Fundraising Galas & Events

2016 Museum Gala

Saturday, June 11 • 6:00pm - 10:00pm

Please join us and be a part of the 2016 Annual Museum Gala.

This year marks the 225th anniversary of the Albany Institute of History & Art. It is with pleasure that the museum announces its 2016 Gala will celebrate the Albany Institute’s 225th anniversary and founding in 1791, when George Washington was President.  Our 2016 Museum Gala will be held on Saturday June 11, 2016 at the estate of our gracious hosts, Catherine and Bernard Conners, in Loudonville, New York.

This not-to-be missed evening will begin with cocktails and a viewing of the Belmont Stakes followed by a lovely seated dinner by Mazzone Catering. Throughout the night, auctions with auctioneer Dr. Mark Fruiterman, performance, and dancing  accompanied by the Silver Arrow Band will create a truly memorable event as we support a worthy cause.




Hudson Valley Hops 2016

Saturday, April 16 • 4:00pm - 7:00pm

Thanks to sponsors and participants for making the 5th annual Hudson Valley Hops a success!

Steve Barnes of the Times Union’s Table Hopping, celebrity judges Ric Orlando from New World Bistro, Dimitrios Menagias from the City Beer Hall, Silvia Meder Lilly from The Lark + Lily and Beer Master, Sarah Jane McLaughlin of New World Bistro.



And of course, a very happy 35th anniversary to Wm.Newman's Pale Ale!



50 OBJECTS PROGRAM Representing Rensselaer County

Sunday, January 10 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Kathryn Sheehan, the Rensselaer County and Troy City Historian and Registrar at the Rensselaer County Historical Society

Join us for an insider's view of many of the most intriguing objects in our exhibition. Sheehan's whirlwind talk will range from the little-known Witenagemot Tree to the Collar City's world renowned industrial products.

Free with museum admission

Patty Tobin Fine Fashion Jewelry Trunk Sale

Join us for a special evening of wearing, sharing, and collecting Patty Tobin’s delightful jewelry, including the raffle of a one of a kind piece that the Institute’s collection inspired Patty to make just for us. The piece is a beautiful necklace made of citrine gemstones. Raffle tickets will be available for $10 each. 


Free admission. RSVP to Briana at (518) 463-4478, ext. 412 or

Proceeds benefit the Albany Institute of History & Art.

Home for the Holidays: Free Thanksgiving Weekend

Friday, November 27 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Saturday, November 28 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Sunday, November 29 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm

Come to the Albany Institute this Thanksgiving weekend for a variety of holiday themed programs and events. We'll be decked out in winter wonder and ready to welcome you and your out-of-town guests!

  • Visit with a live reindeer (Saturday) Sponsored by Capital Wine [Due to a death in the family, there will no longer be a live reindeer at the museum on Friday. We appreciate your understanding.]
  • Take your photograph with Santa (Friday and Saturday)
  • Make handmade cards in the Art Studio
  • Shop for fun, old-fashioned toys, handmade ornaments, crafts and gifts made by area artisans in our Museum Holiday Shop
  • Discover decorated trees and mantlepieces
  • Savor exquisite treats from Crisan Bakery
  • Admire a special exhibition of Pamela Dalton's Scherenschnitte paper-cut designs
  • Hear great holiday lectures and presentations
  • Explore our current exhibitions, including The Capital Region in 50 Objects and Masterworks: 225 Years of Collecting
  • See America's first commercially produced Christmas card, on view in The Capital Region in 50 Objects exhibit!

Special activity schedule (please check often for updates):


  • Crisan's Pop Up Cafe: 10AM—5PM
  • Make Your Own Holiday Cards (Drop-in Art Making Session): 10AM—4:30PM
  • Live Reindeer on lawn near Washington Avenue: 12PM—4PM [Due to a death in the family, there will no longer be a live reindeer at the museum on Friday. We appreciate your understanding.]
  • Photographs with Saint Nicholas: 12PM—4PM
  • Gallery Talk: 1PM


  • Crisan's Pop Up Cafe: 10AM—5PM
  • Make Your Own Holiday Cards (Drop-in Art Making Session): 10AM—4:30PM
  • Live Reindeer on lawn near Washington Avenue: 11:30AM—3:30PM
  • Photographs with Saint Nicholas: 12PM—4PM
  • Gallery Talk: 1PM
  • Book signing & demonstation with guest exhibitor Pamela Dalton: 1—4PM
  • Musical performance in the galleries: 2PM


  • Crisan's Pop Up Cafe: Noon—5PM
  • Make Your Own Holiday Cards (Drop-in Art Making Session): Noon—4:30PM
  • Gallery Talk: 1PM
  • Lecture The World of Richard H. Pease of Albany and the Story of America's First Chrismas Card: 2PM

The schedule is subject to change. Please check back often!


DEMONSTRATION & BOOK SIGNING Scherenschnitte: Traditional Paper Cutting Artwork

Saturday, November 28 • 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Throughout the weekend, guests will be able to admire a special exhibition by Pamela Dalton called Scherenschnitte: Traditional Paper Cutting Artwork. These highly detailed works are cut by hand and reflect artwork that was popular in this region almost two hundred years ago. According to Dalton, she was introduced to the cut paper art of Hans Christian Andersen while she lived in Denmark:

“I was mystified and smitten. I experimented with the craft until my pieces stopped falling apart! Now, after more than 35 years, I think I have the hang of it. I like to say I'm making something out of nothing. I choose themes that represent life here in rural upstate New York. Often included in my work are the Brown Swiss cows of Hawthorne Valley Farm which graze in the pasture behind my studio. The craft was popular in this country in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. I try to reflect that historic period in my compositions."

On Saturday, November 28 from 1-4pm, Dalton will be at the Albany Institute for a demonstration of her work and she will also be available to sign copies of her books, Brother Sun, Sister Moon and The Story of Christmas.

Work of Art

Sorry, registration is currently closed.

Sorry, registration is currently full.

Wednesday, November 18 • 5:00pm - 8:00pm

Join us for the fourth annual Work of Art!

Enjoy fine fare, support the museum and local artists at our Work of Art Auction, and get a behind-the-scenes peek at Masterworks: 225 Years of Collecting (opening November 21).

The centerpiece of this year's Work of Art fundraising event will be a silent art auction. This auction will celebrate and promote one of the Capital Region's greatest assets: its vibrant community of working artists. The Albany Institute has worked with contemporary artists for generations, and this art auction will continue the museum's support of local art. Proceeds raised will be shared between the Albany Institute and the presenting artists, encouraging generations of art creators and art appreciators to continue to thrive in the Capital Region.

See a sample of some of the artwork that will be included in this year's auction (PDF)

Tickets start at $75. For more information and to purchase tickets, order them here, call Briana at 463-4478, ext. 412, or email her at Tickets will not be mailed. Please check in at our registration desk on the night of the event.


This event is hosted by the Work of Art Committee: Deborah Groesbeck Bennett, Frances Chiaretta-Smith, Beth Desmond, Sarah Elmendorf DeStefano, Barbara Featherstonhaugh, Denise Gorman, Barbara K. Hoehn, Ellen Jabbur, Kimberly Sanger Jones, Jean Lewis Maloy, Morgan White Whalen

Thank you to our lead sponsor UHY LLP. Additional sponsors include: Austin & Co., Inc; Capital Bank; Cannon, Heyman & Weiss, LLP; The Desmond Hotel & Conference Center; E. Stewart Jones, Hacker, Murphy, LLP; Price Chopper's Golub Foundation; Groff Networks, LLC; J. H. Maloy Inc.; Keeler Motor Car Company; Mirkovic Teal Group; MM Hayes; M&T Bank; Nigro Companies; Omni Development Company, Inc.; The Pilates Principle; Woodland Hill Montessori School; The University at Albany Foundation 


IMAGE: Margin of Silence, Kay Sage, 1942, Oil on canvas, ht. 18" x w. 15", Albany Institute of History & Art, gift of the estate of Kay Sage Tanguy, 1964.38.

Katherine (Kay) Linn Sage (Tanguy) was an internationally known Surrealist painter who was born in Albany, New York. Sage's work includes forms covered with rigid draperies, sometimes suggesting figurative shapes beneath. This piece, Margin of Silence, is the Albany Institute's most traveled painting, having been most recently on view at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in Madrid.

2015 Annual Gala

Sorry, registration is currently closed.

Sorry, registration is currently full.

Saturday, June 6 • 6:00pm - 11:00pm

The evening honors Elizabeth Sonneborn for her support of arts institutions in Albany.

Denise & Tony Gorman's home

Cocktails 6:00 P.M.
Dinner 7:00 P.M.

Cocktail attire

Hosted by Jim Kambrich

Sip cocktails on the lawn, enjoy entertainment, and share a seat under the tent for a lovely dinner catered by Franklin Hospitality/Michael's Catering.

Please note: The Blemont Stakes will be broadcast during the event. The race is scheduled to start at approximately 6:32pm.

Tickets start at $225 and proceeds benefit the exhibitions and programs of the Albany Institute. Please call Briana at 463-4478 ext. 412 to join us or to make a donation in Betty's honor.

Gala Committee

Honorary Chairs: Denise & Tony Gorman

Laurie Baldwin, Deborah Bennett, Frances Chiaretta-Smith, Denise Crisafulli, Beth Desmond, Sarah Elmendorf DiStefano, Barbara Featherstonhaugh, Barbara Hoehn, Kimberly Sanger Jones, Jill Leonard, Jean Lewis Maloy, Jennifer Oberting, Morgan White Whalen, Karen Writer

Gala History

The Albany Institute of History & Art’s Gala is one of the most prestigious events in the Capital Region, attracting more than 350 individuals from our business, social and philanthropic community.

The Gala provides the financial foundation for the Albany Institute, an organization that has served the Capital Region community since it was founded in 1791. The Institute is one of the oldest museums in the country, and remains committed to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and promoting the history of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley.


History Happy Hour

Sorry, registration is currently closed.

Sorry, registration is currently full.

21 and over: Thursday, May 14 • 5:30pm - 7:30pm


Come one, come all to Albany's first History Happy Hour

Network and mingle with other like-minded history and museum-buffs, enjoy selections of local beer, wine, and delicious hors d'oeuvres. This is also your chance to experience and explore the Albany Institute's galleries after hours.

For less than what you pay at a traditional happy hour, this is your chance to sip and schmooze at one of the region's premier museums!

Tickets are limited. Get yours today! (No physical tickets will be sent. You will be put onto our RSVP list.)

$20 in advance
$25 at the door

Sponsored by: The Albany Institute of History & Art, The Historic Albany Foundation, Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area

In partnership with: City of Albany Office of Special Events & Cultural Affairs, Museum Association of New York (MANY), Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center, Partners for Albany Stories (PASt)


IMAGE: Operation "Go Home" at Plaza, Broadway, Albany, N.Y, c. 1950, Unidentified photographer, Gelatin Silver Print, ht. 7" x w. 9", Albany Institute of History & Art Library, 1993.010.136P, 52

Hudson Valley Hops 2015

Sorry, registration is currently closed.

Sorry, registration is currently full.

Saturday, April 18 • 4:00pm - 7:00pm


Come join us at the fourth annual Hudson Valley Hops! This fun, regional craft beer and cider tasting is a fundraiser for the museum and it's an opportunity for the community to see brewing and distilling artifacts from the Albany Institute's collection, hear from industry experts, and receive a commemorative glass. Special this year, there will be a one-time tasting of Chatham Brewing's "Albany Institute Ale", which was brewed exclusively for this event!

In advance: $30/Albany Institute members; $35/ general public (ADVANCE REGISTRATION IS NOW CLOSED)
At the door: $35/Albany Institute members; $40/general public

Please call (518) 463-4478 for more information.

Breweries include (as of March 23, 2015):

  • Adirondack Pub & Brewery
  • Brewery Ommegang
  • Brown's Brewing Company
  • Chatham Brewing LLC
  • C.H. Evans Brewing
  • Crossroads Brewing Company
  • Druthers
  • Keegan Ales
  • Olde Saratoga Brewing Company

With special guests

  • Albany Distilling Company
  • Nine Pin Cider Works

Sponsors include:

  • Ben & Jerry's
  • Cafe 217/ Susie's Pub
  • The Desmond Hotel and Conference Center
  • The Gingerman/Washington Tavern
  • The Grille at 138™
  • Iron Gate Cafe
  • Lionheart Pub
  • Maggie's Sports Bar
  • Mazzone Hospitality
  • Milano Restaurant & Bar
  • Morgan Linen Services Inc
  • New World Bistro Bar
  • Yelp

Guest Speakers:

  • Tessa Edick, author of Hudson Valley Food and Farming: Why Didn't Anyone Ever Tell Me That? will be here as part of the launch of her new book and will talk about her in-depth exploration of Hudson Valley foods. Books will be available for purchase and signing.
  • Gerry Lorentz, Dean of the Northeast Center of SUNY/Empire State College, will explore the ancient history of brewing
  • Bill Newman, craft beer pioneer and former owner of the Wm. S. Newman Brewing Company of Albany, NY will talk about how he got into brewing in the early 1980s and established one of the first craft breweries on the East Coast
  • Roger Savoy, owner of Homebrew Emporium, will share his insight into the homebrew market