Public Programs

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

GALLERY TALK: The Schuyler Sisters and their Circle

General: Wednesday, August 14 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, August 15 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Friday, August 16 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Saturday, August 17 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Sunday, August 18 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Wednesday, August 21 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, August 22 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Friday, August 23 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Saturday, August 24 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Sunday, August 25 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, August 29 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, September 5 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, September 12 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, September 19 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, September 26 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, October 3 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, October 10 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, October 17 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, October 24 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, October 31 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, November 7 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, November 14 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, November 21 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, December 5 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, December 12 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, December 19 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm General: Thursday, December 26 • 1:00pm - 2:00pm

Led by Museum Educators or Volunteer Docents

Join us for a tour of this exhibition about the Schuyler Sisters featured in the hit Broadway show, Hamilton: An American Musical.

  • Included with museum admission

LECTURE Hamilton: How the Musical Remixes American History

16+: Sunday, September 29 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Dr. Richard Bell, Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland

Albany has Hamilton-mania! Everyone’s talking about the Tony-winning musical and many of us have the triple-platinum cast album playing on repeat. Its crafty lyrics, hip-hop tunes, and big, bold story have even rejuvenated interest in the real lives and true histories that Hamilton: the Musical puts center stage. In this talk Dr. Bell explores this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show-business. We’ll learn what this amazing musical gets right and gets wrong about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United Sates and about why all that matters. We will examine some of the choices Hamilton’s creators made to simplify, dramatize, and humanize the complicated events and stories on which the show is based. We will also talk about Hamilton’s cultural impact: what does its runaway success reveal about the stories we tell each other about who we are and about the nation we made?    

Dr. Richard Bell is Associate Professor of History at the University of Maryland. He holds a BA from the University of Cambridge and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. Rick has won more than a dozen teaching awards, including the 2017 University System of Maryland Board of Regents Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching, the highest honor for teaching faculty in the Maryland state system. Rick has held major research fellowships at Yale, Cambridge, and the Library of Congress and is the recipient of the National Endowment of the Humanities Public Scholar award. He serves as a Trustee of the Maryland Historical Society, as an elected member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and as a fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Rick is the author of two books, one about the history of suicide in America, the other, which is due out in October 2019 is about kidnapping and slavery in the early United States. It’s title is Stolen: Five Free Boys Kidnapped Into Slavery and Their  Astonishing Odyssey Home.

  • Albany Institute Members- Free
  • Siena Students and Faculty- Free (use Member Rate at checkout)
  • General Public- $10.00

Seating is limited and registration is required. 

This lecture is being held in Roger Bacon Hall (Key Auditorium) at Siena College

Sponsored by Siena College's McCormick Center for the Study of the American Revolution

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Museum After Dark (MAD) Tour: Bros and Foes

General: Friday, October 4 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm

In this special tour we will explore the friendships and rivalries of America’s Founding Fathers. Come hear the stories about the country’s earliest political alliances, national scandals, and famous duels.

MAD tours are exclusive themed programs that are both engaging and entertaining. The tour will include activities, little known stories about our collections, and mind-blowing facts!

  • Registration is required, space is limited. $10 members, $12 non-members. Register online.


PUBLIC PROGRAM Schuyler Social: Afternoon Tea

General: Saturday, October 5 • 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Lavada Nahon, Culinary Historian and Independent Scholar

A fashionable time in the late afternoon, tea allowed social graces and status a place to shine.

For members of the upper class, like the Schuyler sisters, the possibilities of how this time was spent spans from family time to a grand occasion with music, dancing, cards, and more. In any case, the tastes, equipage, and of course the tea, would be the best colonial society had to offer.

Lavada Nahon will present on the colonial tradition of the afternoon gathering called “Tea” with visual examples from the mid-Atlantic region. Participants will enjoy a tasting of period delights, created from the receipt collection of the Van Rensselaer family including, cookies, tarts, cakes, and tea.

  • $15 members, $20 non-members

Space is limited to 60 people. Registration is required.


LECTURE: The Power of Objects in 18th Century British America

General: Sunday, October 6 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Guest speaker is Dr. Jennifer Van Horn, Assistant Professor of Art History and History, University of Delaware

Over the course of the eighteenth century, Anglo-Americans purchased an unprecedented number and array of goods. In this talk Dr. Van Horn willinvestigate these diverse artifacts—from portraits and city views to gravestones, dressing furniture, and prosthetic devices—to explore how elite American consumers assembled objects to form a new civil society on the margins of the British Empire.

  • Included with museum admission

Sketch Club

Adult: Sunday, September 8 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Adult: Sunday, October 6 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Adult: Sunday, November 10 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Adult: Sunday, December 15 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Carol Coogan, Artist

Enjoy the tradition of sketching from original works of art in the museum’s collection and special exhibitions. During the program, Carol will offer participants personal guidance as well as insights on drawing techniques and observational skills.

Participants will be provided with a small student grade sketchbook or are welcome to bring a sketchbook of their own. Basic drawing materials are provided and all skill levels are welcome. Artists bringing their own supplies should note that only pencils are allowed in the museum galleries.

Registration is required are spaces are limited.

  • $15 members, $20 non-members


About the teaching artist: Carol Coogan is an artist, illustrator, designer, and sketchbook enthusiast. She created the Times Union’s “Backyard Naturalist" newspaper feature which she wrote and illustrated for 10 years. She is the weekly op-ed artist for The Altamont Enterprise and a freelance illustrator for Crane & Co stationery.


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December 15
Registration Notes:
  • Ignore the Emergency Contact fields of registration and proceed by pressing continue.
  • If using a mobile device to register please change viewing settings to full desktop view to allow a purchase to be completed.
  • Registration cost includes museum admission.

Online registration for Sketch Club will end at 5:00 on the Friday prior to the program for administrative purposes. Walk-in registration will be available on a first come first serve basis on the day of the program.

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CURATOR TOUR The Schuyler Sisters & Their Circle

Monday, September 16 • 10:00am - 11:15am Monday, October 7 • 10:00am - 11:15am Tuesday, October 8 • 10:00am - 11:15am

Diane Shewchuk, Curator

From the complex family trees and recently "discovered" Schuyler connections in the Albany Institute's collection to the stories of bringing loans in from other museums, join us for this curator tour of The Schuyler Sisters & Their Circle exhibition.

$25 per person

Space is limited and registration is required. Call (518) 463-4478 ext. 465 to register.



Monday, September 16 | SOLD OUT
Monday, October 7 
Tuesday, October 8 


Lego Building Challenge 2019

All Ages: Sunday, October 13 • 1:00pm - 3:00pm All Ages: Monday, October 14 • 11:00am - 1:00pm All Ages: Monday, October 14 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm

Lego® Building Challenge Columbus Day Weekend 2019 Theme: Sailboats

October 13-14

Building Session Dates and Times:

10/13 Sunday Afternoon Challenge Session 1:00-3:00 PM

10/14 Monday Morning Challenge Session 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

10/14 Monday Afternoon Challenge Session 2:00-4:00 PM

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

Online Registration is not available on the date of the event.  Walk in registration may be available; please call during business hours.

Team registration: each team may include one to four people.

Time: 1 ½ hours for construction, ½ hour for judging and awards

Size Limit: 10” x 10” base

Bring friends, family, and colleagues to work together to create beautiful LEGO® structures. This year’s theme is sailboats. We can find sailboat images in four of the museum exhibitions right now.  Take inspiration from the images on view or come up with your own unique ideas.  Let your imagination run wild, share your vision, and win 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 contact Sarah Clowe at 518-463-4478- ext 435 or e-mail to

If using a mobile device to register please switch your viewing options to full desktop view in order to complete the registration.

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

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

Free Admission Day

Monday, October 14 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

Enjoy free admission to the galleries, courtesy of M&T Bank!


ADULT ART WORKSHOP Drawing Interior Perspective with Kevin Kuhne

Adult: Saturday, October 19 • 1:00pm - 4:00pm

Drawing Interior Perspective with Kevin Kuhne
Saturday, October 19, 1–4:00PM

$30 members, $35 non-members

Take inspiration from the Victorian interior scenes on view by Walter Launt Palmer and learn to develop a sense of perspective in this hands on drawing class.  Artist Kevin Kuhne will guide participants to make observations from life, and add perspective, proportion, and shading to their artwork.  Drawing materials will be provided.
• Registration is required. $30 members, $35 non-members. Click to register at

Questions about the program?  Email or call 518-463-4478

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