Public Programs

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

LECTURE & FILM The Albany Aid Campaign for Nijmegen 1947

Thursday, September 8 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Anja Adriaans, founder and chair Albany-Nijmegen Friendship

In April 1947 insitutions, schools, churches, service clubs, and individuals in Albany helped war-stricken Nijmegen in the Netherlands with hundreds of tons of relief goods.

Adriaans will show a long-lost 11-minute film about the campaign and discuss this important, forgotten episode from our local, national, and international history, to enhance historical awareness and commemorate the 70th anniversary of the relief effort for Nijmegen.


Free admission

LECTURE & BOOK SIGNING Frederic Church: The Art and Science of Detail

Sunday, September 11 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Jennifer Raab, Assistant Professor, Department of the History of Art, Yale University

The most celebrated painter in the United States during the mid-nineteenth century, Frederic Church created monumental and celebrated landscapes unsurpassed in their attention to detail.

Raab will examine the cultural, scientific, and aesthetic significance of this pictorial approach as well as Church’s later turn from the painted to the physical landscape of Olana, a move that allowed the artist to rethink scale and process while engaging with pressing ecological questions.

Free with museum admission


IMAGE: Morning, Looking East over the Hudson Valley from the Catskill Mountains, Frederic E. Church (1826-1900), 1848, oil on canvas, signed and dated, lower left:  "F E Church / 1848", gift of Catherine Gansevoort (Mrs. Abraham) Lansing, x1940.606.7

LECTURE & DISCUSSION Albany's Rapp Road Community

Thursday, September 15 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm

Join Mary DeWitt, Sara DeWitt, and Stephanie Woodard, third and fourth generation descendants of the original Rapp Road community founders for a discussion of the important role that these families played in the history of Albany.

Produced in conjunction with Rapp Road Historical Association


Free admission



Sunday, October 2 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Ben Thompson, Exhibition Curator, and Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Jacksonville, FL

Thompson will give insight into the development of the exhibition The Art of Seating and explore the stories of some of the iconic chairs on view.

Free with museum admission


IMAGE: Designed by Warren McArthur Jr. (1885-1961), Manufactured by Warren McArthur Corp., Rome, NY, Sling Seat Lounge Chair, c. 1935, Photo by Michael Koryta and Andrew VanStyn, Director of Acquisitions, Conservation and Photography

LECTURE Scanning the Pharaohs

Sunday, October 9 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Dr. Sahar Saleem, Professor of Radiology at Faculty of Medicine-Cairo University

Dr. Saleem, who was personally involved in the research, will review what is known about the life, death, and mummification of the great Pharaohs and queens of the New Kingdom including Tutankhamun, Amenhotep III, Tiye, Ramesses II, and Ramesses III.

She will explore intriguing theories about the death of these famous pharaohs derived from scientific clues, new evidence regarding the technology of mummification, the jewelry and amulets beneath the surviving wrappings and inside the bodies of the mummies, and more.


Free with museum admission


Monday, October 10 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

This Columbus Day explore the galleries of the Albany Institute of History & Art for free!

Drop-In Art Making 10AM-4:30PM
Gallery Talks at 11AM and 1PM

Visit the museum for free today! Plus, the whole family will enjoy making model chairs in our Art Studio.

Sponsored by M&T Bank


Free admission


FAMILY PROGRAM Mummy Birthday Party

Sunday, November 6 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Celebrate the 107th anniversary of the arrival of the Albany Institute's mummies!

Children are invited to bring a doll or stuffed animal to learn about the mummification process by mummyfying their toy.

FREE with museum admission.

Lego Building Challenge Fall 2016

Friday, November 11 • 11:00am - 1:00pm Friday, November 11 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Saturday, November 12 • 11:00am - 1:00pm Saturday, November 12 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Sunday, November 13 • 1:00pm - 3:00pm

Lego® Building Challenge Fall 2016 Theme: Rock & Roll!

November 11-13

Registration for the 2016 Lego Challenge will begin on September 6th

Building Session Dates and Times:

11/11 Friday Morning Challenge Session 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

11/11 Friday Afternoon Challenge Session 2:00-4:00 PM

11/12 Saturday Morning Challenge Session 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

11/12 Saturday Afternoon Challenge Session 2:00-4:00 PM

11/13 Sunday Afternoon Challenge Session 1:00-3:00 PM

Registration Fee: $5 per person (includes museum admission, registrations are non-refundable)

Online Registration is not available on the date of the event, please call to register.

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 awards

Size Limit: 10” x 10” base

Brings friends, family, and colleagues to work together to create beautiful LEGO ® structures. This year’s theme is Buildings, Bridges, and Boats.  Let your imagination run wild, share your vision, and compete for awards 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 Patrick Stenshorn at 518-463-4478- ext 405 or e-mail to

Mobile devices do not provide a secure network for registration; please use a desktop computer to register.


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


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


Art for All 2016-2017

The 2016-2017 Art for All season will start on Saturday, October 1st.

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


Join us for drop in art projects based off of our current exhibitions.  Featured projects change each month.  More details, and sample project pictures will be posted closer to the program date.