Public Programs

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

ILLUSTRATED TALK Fashion and Feathers

General: Sunday, October 21 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Diane Shewchuk, Curator at the Albany Institute and Jeremy Kirchman, Ph.D., Curator of Orinthology at the New York State Museum

Enjoy a lively show and tell and see feather-trimmed Victorian hats, folding fans, and fashion from the Albany Institute's collection. Jeremy will identify the feathers and explore the history of plume hunters who decimated many species of birds to the point of near extinction.

Included with museum admission

*We have limited space for our lectures and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees will receive a wristband at the admission desk the day of the lecture.

Art Connects Fall 2018

Adult: Tuesday, September 25 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm Adult: Tuesday, October 23 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm Adult: Tuesday, November 13 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

This program is designed for people affected with early to mid-stage Alzheimer's and other cognitive deficits and their care givers. Visits to the museum to look at paintings, sculptures, and artifacts may rekindle memories and emotions and are special social occasions for men and women who live with this disease.

We will use our collections to renew and build social connections in which all can participate and enjoy. Art Connects does not require a background in art, nor does it rely on memory.

Program Dates:
September 25- Registration for this session is full
October 23
November 13- Registration for this session is full
2:00 PM-3:00 PM

There is no fee for this tour program, but registration is required. To register, call Patrick Stenshorn at (518) 463-4478 ext 405 or by email


IMAGE: Holding Back the Dark, Willie Marlowe, 1985, acrylic and mixed media on paper, 22 H x 30 W, Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase via the Contemporary Art Collections Fund, 1992.38.2

GALLERY TALK A Menagerie of Whimsey: The Art of William B. Schade

General: Sunday, November 4 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

This talk will explore the charming and whimsical animals created by Albany-born artist William B. Schade. Thomas Branchick, Schade’s partner of 36 years, will discuss the works from the soft sculptures fabricated at the Cranbrook Academy of Art where they met to the artist’s final drawings.

  • Included with museum admission

POP UP EXHIBIT The "Great War" It was Terrible

General: Sunday, November 11 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm

100 years ago Americans were at war in what was then called “The War to End All Wars.” Four million Americans served in the military during the conflict, including 500,000 from New York. They would play an important part in the outcome of the War. The conflict affected Americans at home as well, influencing nearly every aspect of civilian life. World War I would set the stage for the 20th Century. We are still living with the consequences.

“The ‘Great War’ It was Terrible” is a pop up exhibit of World War I weapons, equipment and documents. It includes artifacts from the US, the Allies and the Central Powers. It also includes hands on activities. Visitors can try on helmets, peruse period stereo views, and even sound a gas alarm.

Stuart W. Lehman will portray a WWI soldier serving Stateside with the New York Guard. Mr. Lehman works with the Office of General Services as an Assistant Curator for the New York State Capitol. Previously he worked with the New York State Bureau of Historic Sites at Senate House, Herkimer Home, and Schuyler Mansion. On weekends, he participates in historical Revolutionary War, Civil War and WWI re-enactments. He lives in Guilderland.

Free Admission Day: Veterans Day Observed (2018)

Monday, November 12 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

Enjoy free admission to the galleries courtesy of M&T Bank.



Be sure to check out the participants of our Friends of Animals Day! Learn more here.

Friends of Animals Day

Monday, November 12 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

Inspired by our animal-themed exhibitions, the Albany Institute of History & Art is pleased to host Capital Region organizations who advocate and support animals in our community.

Throughout our free admission day on Monday, November 12, 2018, come meet representatives from the following organizations and see how you can get involved:

  • Adirondak Save-A-Stray
  • AnimalKind NY
  • Equine Advocates
  • Mohawk Hudson Humane Society
  • Northeast Avian Rescue, Inc.
  • Orange Street Cats
  • Whiskers Animal Benevolent League
  • Whispering Willow Wild Care

Please note: Schedule is subject to change

COMMUNITY EVENT: Albany County Police K9 Unit Demonstration

General: Saturday, November 17 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm

From tracking missing persons to sniffing out explosives and making security sweeps for local dignitaries, police dogs perform valuable services to the community.

In this demonstration officers from the Albany County Police Department will be on hand to highlight the work performed by their K9 units. You will also learn how the breeds are selected, where the dogs are adopted, and how they are trained.

  • Free, but registration is required. To register, email or call (518) 463-4478 ext. 404.


6-14: Thursday, November 29 - 29 • 10:00am - 12:00pm

Animals in Art
Ages 6 -14
$7 student

Join us for a special program just for homeschoolers, and explore animals in the museum.   Discover a jeweled lion from Tibet, a donkey sculpture that once resided in the Governor's mansion, a portrait of a pet monkey and more! Animals have been depicted in art throughout history in many different ways using a variety of materials, from paint to metal to wood to glass. In this program we’ll observe animals in paintings, sculpture, the decorative arts, and other media from around the world. Students will tour the animal exhibitions, and complete an animal inspired art project to take home. This program is offered for children 6 to 14. Students will be placed into two groups based on age.

Registration tips:
If using a mobile device to register please change viewing settings to full desktop view to allow purchase to be completed.

Emergency contact information is not necessary to fill out with registration since this is not a drop off program.


Participation in the event assumes consent for photographs to be used for museum purposes unless participants otherwise notify the Albany Institute of History & Art.


The Beginnings of Modern Veterinary Medicine: From France to New York State

General: Sunday, December 2 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

This lecture will explore the beginning of modern veterinary medicine with the creation of the first veterinary schools in France in the 18th century, followed by the establishment of veterinary education in Great Britain. The French and British-educated veterinarians who emigrated to the US in the 19th century sowed the seeds of the American veterinary medical field that we know today.

Our guest speaker is Douglas L. Cohn, D.V.M.


Children's Art Workshop: Drawing Animals
Sunday, December 9, 3:00-4:30PM
$15 non-members; $10 members

This workshop introduces fundamental drawing skills while participants learn to sketch animals. Join us to learn to capture what you see on paper as we make observations from taxidermy. Artist Carol Coogan will lead the program.  Carol is an artist, illustrator, designer and sketchbook enthusiast.  She created the Times Union’s “Backyard Naturalist" newspaper feature which she wrote and illustrated for 10 years. She is the weekly op-ed artist for The Altamont Enterprise, a freelance illustrator for Crane & Co stationery and also a teaching artist with the Albany Institute's school partnership program, Book Arts.

Registration Notes:
Ignore the Emergency Contact fields of registration and proceed by pressing continue.
If using a mobile device to register please change viewing settings to full desktop view to allow purchase to be completed.

Tuition includes art materials and museum admission.

Registration is required and space is limited.

For children’s workshops: Accompanying adults are required to stay on the museum premises.

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