Public Programs

The Albany Institute presents a broad range of public programs related to our collections, exhibitions, and special projects.

FILM AND PERFORMANCE The Lives of Hamilton Fish: A Film Song by Rachel Mason

Thursday, January 29 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Two men named Hamilton Fish were pronounced dead on the front page of a 1936 newspaper: one, a statesman (performed by Theodore Bouloukos) and the other, a serial killer (performed by Bill Weeden). This film tells the story of the newspaper editor who steps into a fantasy world attempting to comprehend the coincidence.

In live performance, Mason will sing all of the film's songs in costume, performing in sync to the soundtrack. 

Mason is a sculptor, songwriter, and performer whose work has been shown at museums across the country.

Free admission

Half-Price Admission Days

Wednesday, January 28 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Thursday, January 29 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Friday, January 30 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Saturday, January 31 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Sunday, February 1 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm Wednesday, February 4 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Thursday, February 5 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Friday, February 6 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

We are changing out our exhibitions and offering discounted admission while we prepare for the opening of Triple Play! Baseball at the Albany Institute.

Enjoy historic textiles, ancient Egyptian artifacts, Hudson River School paintings, and more!

Gallery Talk

Saturday, January 10 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, January 11 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, January 17 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, January 18 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Monday, January 19 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, January 24 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, January 25 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, January 31 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, February 1 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, February 7 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, February 8 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, February 14 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, February 15 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Monday, February 16 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, February 21 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, February 22 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, February 28 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, March 1 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, March 7 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, March 8 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, March 14 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, March 15 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, March 21 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, March 22 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Saturday, March 28 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm Sunday, March 29 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm

On Saturdays, Sundays, and some holidays we offer gallery talks led by volunteer docents.

These tours take place at 1PM and are free with museum admission.

PERFORMANCE Solomon Northup: 12 Years a Slave

Thursday, February 12 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Local artist and performer Clifford Oliver Mealy re-creates the persona of Solomon Northup, a free African-American New Yorker kidnapped into slavery before the Civil War, whose story is also a 2013 Academy Award-winning motion picture.

Free admission

IMAGE: Clifford Oliver as Solomon Northup, courtesy of Clifford Oliver

HOLIDAY MONDAY: Presidents' Day

Monday, February 16 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

Visit the Albany Institute of History & Art for free! The whole family will enjoy our new exhibition Triple Play! Baseball at the Albany Institute.

Gallery Talk at 1PM

Free admission

Sponsored by M&T Bank

Lego Building Challenge 2015

Saturday, February 14 • 11:00am - 1:00pm Saturday, February 14 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Sunday, February 15 • 1:00pm - 3:00pm Monday, February 16 • 11:00am - 1:00pm Monday, February 16 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Baseball Lego® Building Challenge

February 14-16

Registration Fee: $5 per person (includes museum admission)

Team registration: teams may include as many as, but not more than four people.

Time: 1 ½ hours for construction, ½ hour for judging and prizes

Size Limit: 10” x 10” base

Brings friends, family, and colleagues to work together to create beautiful LEGO ® structures. This year’s theme is Baseball.  Let your imagination run wild, share your vision, and compete for prizes with teams from across the capital region. Basic building blocks will be supplied; however, contestants may also bring in their own.

Challenge Specifics:

  • Models must be built using only LEGO® bricks and elements. You may bring in your own pieces or we will provide you with basic bricks in a variety of sizes and a 10” x 10” base.
  • Entries must be original designs based on the theme. Commercially sold kits or published designs are not permitted.
  • Project entries must be completely assembled within the one and a half hour time limit. All assembly must be completed on site during the challenge; no pre-built parts will be permitted. 
  • Your team may choose to practice building your model prior to the day of the building challenge.
  • Feel free to bring sketches, drawings, and photographs to use as reference.
  • Judging will occur during the assembly time as well as after final assembly.  Participants will have the opportunity to describe their structure as part of the judging process.
  • During the competition, children under 12 must be supervised by the adults who brought them; they cannot be left alone.

Please note that space is limited, and pre-registration is required.

For more information or to register contact Barbara Collins at 518-463-4478- ext 405 or e-mail to



Participation in the event assumes consent for photographs to be used for museum purposes.


LEGO® is a trademark of the LEGO Group of Companies which does not sponsor, authorize, or endorse this event.




Thursday, February 19 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

In a new platform for film and video artists in the greater Capital Region and Hudson Valley, artists will showcase and discuss their work.

Free admission

LECTURE Building a Home for Baseball

Sunday, February 22 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Janet Marie Smith, Senior Vice President Planning and Development, LA Dodgers

Janet Marie Smith is an architect and urban planner who is supervising renovation of Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. She has worked for the Baltimore Orioles and the Atlanta Braves to oversee the design and construction of Camden Yards (1992) and Turner Field (1997) and for the Boston Red Sox and the Los Angeles Dodgers to direct the renovations of Fenway Park and Dodger Stadium. While she is best known in the baseball world for the ground breaking urbanity of Camden Yards, people in Red Sox Nation know her as one of the saviors of Fenway Park, the oldest park in Major League Baseball.

Free with museum admission

Smith at Camden Yards, Photo by Jon Soohoo


Thursday, February 26 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

In a new platform for film and video artists in the greater Capital Region and Hudson Valley, artists will showcase and discuss their work.

Free admission

Art for All

Bring your family to the museum and spend the day being creative!  Adults and children of all ages are welcome to join us in the Albany Institute art studio on Saturdays for drop in art making.  Activities are based off of our current exhibitions and include techniques involving painting, drawing, multi media work, collage and more!

FREE with museum admission

Art for All Dates & Projects:

Sat. Jan. 31: Crazy Collage- Create fun fabric collages inspired by Victorian crazy quilt designs.

Saturdays Feb. 7th, 21st, and 28th: Multi-Media Baseball Cards- Create your own imaginative baseball cards by combining found images, and your own drawings.

*Please note there is no Art for All Saturday, February 14th because of the Lego Building Challenge weekend