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Armchair Journey

A Series of 8 Lectures by Sevan Melikyan
Thursdays at 10am EST

January 18 - March 14, 2024

Registration Status: OPEN

Series Cost:   $20 per lecture or $120 for 8 
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Back with his popular armchair series, Sevan leads us to Provence ahead of the March 2024 trip! Sevan takes us through the famous museums in Provence from the comfort of our homes. We will cover the highlights of this gorgeous area in France. Join us for an aesthetically pleasing and wonderfully informative art tour of Provence! 


January 18 - Old Town Walking Tour + Fine Arts Museum (Nice)

We will start the series with a virtual stroll of the medieval city of Nice, where the great modern artist Henri Matisse kept an apartment and a studio for many years. From there, we’ll go to the Fine Arts Museum of Nice, a magnificent neo-classical building that houses a collection of works by Bronzino, Fragonard, Carpeaux, Rodin, Dufy, and Van Dongen, along with many Orientalist gems.

January 25 - Chagall Museum (Nice)

Opened in 1973, the National Museum of Marc Chagall brings together 12 large-format paintings that illustrate episodes from the Old Testament’s Genesis and Exodus. We will examine these works to better understand and interpret Chagall’s unique pictural language and compare his idiosyncratic compositions to those of Old Masters on the same subjects.

February 1 - Renoir Museum (Cagnes-sur-Mer)

Musee Renoir offers an intimate look at the artist's home, studio, collection and gardens, set in the lovely French Riviera village of Cagnes-sur-Mer. Pierre-Auguste Renoir was one of the leading founders of Impressionism, producing some of the most beloved masterpieces of 19th century art, and directly shaping the development of modern painting. His late work was greatly admired by Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse even though it remains a cause for controversy today. The museum also displays numerous sculptures created after 1913 at age 72 with the help of an assistant since Renoir’s hands were all but deformed due to rheumatoid arthritis.


February 8 - Walking Tour + Maeght Foundation (Saint-Paul-de-Vence)

We will start by a quick tour of the perched medieval village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence, the best preserved of its kind in France, known also for its many art galleries. We will then head to the nearby Maeght Foundation, a unique museum established in 1964 with an impressive collection of modern art featuring works by Giacometti, Bonnard, Braque, Calder, Miro, among many others. Designed by the Spanish architect Josep Lluis Sert, the museum building is a work of modernist art whose grounds displays outdoor sculptural installations integrated into the landscape to create a delightful immersive experience.

February 15 -  Cézanne Studio (Aix-en-Provence)

Cezanne is known in art history as the father of modern art. In fact, Cubism finds its roots in Cezanne’s landscapes and still lifes. In this lecture, we will find out why these statements are true. By the end of his life, Cezanne built a studio in the outskirts of Aix. The studio remains intact as if Cezanne had just stepped out a moment ago. We will survey the many objects found there that also appear in his most famous still lifes. We will finish the lecture with a visit to a spot where we can admire Cezanne’s cherished Sainte-Victoire Mountain.

February 22 - SKIP

February 29 - Mary Magdalene Basilica (Saint-Maximin-la-Sainte-Baume)

The biblical character Mary Magdalene is arguably the most depicted female figure in art history after Virgin Mary and Venus/Aphrodite. Our visit to her Basilica near Aix-en-Provence gives us the opportunity to explore the legends surrounding her and how those legends have inspired countless artists through the ages, including Rembrandt, El Greco, Caravaggio, and many more.

March 7 -  Van Gogh in Provence (Arles + Saint-Rémy-de-Provence)

Although Van Gogh’s artist career lasted no more than 10 years, he managed to produce a stunning 2,000 works before his death at 37. His best-known masterpieces date from his time spent in Arles and Saint-Remy-de-Provence. This lecture will visit the locations found in his paintings and present an alternate explanation as to why he cut his ear.

March 14 -  Palais des Papes + Petit Palais (Avignon)

Did you know that Avignon was once the seat of the Catholic Church? For nearly 70 years, from 1309 to 1377, this immense fortress-like palace became the residence of seven popes, as they stayed away from Rome and its political unrest. As we visit this immense palace – the largest Gothic palace in the world - we will learn about this fascinating time in European history, explore chambers whose walls tell many stories, and admire frescos by Matteo Giovannetti. If time allows, we will make a quick peak into the museum next door – The Petit Palais – to view works by medieval and early renaissance artists such as Simone Martini, and Sandro Botticelli.


*This schedule is subject to change.

Chagall Museum, Nice

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This lecture series is in conjunction with our Provence trip, which is scheduled for March 20 - 29, 2024.    You can find more information about the actual trip here.  You need not join the trip to attend the lecture series.  Sorry, the real trip is full; there is a waiting list only.

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Renoir Museum 

sevan melikyan (photo by colin jorgensen
Sevan Melikyan
Instructor & Tour Guide

Sevan Melikyan is the owner of Wired Gallery in High Falls, NY, a noted art gallery established in 2012 with the purpose of showing exclusively works by Mid-Hudson Valley artists. As an independent lecturer on art history his repertoire includes lectures on art museums found in Europe and the US. Sevan is also an artist ( with a body of work inspired by his favorite museum masterworks. Prior to the U.S., he lived in Paris, France, where he earned a BA on marketing, and in Istanbul, Turkey, where he was born of Armenian parents.

Joan Hill
Owner, Host, & Director

In 2008, the seed of Artful Journeys was planted in her brain, when Joan brought together all of her life's passions, her love of music, an affinity for the beautiful things in life with an ability to organize events to give birth to Artful Journeys, a program of art education trips for the soul and mind.


Joan was born and raised in the apple country of the Hudson River Valley in New York; her father was a gentle, very tolerant, educated land surveyor, and her mother was the efficient business administrator and home engineer. The youngest of four children, Joan was encouraged to pursue anything she wanted, but also to do her best. Sometimes that was very difficult, especially succeeding three very accomplished siblings.

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  • Each session will cost $20 or $120 for all 8 lectures

  • PayPal is preferred; however, we do take checks   

  • A Zoom link will be provided by email within 24 hours of each meeting.

Cezanne's Studio, Aix-en-Provence

To register for a session or the series, please click below:

A Zoom link will be provided by email within 24 hours of each meeting.

For details or questions, please click here to contact Joan Hill.
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