Meet the Team


James McDonaugh, Founder & DirectorJames McDonaugh, Founder & Director

James began as a guide in Italy in 2004 and became widely known for his outstanding teaching. After four years of working for other companies, he set up Art Tours Ltd in 2008. His aim is to create and deliver the finest bespoke cultural tours to Europe. James sees every journey as a creative opportunity, tailored exactly to each client. Italian art and architecture are his favourite subjects; he has led over 100 tours to Italy and across Europe. His clients include a selection of the world's leading museums, alumni and specialist groups, and VIPs . James was named one of the ‘Top Private Art Guides’ by The Wall Street Journal.

James has a Master's in Philosophy & Theology from Oxford University, a Diploma in Art History and a Master's in Architectural History from The Courtauld Institute of Art. He speaks French and Italian.


Katie Williams, Head of OperationsKatie Williams, Travel Designer & Head of Product

Katie has an unflinching eye for detail. She delivers extraordinary itineraries with calm and precision. She has eight years' experience working in the travel industry and a wide knowledge of Europe and Russia. Turkey remains her fascination. Katie speaks fluent German and has a BA from Leeds University.


Carly Dollman, Operations ManagerCarly Wells (née Dollman), Travel Designer & Head of Operations

A highly experienced operations manager, no challenge is too great for Carly. She began her career as a guide, specialising in leading tours throughout Europe. She delights in using her wealth of local knowledge to produce bespoke and original itineraries. Carly has a BA in History from Stirling University and has worked in the travel industry for 7 years.


Johanna GaudotJohanna Goyard (née Gaudot), Travel Designer

Jo has a BA in Travel & Hospitality from the University of Cergy-Pontoise, France, and over seven years’ experience in the travel industry. Fluent in French, she also speaks Spanish and Italian. Jo has travelled all over Europe.


Matthew JesseMatthew Jessee, Financial Controller & Special Projects

Matt is responsible for finance, systems and technical operations. He has been with the business from the start and is exceptionally skilled and versatile. Matt has a BFA from Tisch School of The Arts (NYU) and an MFA from The London Film School.


KatherineKatherine Holvik, Team Assistant

As the team’s assistant, Katherine contributes to the smooth running of Art Tours ltd. Katherine speaks fluent Norwegian and has previous experience working in the cultural sector. She has a BA in Sociology from University of Colorado at Boulder and an MA in Arts and Cultural Management from King’s College, London.


Gabriel Fawcett photoGabriel Fawcett, Central Europe Consultant

Gabriel is our Central Europe expert. One of the most in-demand guides in Europe, he has spent two decades immersed in the impossibly rich world of Central Europe. 'Gabe' has used his Oxford University history degree and his obsession for storytelling to uncover the legendary cities of this region. Gabe loves nothing more than unearthing new stories and discovering new places of beauty, magic and drama to share with our clients as well as gleaning new material for his historical sense of humour. Gabe’s experience goes into every one of Art Tours’ unrivalled itineraries in these destinations. Gabe and his team of talent spotted guides cover Berlin, Munich, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Warsaw, Krakow and more….


Hugo McDonaughHugo McDonaugh, Non Executive Director

Hugo advises on strategy. He is a director of several companies in the financial and educational sectors. He has a Master's from Imperial College in Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management and a BA in Ancient History and Classical Archaeology from Warwick University.


Photo Credits: thank you to the Art Tours team and the late Julian Allason. Special thanks to Ferrante Ferranti.



“Grand hoteliers still bow reverentially, pink gin is mixed correctly and The Telegraph is ironed prior to delivery…Art Tours pass the Panama-Hat Test.”