Public Programs

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

Community Conversation: Planning the Future of Your Museum

Thursday, October 2 • 5:30pm - 6:30pm

Please join the Albany Institue of History & Art Executive Director Tammis Groft for an informal discussion about the future of the museum. Share your ideas for future exhibitions, lectures, family programs, art-making activities, special events, and museum amenities.

Free admission

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy

Sunday, October 5 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Jacopo della Quercia

Join Albany historian and writer Giacomo Calabria (pen name, Jacopo della Quercia) for a lively talk about his recently published historical novel that is part sci-fi, part action adventure, and part comedy embedded in a narrative based on meticulous research. The result is an outlandish secret history that aligns perfectly with national as well as the city of Albany historical record.

Calabria is an educator and history writer whose work has been featured on the comedy website, BBC America, CNN Money, and the Huffington Post.

Free with museum admission

Be Inspired! Family Day

Sunday, October 12 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Come be inspired by the artwork of the Mohawk Hudson Regional exhibition and create your own masterpieces.

Artists from the exhibition will be on hand for presentations throughout the day. We'll discover the mediums and techniques they use in their work and create some artwork of our own.

Free with museum admission

Artist demonstrations will take place at:

12:30PM                 1:00PM

1:30PM                   2:30PM

3:00PM                   3:30PM


Monday, October 13 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

This Columbus Day explore the galleries of the Albany Institute of History & Art for free. The whole family will enjoy drop-in art making activities based on the current exhibitions.

Drop-In Art Making from 10AM-4:30PM

Gallery Talks at 1PM and 3:30PM

Free admission

Sponsored by M&T Bank

TEACHER PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Undercover: Revealing Design in Quilts, Coverlets, and Bed Hangings

Thursday, October 16 • 3:30pm - 5:30pm

Join Douglas McCombs, PhD, Chief Curator, and Erika Sanger, Director of Education, for a tour of the exhibition and a hands-on art making activity in the studio that will explore art and Common Core math curriculim integrations.

3:30PM Exhibition Tour
4:30PM Math and Design in the Studio

Free admission. Registration is required.

To register, please call or email Barbara Collins at (518) 463-4478, ext. 405 or email


Saturday, October 18 • 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Take a look at the world of the ancient Egypt and use the artifacts and symbols as inspiration for your own jewelry.

Junior level Girl Scouts will tour the Albany Institute's ancient Egypt exhibition, and create their own jewelry using both everyday objects and metal.

Registration is required and is available at or by calling Girl Scouts of Northeastern New York at (518) 348-1413.


40th Annual Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair

UPDATE: The 40th Annual Antiquarian Book & Ephemera Fair will be held at the Albany Institute of History & Art.

More than fifty dealers of books, photographs, manuscripts, and ephemera will be present. Includes a silent auction. Proceeds benefit the Albany Institute Library.

$6 per person

For more information, please visit

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING To Elevate & Adorn the Mind: Betsey Colt Foot and the Story Behind the Founding of Albany Academy for Girls

Sunday, October 26 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Louise Copeland Marks

Set in Albany in the early nineteenth century, To Elevate & Adorn the Mind, is a thoroughly researched historical novel about Betsey Colt Foot and her radical quest to establish the Albany Academy for Girls, one of the country's oldest independent schools for the education of young women. Louise Copeland Marks is an academy alumni and Associate Professor Emerita of Sociology, Psychology, and Mental Health at SUNY's North Country Community College.

Free with museum admission

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING Albany History in an Alternate Universe

Thursday, October 30 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Frankie Bailey

Booth, Lincoln, Houdini, and more...join SUNY Albany criminal justice professor and award winning mystery writer Frankie Bailey as she reveals how she draws on Albany's vibrant history in crafting her police procedural series set in a near-future version of the city. Bailey is a Macavity Award winning mystery writer who has been nominated for numerous Edgar, Anthony, and Agatha awards. She is also the author of Wicked Albany and numerous non-fiction books that explore the intersections of crime, history, and popular culture.

Free admission

MAKING IT AMERICAN LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING America's Eden: Thomas Cole and the Voyage of Life

Sunday, November 2 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Paul Schweizer, Director Emeritus, Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute's Museum of Art

Paul Schweizer, art historian, will discuss how Cole took the old master idiom of history painting and put it in the form of American landscape to create his most iconic series, the Voyage of Life.

Schweizer will be available to sign copies of his new book Thomas Cole's Voyage of Life.

Free with museum admission


IMAGE: The Voyage of Life: Youth, Thomas Cole (1801-1848), 1839, oil sketch on wood panel, Albany Institute of History & Art purchase, 1942.56.2