of the Maas, the museum houses a spectacular collection of fine and decorative art surveying the medieval period to about 1650. We continue on to the privately-owned Kasteel Amstenrade, built in the 18th century after a design by the Flemish architect Bartholomé Digneffe. Returning to the heart of Maastricht, we make a second pilgrimage to TEFAF for an afternoon of tours, browsing, and shopping opportunities.

B, L included

March 11

Departing Maastricht, our morning takes us to the Kasteel Hillenraad, a moated castle dating to the 14th century. We continue onto the Kasteel Maurick for lunch, which has both a medieval and 17th-century building and features an impressive paintings and fine art collection. Nearby we visit the central Dutch town of Utrecht to tour the Rietveld Schroderhuis and the Erasmuslaan, built in 1924 by architect Gerrit Rietveld in a design that was meant to encompass “all that was modern.” Today the house functions as the foremost example of De Stijl architecture. The day’s journey concludes at the Netherlandish capital of Amsterdam, which served as one of the most important trading ports for the Dutch in the 17th century. We retire at the Hotel Pulitzer, situated amongst the city’s iconic canals.

B, L, D included
Overnight: AMSTERDAM

March 12

We experience firsthand the craftsmanship and artistic achievements of the Dutch throughout the ages as we receive back-to-back curator-led tours of the unmatched collection of  fine and decorative art at the Rijksmuseum. In the afternoon, we depart for the Amsterdam Museum, the city’s ode to its vibrant history from the Medieval period to the present day. Although the origins of the Oude Kerk can be traced to the early 13th century, the building that stands today is a 14th-century reconstruction that evolved from a single-aisled church to a grand basilica over the years. The nearby Ons’Lieve Heer op Solder is a 17th-century canal house, church, and museum in the center of Amsterdam. Only a stone’s throw away sits the Nieuwe Kerk, Amsterdam’s second parish church, begun in the 14th century. Unusually ornate for a Dutch protestant interior, this church features stunning stained glass and frescoes from the 15th century.

B, L included
Overnight: AMSTERDAM

March 13

Our day begins in the Hague, situated on the North Sea coast and the seat of the Dutch parliament. We proceed to Mauritshuis, where an exquisite collection of 17th-century Old Master works are on display, including pieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. The house was completed in 1644 for John Maurits of Nassau in the Northern Dutch Classical Style and became the repository for the Dutch Royal Painting Collection following his death in 1679. The Gemeentemuseum is home to one of the largest collections of Dutch Delftware in the world, a paragon of Dutch prosperity in the Golden Age. The museum also contains the most comprehensive assemblage of paintings by the Modern master Piet Mondrian. Our afternoon takes us to the idyllic coastal town of Wassenaar where we are received at a splendid private collection before returning to Amsterdam for the evening.

B, L included
Overnight: AMSTERDAM

March 14

We journey to a magnificent private canal house on the Keizersgrach. Departing for the nearby Huis Barlotti, we explore a circa 1660 canal house that was built for Willem van den Heuvel to Beichlingen, one of the richest men in Amsterdam in the late 17th century. Our afternoon is highlighted by an elegant lunch in a private farmhouse. We are greeted by the curator of the Museum van Loon, located in a house designed in 1672 by the Dutch architect Adriaan Dortsman and features original 17th century interiors. Our tour concludes with an elegant final dinner at the Huis Van Loon

B, L, D included
Overnight: AMSTERDAM

March 15

Departures from the Schipol Airport for returning flights stateside.


Terms and Conditions

Land Arrangement Cost
$6,950 per person, based on double occupancy for 7 nights, for the tour.

Transatlantic airfare is not included. Please do not make your airline reservations until you have received written confirmation of your registration from the Trust.

A deposit of $1,500 per person is required by May 1, 2019. Reservations and deposits are taken on an as received basis. You will receive written confirmation from the Decorative Arts Trust when we are in receipt of your registration. Do not make any irrevocable airline reservations until you receive your verification. Please make checks payable to “The Decorative Arts Trust” and mail to  206 West State Street, Suite 300, Media PA 19063.

Single supplement
The single supplement is $1,075 to be paid with the final balance.

Final payment
Will be due by December 15, 2019 Invoices for the final payment will be mailed in early November.

Membership at the Sponsor level is required for participation in Study Trips Abroad. Your membership contribution is fully tax deductible. If an increase in your membership level is necessary, the Trust will invoice you for the appropriate level upgrade with your final payment.

A donation to the Decorative Arts Trust of $500 per person is required for Study Trips Abroad. This gift is fully tax deductible and helps support the Trust’s mission and programs.

The schedule outlined in this itinerary is contracted for at this time but subject to change as necessary. A suggested reading list will be sent to you.

The trip is limited to a maximum of 25 members and requires a minimum of 15. The trip will be canceled if under-subscribed, and deposits will be refunded. We will organize and maintain waiting lists on the basis of the time registrations are received. This is a strenuous trip. We regret that we cannot be responsible for those needing assistance on this trip. By registering, you are certifying that you do not have any mental, physical, or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for yourself or other passengers. The Trust reserves the right to decline anyone as a participant in this Study Trip Abroad should the person’s health, actions, or general deportment impede the operation of the Study Trip Abroad; the rights, welfare, or enjoyment of others; or the standing of the Decorative Arts Trust. A valid United States passport is required for this itinerary.

Included in Trip Cost
Hotel accomodations in 4-and 5-star hotels, 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinners, private coach transportation, local guides, admission in museums, historic houses, and gardens, gratuities for professional guides and coach drivers, and porterage.

Not Included in the Trip Cost
Airfare, airport transfers other than specified above, alcoholic beverages other than when provided, personal expenses, and trip insurance are not included.

Cancellation and Refunds
If you must cancel your reservation, you are urged to do so as soon as possible in writing to the Decorative Arts Trust. All cancellations are subject to a $250 administrative fee per person. Deposits are non-refundable after May 15, 2019. Cancellations arriving by December 15, 2019 will receive a 50% refund. Cancellations arriving by February 1, 2020, will receive a 25% refund. There will be no refunds for cancellations received after February 1, 2020.



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