What People Say About Our Tours
Below are recommendations from people who have taken my tour and who were kind enough to write about their experiences.
June 2016 (Art Lover's Tour)
The tour of Russian art was a terrific experience, one that reminds me of my role as artist and art historian. It helped me see the power and glory of Russian art. Cathy with her unique understanding and love of Russian art is able to share it in a way that brings an awareness to the experience. In Moscow, Cathy was able to share with us her love of the paintings, churches, and public art like that found in the subway stations. Her knowledge of Russian painting of the 19th century and the artists who painted them, took us inside the 19th century. Her choice of hotel in Moscow was fantastic. It's location was close to the Kremlin and other major parts of Moscow. Our guide was not only friendly and informative but her instincts with people were very sensitive.
The train ride from Moscow to St. Petersburg gave me a sense of the importance of timber and the lack of farmland. But the trip also reflected the warmth of the Russian people.
In St. Petersburg, once again Cathy was able to show her vast knowledge of Russian art history and western art. The Hermitage was a visual experience that for one like myself, who has been at most of the world's major museums, was truly a highlight that will stay with me the rest of my life. Our guide in St. Petersburg, like our guide in Moscow, was very personable and knowledgeable about the architectural details of the Hermitage, with a delightful lunch that followed. I highly recommend this tour to my fellow artists, art historians, and those wishing to expand their knowledge of Russian art.
July 2015 (Art Lover's Tour)
Cathy: Thank you for doing the hard work, and for showing each of us the way in such a loving and compassionate way these past ten days. Thank you for caring so deeply about what you do and for being so open and willing to share your knowledge and understanding. I've called upon Picasso to help me where words fail to propose an ongoing artistic friendship and collaboration of following breadcrumbs and going down rabbit holes. In the meantime, enjoy your well deserved holiday with family in Italia. Don't forget to enjoy the Gelato. Thank you again, and best always. – Bill, Misouri
I'll remember the trip for a very long time, thank you for a very well run tour . Enjoy Italy!
– Mary, Florida
July 2014 (Art Lover's Tour)
I have visited many art museums and been on several tours, but Cathy Locke's Russian Art Tour was the trip of a lifetime for me. The emphasis was on paintings, with just the right amount of sculpture, architecture and local sites, included. We saw virtually all of the Western European painting on display at the Pushkin and Hermitage museums. Since Cathy is both and artist and art teacher, she provided insights, in terms of the artists' lives, the colors, the techniques, and meaning of these works. I was also introduced to Russian painters, few of which I've ever seen. Cathy's knowledge of Russian painting is exceptional which made this introduction all the better.
You do not need to be a scholar in art or Russian history to enjoy this trip. Cathy and the local guides explained things well and provided great answers to any question, regardless of how simple or complex. The others members of the tour group were fantastic: great fun to be around. All arrangements while in Russia were taken care of for us, without a hitch. If you are interested in European painting and major Russian sites, I highly recommend Cathy Locke's Russian Art Tour.
– Herm in The Pacific NW
July 2014 (Art Lover's Tour)
I thoroughly enjoyed revisiting Moscow and St. Petersburg with the Russian Art Tour group. I had not been there since the mid 70"s and found the new cosmopolitan atmosphere delightful. Beautiful art pieces were pointed out to me and then expanded on subject, technique, color, etc. by Cathy Locke. I was also introduced to more modern and contemporary art forms that didn't exist on my prior visit through the inclusion of some of the secondary museums/galleries selected for our small group visits. Hotels were good and the performance of the Turandot opera at the Bolshoi Theater was superb! – Mary, Texas
July 2013 (Cruise Boat Day Tour)
I wanted to tell you how much I loved our time here. Our guide was brilliant! She was thorough, informative and handled our diverse group really well. We loved everything- I especially loved the Hermitage and the Yusupov Palace - I went back today to the Hermitage without the group for a few hours. It is an amazing place - too many high points! The other destinations were all very good. Great to see the Malevitch at the Museum this morning. Thank you again Cathy- a truly memorable experience. – Jane, Australia
July, 2013 (Private Tour)
We are now leaving St. Petersburg. We had an amazing experience! Our guide Inna was very professional and helpful and everyone enjoyed all the various activities.
Thank you for arranging the tour for us.
March, 2012 (Private Tour)
“I saw more masterpieces on this tour than I have ever seen in my life. And the museums were all fantastic! As a bonus, this tour gave me the opportunity to go to a country which I might otherwise not feel so comfortable visiting. Being in Moscow and St. Petersburg was thrilling. Thank you, Cathy for an unforgettable experience!” – Taia S., California, U.S.A.
August 20, 2012 (Art Lover's Tour)
I just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful Russian Art Tour! I had such an incredible experience in Russia; the tour far exceeded my expectations!
The hotels and food were delightful, and the Russian guides were exceptional. I was impressed with the coordination and itinerary for the program, and I felt completely safe at all times. The arrangements could not have been more perfect for our group with just the right blend of historical sights, lectures and museums, Russian dining, the ballet and, of course, a little souvenir shopping!
In addition to the logistical arrangements of the tour, the quality of the art we were introduced to was way beyond anything I could have anticipated. I can honestly say that I now understand and share your passion for the Russian artists! I’m not sure there could be more beautiful paintings or artwork that touches the soul as deeply as the pieces you lectured on in the Russian museums.
As a group, we experienced so much, and yet each day was relaxed and enjoyable. I congratulate you on your tour and appreciate your efforts to share the incredible works of the Russian artists.
Julie S., California, U.S.A.
August, 2012 (Art Lover's Tour)
If you are considering the "Russian Art Tour," you might find these comments worthwhile.
We recently (July 30–August 6) experienced a Russian Art Tour led by Cathy Locke, an artist and instructor at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco.
The Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg) was number one on my wife's "bucket list" so obviously we were looking forward to a great tour and we were not disappointed. Now if your idea of "doing" a museum in a one-hour walkthrough followed by coffee and danish and some high end shopping, this tour would not be your cup of cappuccino. We have a more than passing familiarity with art and its history, but Cathy opened a world of discovery in how to look at a painting.
The tour began in Moscow with the obligatory viewing of the luxuries (coaches, gowns, religious vestments, silver and gold vessels, etc.) of civilizations past in the Kremlin museums. Then we moved on to the Tretyakov and Pushkin Museums. Tretyakov's forte was collecting Russian art so you get to see great and/or interesting paintings by artists you never heard of. The Pushkin is home to much of the collections of Shchukin and Morozov. If you haven't read about these two great art collectors do so before the tour because it is an amazing story. Any billionaire can collect old masters (e.g. Morgan, Frick), but these two guys were collecting western European modern art (art of their time) even before the paint was dry. It is in these museums as well as the Hermitage and Russian Museum (in St. Petersburg) where Cathy shines as an art interpreter and critic. We were fortunate to be part of a very small group that gave a lot of opportunity for interaction between teacher and students. What we experienced was an on-going dialogue that kept Cathy in the lead, but also addressed our interest. This was serious museum-going; doing at least four to five hours a day.
Downtime (non museum time) with the group was also pleasurable. The group dined at one restaurant three times (it must have been good) and a night at the ballet (Swan Lake) was a great example of how Russians handle what could have been an "I've seen it" production. Great spectacle and superb technique; it made me think that there must be a huge state subsidy that American ballet companies can only dream about.
We had Russian guides in Moscow and St. Petersburg (necessary to facilitate transportation and smooth the way in museums). Both women were knowledgeable, very pleasant and helpful, quite willing to describe life in the new Russia (not easy, but a lot better than their parents had). Everything as far as trip mechanics went very well; transportation showed up when it was needed, pleasant arrangements for lunch (good food and portions seem to be larger than we are accustomed to), and hotels that were very acceptable.
If you are really into art this a wonderful opportunity to combine a visit to the wonders of old Russia with a great art learning experience.
Now, if we could just get Cathy to do a French Art Tour...
Best wishes on your Russian Art Tour,
Harry W., Washington D.C., U.S.A.