Public Programs

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

PERFORMANCE Saratoga Sings of Art and Inspiration

Thursday, April 30 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Please join us for a concert featuring opera and song by Granados, Sondheim, Poulenc, Wolf, Heggie, Weill, and more, all inspired by great artists and works of art! Presented by Opera Saratoga in partnership with the Albany Institute of History & Art.

Free admission

IMAGE: Opera at Washington Avenue Armory, Fall 1934, unidentified photographer, Morris Gerber collection, LIB 1993.010.10040P

SPECIAL EVENT 2015 Elementary School Art Show, City School District of Albany

Friday, May 1 • 5:00pm - 8:00pm

The Albany Institute of History & Art is delighted to partner with the City School District of Albany to present this wonderful showcase of student talent, featuring visual art works by students from each of the twelve Albany elementary schools. Our 2014 exhibition included two-and three-dimensional works produced by 150 students selected by their art teachers for this special exhibition.

We will offer free admission on May 1st from 5-8 PM when the student’s visual art works will be joined with performances from the Strolling String Students, Recorder Ensemble, Minstrels, School Dance Team, and Flute Ensembles. Performances will be held in the galleries and the atrium.

This exhibition grew out of our service with the Superintendent’s Arts Advisory Committee that was formed in order to build creative relationships and share resources with stakeholders, community organizations, and arts professionals. It is supported by Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Superintendent, the Times Union, the City School District of Albany Booster Club, and the Albany City Council PTA.

Free admission

SPECIAL EVENT 2015 Elementary School Art Show, City School District of Albany

Saturday, May 2 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Sunday, May 3 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm

The Albany Institute of History & Art is delighted to partner with the City School District of Albany to present this wonderful showcase of student talent, featuring visual art works by students from each of the twelve Albany elementary schools. Our 2014 exhibition included two-and three-dimensional works produced by 150 students selected by their art teachers for this special exhibition.

This exhibition grew out of our service with the Superintendent’s Arts Advisory Committee that was formed in order to build creative relationships and share resources with stakeholders, community organizations, and arts professionals. It is supported by Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, Superintendent, the Times Union, the City School District of Albany Booster Club, and the Albany City Council PTA.

Free with museum admission

DISCUSSION AND BOOK SIGNING The Humorous Truth behind the Novel Saving Babe Ruth and the Little League World Series Scandal

Sunday, May 17 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Tom Swyers, Hudson Valley attorney, writer, and youth sports advocate

Published in June of last year and based on a true story, Tom Swyers’ award-winning novel, Saving Babe Ruth, is about one man’s quest to save his town’s youth baseball league. The book was in the newspapers and on television last fall when it caused one local town to have a public hearing over its high school principal.

For the first time, Tom plans to talk about this and the other amusing adventures he’s had with Saving Babe Ruth, including his experience with the informant behind the Little League scandal involving the Jackie Robinson West team.

Swyers studied at the New York State Summer Writers Institute at Skidmore College and is a member of both the Authors Guild and the Hudson Valley Writers Guild. In addition to being an attorney, he is also an award-winning youth sports advocate. He lives with his family in the Capital District.

Free with museum admission

LECTURE AND BOOK SIGNING The Spirit of New York: Defining Events in the Empire State's History

Sunday, June 7 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Dr. Bruce W. Dearstyne, Adjunct Professor, University of Maryland, College of Information Studies

Join Dr. Bruce W. Dearstyne, historian and former program director at the New York State Archives, for a lively and engaging presentation about the many ways in which the Empire State-and Albany, its capital–have played a key role in the course of American history. 

In his talk, based on his recently published book, The Spirit of New York, Dr. Dearstyne will share insights into many events in Albany and the upper Hudson Valley that affected the course of New York State history as well as stories of fascinating people such as Jackie Robinson and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, whose leadership brought changes not to just New York but to the whole county as well.

Free with museum admission

LECTURE Van Gogh and Nature

Thursday, July 16 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

Richard Kendall, Clark Art Institute, Curator at Large

Exhibition curator Richard Kendall will discuss the research and origin of the exhibition and catalogue as well as the significance of its theme.

Fundamental to the project has been a close study of the artist's work throughout his career and his rarely discussed preoccupation with the natural world, from flowers, birds, and insects to the majestic landscapes of rural Holland and the south of France.

Still underestimated in many approaches to Van Gogh's art is his passion for reading, which included guides to nature, poetry that addressed the countryside, and literally hundreds of novels in Dutch, English, and French that celebrated rural life in an age of expanding towns and cities. This issue will also be explored in the lecture, which will be illustrated with works from 'Van Gogh and Nature' and other sources.

Free admission

IMAGE: A Wheatfield, with Cypresses, 1889, by Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890), oil on canvas, The National Gallery, London, purchase, Courtauld Fund, 1923 (NG3861), Image © The National Gallery, London, 2014.

BOOK READING AND BOOK SIGNING A Not Too Greatly Changed Eden: The Story of the Philosopher's Camp in the Adirondacks

Friday, August 7 • 6:00pm - 7:30pm

James Schlett, Journalist, Author, Poet

Join award-winning journalist, James Schlett for a reading of selections from his recently published book, A Not Too Greatly Changed Eden: The Story of the Philosopher’s Camp in the Adirondacks, published by Cornell University Press.

The book recounts the story of a group of artists, poets, and philosophers who ventured into the heart of the Adirondacks in 1858 to camp, hike, hunt, and converse. This “philosopher’s camp” helped spark the transcendentalist and preservationist movements in America. The book includes a color insert featuring twelve paintings by Hudson River School artists, including Thomas Cole, Frederic E. Church, Asher B. Durand, and Sanford Gifford.

Free admission