Recent Press Releases
Dr. Kristen Oehlrich to leave Albany Institute of History & Art
The Albany Institute of History & Art and Dr. Kristen Oehlrich have jointly announced that Dr. Oehlrich is leaving the Institute to pursue another leadership opportunity in the arts and cultural sector.
The Institute had a number of extremely successful exhibits during Dr. Oehlrich’s tenure, including exhibits featuring Jan Brett, one of the nation’s foremost authors and illustrators for children, and Gordon Parks, a photojournalist, film director, and twentieth century icon whose images became a potent tool in supporting the post-war struggle for Civil Rights for African Americans. The Institute also received a significant three-year Carl E. Touhey Foundation grant to support the Albany African American History Project. Notable among Oehlrich’s many achievements include her work strengthening regional partnerships, fostering community engagement, and bringing technological advances to the Institute.
The Institute wishes Dr. Oehlrich good luck in her future endeavors. Chief Curator Dr. W. Douglas McCombs will serve as interim director until the Institute hires a new Executive Director.
Paul Scott: New American Scenery at the Albany Institute of History & Art
Albany, N.Y. – The Albany Institute of History & Art is currently hosting the exhibition Paul Scott: New American Scenery in which material-based conceptual artist Scott assesses the American landscape from a contemporary approach. The exhibit will run until Dec. 31, 2022. Through the work in the exhibit, Scott deals with issues of globalization, energy generation and consumption, capitalism, and immigration, and the human impact on the environment.
Scott, who lives and works in Cumbria, United Kingdom, creates printed ceramics that blur the boundaries between art, craft, and design. His works are included in numerous museum collections and have been exhibited throughout Europe and the United States. Scott is represented by Ferrin Contemporary.
Albany Institute of History & Art Names Kristen Oehlrich, MBA, PhD as New Executive Director
ALBANY, N.Y. – The Albany Institute of History & Art is pleased to announce that Kristen Oehlrich, MBA, Ph.D. has been named by the museum’s Board of Trustees as its new Executive Director. The Buffalo, New York native was most recently the Founder and President of Triumph of Flora, Strategic Art Advising in New York City. Her appointment comes at a pivotal time in the Institute’s history, as it confidently emerges from the pandemic with dynamic exhibitions, engaging programs, and collaborative initiatives.
Albany Institute of History & Art's Executive Director Tammis Groft Announces Retirement
ALBANY, NEW YORK– Tammis K. Groft has announced that she will retire as Executive Director of the Albany Institute of History & Art, a role she has served since June 2013. Groft, who started at the Albany Institute as an intern in 1976, will remain at the museum through the transition of a successor.
“My career at the museum has been a job of a lifetime,” Groft said, “and I have enjoyed each and every opportunity afforded to me. I am grateful to all of the board, staff, and community members I have had the pleasure of working with and learning from over the years.”
Albany Institute of History & Art to Re-Open to the Public on Saturday, July 25, 2020
ALBANY, NEW YORK– The Albany Institute of History & Art, which closed in early spring in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, will re-open its doors to the public on Saturday, July 25, 2020. The museum will re-open with new protocols in place to help create a safe and welcoming environment for visitors, such as mandatory masks for all staff and visitors, plus social distancing and hand-sanitizing stations throughout the museum site. In addition, visitors are strongly encouraged to purchase timed tickets in advance, as a way to manage crowd size and expedite the check-in process once at the museum. The Albany Institute galleries and Museum Shop will be open Wednesday through Saturday 10AM-5PM and Sunday 12PM-5PM. The Museum Café will be open for take-out only Wednesday through Saturday 10AM-3PM and Sunday 12PM-5PM. (No tickets are required to visit the shop or café). Up-to-date information, a link to purchase advance tickets, and a list of frequently asked questions is available on the museum’s website: www.albanyinstitute.org.
Museum Focuses Crowd-Sourced Fundraising Efforts as Part of #GivingTuesdayNow on Tuesday, May 5
ALBANY, NEW YORK– On Tuesday, May 5, 2020, the Albany Institute of History & Art will participate in the global fundraising effort #GivingTuesdayNow. #GivingTuesday, traditionally the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, comes early this year as non-profits are reeling from the economic impact of COVID-19. Focusing the museum’s crowd-sourced fundraising efforts around an event like #GivingTuesdayNow will elevate the message to people interested in making donations to community organizations. Each gift made as a part of this campaign will be matched up to $15,000 by the museum’s Board of Trustees. In addition, to give back to another organization at the frontlines of the pandemic, the museum will donate 5.18% of the proceeds to Community Caregivers, a non-profit providing critical services to isolated seniors and disabled populations in the Capital Region.
Exhibition Highlights Women in Capital Region Through Newly Acquired Objects to Museum Collection
ALBANY, NEW YORK—Every year, the Albany Institute of History & Art acquires hundreds of objects that relate to the arts, culture, and history of New York’s upper Hudson Valley and Capital Region. To commemorate the one hundredth anniversary of women’s suffrage in America in 2020, the museum is showcasing Telling Her Story: New Acquisitions presented by Bank of America, an exhibition of objects collected over the past four years that highlight women’s lives. The exhibition is open through June 7, 2020.
Hamilton Descendant Lends Objects to Schuyler Sister Exhibition at Albany Institute
ALBANY, NEW YORK— Douglas Hamilton, the fifth great-grandson of Alexander Hamilton and Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, was in Albany this week dropping off objects to be shown in The Schuyler Sisters & Their Circle exhibition at the Albany Institute of History & Art.
The objects, recently on view at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia as part of their “Year of Hamilton” display, include a Society of the Cincinnati Eagle insignia owned by Alexander Hamilton and a gold mourning ring belonging to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton. Two additional items belonging to Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton, a handkerchief embroidered with her name and a baby dress she is said to have made, will also be on view. They recently underwent conservation and this is only their second time on public display.
'An Orphan No More': Recently Discovered Oil Sketch by Anthony Van Dyck on Display in Albany, New York
ALBANY, NEW YORK —The Albany Institute of History & Art in Albany, New York will host a limited viewing of a recently discovered oil sketch by Anthony van Dyck (1599-1641). The sketch, owned by Hudson Valley collector Albert B. Roberts, is sure to make waves in the international art world. The sketch will be on view to the public in the museum’s Christine & George R. Hearst III Gallery from Wednesday, September 18, 2019—Sunday, October 6, 2019. The special viewing will be included with museum admission.
“It is rare, indeed, for a work by a major master to come to light. The oil sketch that Mr. Roberts discovered by Anthony Van Dyck is an impressive and important find that helps us understand more about the artist’s method as a young man,” says Rev. Dr. Susan J. Barnes, Van Dyck scholar and co-author of Van Dyck: A Complete Catalogue of the Paintings.
Albany Institute Partnering with Mark Lawson Antiques to Host Jewelry Appraisal Event
ALBANY, NEW YORK– The Albany Institute of History & Art will host a special Jewelry Appraisal Day in partnership with Mark Lawson Antiques on Saturday, March 30, 2019 from 10:30am to 2pm.
Albany Institute of History & Art to Participate in Museum Day
ALBANY, NEW YORK– Museum Day in an annual nationwide event hosted by Smithsonian Magazine in which participating museums across the country open their doors for free to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day downloaded ticket provides free admission for two people on Saturday, September 22, 2018. The Albany Institute of History & Art is one of the participating museums in this year’s event.
Albany Institute to Host Author Julie van den Hout for Colonial Dutch Lecture
ALBANY, NEW YORK– The Albany Institute of History & Art will host author Julie van den Hout on Sunday, September 23 at 2pm for a lecture on her book Adriaen van der Donck, A Dutch Rebel in Seventeenth-Century America. This lecture is co-sponsored by the New Netherland Institute and is included with museum admission.
Lecture to Explore Hudson River School Artist Thomas Cole Through His Paper Collections
ALBANY, NEW YORK– The Albany Institute of History & Art’s Chief Curator Doug McCombs will give a special lecture on Sunday, September 16 at 2PM that will focus on the museum’s remarkable collection of Thomas Cole paper materials. The lecture will draw from the current exhibition Thomas Cole’s Paper Trail, which is open through November 25, 2018. The lecture is included with museum admission. Space is limited for this lecture and seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees will receive wristbands at the admission desk on the day of the lecture.
Family Story Time at the Albany Institute of History & Art
ALBANY, NEW YORK– This fall, the Albany Institute of History & Art is partnering with the Albany Public Library to present special story time at the museum on select Saturday mornings. Inspired by the museum’s current exhibitions A Menagerie of Whimsey: The Art of William B. Schade and Birds & Beasts: The Scary, Magical, and Adorable Animals of the Albany Institute, the story time program will feature stories about animals.
Albany Public Library staff will host these story times at the museum on select Saturdays from 10:30am-11am. There will be tales of birds and beasts for children 0 to 5 and their families. Attendees will enjoy tales of caterpillars, unicorns, polar bears. There will also be a sing-along to songs and rhymes.
The event is free, but registration is requested. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 518-463-4478 ext. 404 for registration.
Albany Institute of History & Art Extends Thomas Cole Exhibition
ALBANY, NEW YORK — In 1818, the youthful Thomas Cole emigrated from his native England to begin a new life in the United States. After several years struggling as an engraver and designer for his parents’ short-lived floor cloth and wallpaper manufactories, he finally embarked on a career as painter of landscapes and settled in the thriving port city of New York. There he found patrons and a welcoming audience for his works that were exhibited at the National Academy of Design and other venues. Now, during the bicentennial year of Cole’s arrival in the United States, this naturalized American artist is being publicly recognized once again at museums and historic sites on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Albany Institute is participating in this international celebration by presenting the exhibition, Thomas Cole’s Paper Trail, which looks at this renowned landscape artist mainly through the paper materials he left behind. The exhibition, which opened on June 16, was originally scheduled to close on October 28, 2018. The Albany Institute, however, has decided to extend the run of the show for an additional month.
Tim Youd: Retyping Ironweed by William Kennedy
ALBANY, NEW YORK — Tim Youd: Retyping Ironweed by William Kennedy, a special performance by Los Angeles-based artist Tim Youd, will run Sunday, July 15 and Tuesday, July 17 through Saturday, July 21 at the Albany Institute of History & Art. The performance is part of the artist’s ongoing project 100 Novels in which he retypes novels from beginning to end in locations that are charged with literary significance in the author’s biography.
Albany Institute to Host Clark Art Institute Director for Free Lecture
ALBANY, NEW YORK — On Thursday, July 26 at 6pm, Hardymon Director of the Clark Art Institute Olivier Meslay will be at the Albany Institute of History & Art to discuss the Clark Art Institute’s summer 2018 exhibitions. This free lecture is open to the public. Space is limited. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Albany Institute of History & Art Honors Phoebe Powell Bender at 2018 Museum Gala
ALBANY, NEW YORK — On Saturday, June 16, 2018, over 275 guests celebrated Phoebe Powell Bender at the Albany Institute’s 2018 Museum Gala. This year’s gala was At the Museum, For the Museum, and for the first time in many years, guests enjoyed cocktails on the lawn, dinner and pop-up exhibitions in the galleries, and dessert and entertainment under the stars.
Albany Institute of History & Art to Host Regional Craft Beer Event
ALBANY, NEW YORK — On Saturday, May 19, 2018 from 4PM—7PM, the Albany Institute of History & Art will host the seventh annual Hudson Valley Hops, a regional craft beer tasting. Located in downtown Albany, it’s an opportunity for the community to sample the flavors of Capital Region craft brewers, see brewing and distilling artifacts from the Albany Institute’s collection, meet industry experts, and receive a commemorative glass. This year, the fundraiser will feature a session beer invitational contest and more.
Rethinking the Hudson River School
ALBANY, NEW YORK — On Sunday, April 29 at 2pm, Timothy Barringer will be at the Albany Institute of History & Art to present a special lecture called “American Landscape Painting and ‘the Newly Invented Stigma’: Rethinking the Hudson River School”. Dr. Barringer is a Paul Mellon Professor of the History of Art at Yale University. He is contributing an essay to the Albany Institute of History & Art’s upcoming book on its American landscape painting collection (to be published in 2018). The lecture is open to the public and included with museum admission. Space is limited. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Attendees will receive a wristband at the admission desk the day of the lecture.
Traveling Exhibition of Nineteenth-Century Wood-Block Prints Now Open at Albany Institute of History & Art
ALBANY, NY — On March 14, 2018, the Albany Institute of History & Art opened Along the Eastern Road: Hiroshige’s Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokaido, a traveling exhibition organized by the Reading Public Museum, Reading, Pennsylvania. The exhibition, which features over fifty historic wood-block prints, runs through June 10, 2018.
Albany Institute of History & Art Will Extend Popular Victorian Fashion Exhibition
ALBANY, NY —Victorian fashion frenzy has hit the Capital Region and at the epicenter is the Albany Institute of History & Art’s exhibition Well-Dressed in Victorian Albany: 19th Century Fashion from the Albany Institute Collection. The exhibition, which features over forty dresses from the museum’s collection of Victorian period costumes, opened in October 2017 and has welcomed thousands of visitors eager to see the rarely displayed dresses.
“I am excited to announce that we will be extending Well-Dressed in Victorian Albany,” says Albany Institute’s executive director Tammis Groft. “The exhibition will run through May 20, 2018. We hope that these additional months will allow more people to see this incredible collection while it is on display.”
Albany Institute of History & Art Welcomes New Board Chairperson F. Michael Tucker
ALBANY, NY— January 2018 marks a moment of new leadership at the Albany Institute of History & Art. Board Trustee F. Michael Tucker, elected by the board in November 2017, became the President of the Board of Trustees at the Albany Institute on January 1, 2018. He first joined the Board in 1997. He has served as the museum’s Treasurer and on several committees and is enthusiastic about his new role. He succeeds long-serving chairperson George R. Hearst, III.
Albany Museum to Host Festive, Fun, and Free Thanksgiving Weekend
ALBANY, NY— The Albany Institute of History & Art will be decorated and ready to welcome locals and out-of-area guests to the museum for “Home for the Holidays” this Thanksgiving weekend. The popular free admission weekend is one of the kick-off holiday events in the Capital Region. Once again, it will be packed with festive decorations and fun activities that will appeal to the entire family. Major sponsors for the weekend include Omni Development Corporation, Inc. and M&T Bank.
Albany Institute to Offer Free Admission on November 10 in Observance of Veterans Day
ALBANY, NY— The Albany Institute of History & Art will offer free admission to the galleries on Friday, November 10, 2017 from 10AM–5PM. This free admission day is sponsored by M&T Bank.
Albany Institute to Offer Free Admission on Columbus Day
ALBANY, NY— The Albany Institute of History & Art will offer free admission to the galleries on Monday, October 9, 2017 from 10AM–5PM. This free admission day is sponsored by M&T Bank.
Curator from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Explore Thomas Cole's Transatlantic Career
ALBANY, NY— On Sunday, October 1 at 2pm, Elizabeth Kornhauser will give a special lecture on Thomas Cole’s Transatlantic Career at the Albany Institute of History & Art. Kornhauser is the Alice Pratt Brown Curator of American Paintings and Sculpture at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. This talk will focus on how the Met’s upcoming exhibition Thomas Cole’s Journey: Atlantic Crossings will establish Thomas Cole as a major artist of the nineteenth century within a global context. This lecture is open to the public and included with museum admission. It is supported in part by a grant from the Lamplighter Foundation.
Albany Institute of History & Art Welcomes New Director of Education
ALBANY, NY—The Albany Institute of History & Art has a new Director of Education: Maria Vann.
Maria Vann was the former Director/Chief Curator of the Maritime Museum at Battleship Cove. Vann has worked for institutions including the Iroquois Indian Museum, New York State Historical Association, Fenimore Art Museum, and as an adjunct history professor at SUNY College at Oneonta.
The Albany Institute’s Executive Director Tammis Groft was happy to make the appointment: “Maria brings a wealth of experience to the museum, including ‘best practices’ in museum education, knowledge of New York State history, and strong interests in American art.”
“I am thrilled to begin work at the Albany Institute of History & Art because of its rich legacy and service to diverse audiences that fosters real connections for visitors to and from the Capital Region,” says Vann. “As a museum educator, I am committed to providing an environment where each visitor can make new and sometimes reflective personal connections and I am excited to support this museum as a community focused site for deep learning and fun.”
2017 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk Hudson Region Award Winners Announced
ALBANY, NY— The 2017 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region is now open at the Albany Institute of History & Art in Albany, New York. It showcases 87 works by 32 artists who live within a 100-mile radius of Albany or Glens Falls, as well as a selection of previous Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase Prize winners to give visitors a sense of the annual exhibition’s legacy. This spring, 268 artists working within a 100-mile radius of the Capital District and Glens Falls submitted over 600 new works for consideration in the exhibition and the finalists were selected by this year’s juror, Jack Shear. Shear, a photographer, curator, and the President of the Ellsworth Kelly Foundation brings a long standing commitment to contemporary artists and a strong appreciation of history to this year’s exhibition. His selection of artists reflects his personal vision of a vibrant and thriving art community in this region and he has created opportunities to see in-depth views of each artist’s vision and process. The galleries reflect themes such as nature, photography, sculpture, and abstract figuration.
Curator from the National Gallery of Art to Speak on 19th Century Landscape Photography
ALBANY, NY—On Sunday, April 30 at 2pm, Diane Waggoner will give a special lecture on 19th century landscape photography at the Albany Institute of History & Art. Waggoner is Curator of 19th-Century Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. This talk highlights one of the types of photography currently on view in the exhibition Captured Moments: 170 Years of Photography from the Albany Institute. This lecture is open to the public and included with museum admission.