Born in the USA, but resident in Germany since 1988, Tom Abbott obtained a first in Psychology and Art History from Carleton College, Minnesota, with post-graduate studies including French and Art History in Paris and the Attingham Summer School. Since 1996 he has been a freelance art historian with the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens, and has accompanied cultural tours specialising in German art and culture, including music.
Born in Britain, Graham Boynton grew up and was educated in southern Africa and entered journalism there as a political reporter. Deported by the South African government in 1976, he settled in London and wrote features for international magazines. In the mid-eighties he was appointed editor of Business Traveller magazine before spending ten years in New York as a senior editor and feature writer with Condé Nast Publications and a contracted writer for Vanity Fair. He was appointed Travel Editor of the Daily and Sunday Telegraph in January 1998 and left at the end of 2011.
Historian, author and lecturer, Peter Lauritzen, has lived in Italy since leaving Princeton University with a Fulbright Grant for study in Florence in 1962. A resident of Venice for many years, he has written Venice: A Thousand Years of Culture & Civilization, Palaces of Venice, Villas of the Veneto and Venice Preserved as well as the official UNESCO report. He has lectured in Europe and the USA and led tours specialising in Flemish and Dutch art, Imperial Russia, the Iberian peninsula the Holy Roman Empire and classical antiquity.
James McDonaugh has an MA in Philosophy and Theology from Oxford as well as a diploma in Art History, and an MA in Architectural History from the Courtauld Institute. Combining a deep knowledge of art with literature, history and theology, he is a freelance art history lecturer, with a particular interest in Italy, and has accompanied tours to Puglia, Venice, Florence, Siena, Mantua, Rome and Naples as well as to Sicily and its surrounding islands.
Christopher Newall, who studied at the Courtauld Institute of Art, is a freelance art historian, exhibition curator, lecturer, tour leader, and consultant on the acquisition of painting, drawings and works of art. Among his areas of expertise is the field of nineteenth and twentieth-century British art, with emphasis on the career and influence of John Ruskin, Pre-Raphaelitism, and landscape painting. His interests and knowledge range widely and encompass all aspects of western artistic and architectural culture. He is closely familiar with various regions of Italy, and has a particular love of Venice, Sicily and Puglia.
David Ramsbotham was commissioned into the Rifle Brigade, and later the Royal Green Jackets in 1958 after reading history at Cambridge. He served in East Africa, the Far East, Germany and Northern Ireland, and visited Oman on several occasions during the Yemeni war in Dhofar. He includes military history among his interests, and has accompanied tours to Gallipoli several times.
Brigadier Johnny Rickett CBE
Johnny Rickett was commissioned into the Welsh Guards in 1959, became a regular and left the Army as a Brigadier after 35 years. He has served all over the world principally in the Middle East, Far East, East Africa, Europe and the USA. He has seen many periods of active service in Aden, Northern Ireland and when he commanded his battalion in the Falklands War in 1982. His final job in the Army was Military Attache in Paris where he first started taking a close interest in the battlefields of WW1 and WW2. He can also speak Arabic, German and French fluently.
Douglas Skeggs read Fine Art at Magdalene College, Cambridge and since 1980 has been a lecturer on the history and techniques of painting. He has made several art documentaries and written and advised on many more. An accomplished painter in his own right, three one-man exhibitions of his paintings have been held. His biography of Monet, River of Light: Monet’s Impressions of the Seine, sold 65,000 copies, and he has also written several novels. Over the years he has accompanied numerous tours across Europe.
Sir Roy Strong
Writer, historian, diarist and gardener, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, 1967-73 and of the Victoria & Albert Museum, 1974-87, Sir Roy is a prolific author on a wide range of subjects from British history to the history of eating, from garden design to British art. His interest in India was aroused when he directed the V & A which has the largest Indian collection outside the subcontinent and through his wife’s family, the Trevelyans who served under the Raj.