Birds & Beasts: The Scary, Magical, and Adorable Animals of the Albany Institute

Rhinoceros Wagon, Charles C. Knapp (1894-1963), painted wood, metal, 1937-45, gift of Helen Knapp, 1989.30.13, photo by Michael Fredericks

JULY 14—DECEMBER 30, 2018

Drawn from the collection of the Albany Institute, this animal-inspired exhibition will explore animals as iconic elements of art and as cherished household members.
The Institute's collection is rich in two and three dimensional representations of animals. Hudson River School artists frequently painted cows into their landscapes while Dutch artisans painted real and mythical creatures on Delft tiles in the seventeenth century. Albany born sisters Dorothy and Gertrude Lathrop built their artistic careers around animals. Gertrude (1896-1986) is remembered as a sculptor of animals while Dorothy's (1891-1980) drawings for Animals of the Bible rewarded her with a Caldecott Medal for illustration in 1938. A circa 1940 handmade toy circus train will recall childhood memories while jewel encrusted, late seventeenth-century gilt brass Chinese-Tibetan lions will dazzle the eye. One section of the exhibition will focus on pets as documented in nineteenth century photographs. 
From the farmyard to the forest to fantasy, this exhibition will remind visitors that animals have been part of the human experience since the beginning.

Exhibition Support

Lead exhibition support is provided by Douglas L. Cohn, DVM. Exhibition support is provided by Fenimore Asset Management, Inc. and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.