Tom Nelson, Exhibitions Designer, Albany Institute of History & Art
Start the holidays off with an illustrated exposé of seasonal tidbits. Nelson will discuss Richard Pease’s mid-nineteenth century retail empire in Albany and its impact on the way we experience the holiday season today. Pease was the first to use Santa Claus in an advertisement in 1842, and the first in America to print and distribute Christmas cards (c.1850). Nelson will also trace the origins of some of our more popular holiday icons and traditions, and relate how some matured or were even created in New York's Hudson Valley and Capital Region.
Nelson has been with the Albany Institute for 33 years and has curated several exhibitions and published articles on 19th century and contemporary art for a variety of institutions. He has been researching the Pease family for the past three years and has written a monograph about the family’s various business enterprises.