Public Programs

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

Free Admission Opportunity: Museum Day 2020

Saturday, April 4 • 10:00am - 5:00pm

Museum Day is 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. Visit

As Odious and Immoral a Thing: Alexander Hamilton’s True History with Slavery

General: Sunday, April 19 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Update March 24, 2020: This event has been postponed. We will provide updates when it is rescheduled.

Generations of biographers have cast Hamilton as the “Abolitionist Founding Father,” but under closer examination, evidence to the contrary is revealed. Schuyler Mansion State Historic Site historical interpreter Jessie Serfilippi will present her research on slavery within Hamilton’s professional and personal life, including an in-depth look at Hamilton’s history as an enslaver and the individuals he enslaved.  

  • Included with Museum Admission

Image: Alexander Hamilton (1757 -1804), Robert Ball Hughes (1806-1868), Painted plaster, 1835, Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase, 1945.18

ONLINE ADULT ART WORKSHOP Paint & Learn: Twilight Landscape

Adult: Thursday, April 23 • 5:30pm - 7:30pm

Now Online via Zoom!

Join us for a guided painting experience while we take inspiration from the painting, Twilight sunset landscape by Frederic Church currently on view in The Hudson River School: Landscape Paintings from the Albany Institute Artist exhibition. Artist Noreen Powell will lead participants through the process of creating a sunset landscape. All materials are included with the registration fee. Registration is required. Arrangements will be made for material pick up.


New to Zoom?  Here are some resources to get started:

Download Zoom: Zoom

Watch a video tutorial: Zoom Tutorial

Meeting ID: The class meeting ID will be emailed prior to the start time

With Zoom we are able to see one another work on our paintings, and interact through talking, video of both the instructor and peers and a clear view of instruction such as color mixing.

For further questions about this program you may email

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LECTURE Robert H. Pruyn: An Albany Yankee in the Tycoon's Court

General: Sunday, April 26 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Update March 24, 2020: This event has been postponed. We will provide updates when it is rescheduled.

Sunday, April 26, 2020 | 2PM

Susanna Fessler, Professor of East Asian Studies, University at Albany

Robert H. Pruyn (1815-1882), a "good Dutchman" of Albany, served as the second American foreign minister to Japan, 1861-1865. This was a time of Civil War in the United States, and a time of great civil unrest in Japan. Pruyn prided himself both on his diplomacy and his appreciation of Japanese culture. This talk will focus on some of the lesser-known details of his experience, as revealed in his many personal letters home, held in the archives of the Albany Institute of History & Art.

  • Included with admission

Sketch Club

Adult: Sunday, February 9 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Adult: Sunday, March 8 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Adult: Sunday, April 5 • 2:00pm - 4:00pm Adult: Sunday, May 3 • 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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