Items tagged with 'Albany Institute'

Covered in history

albany institute quilt composite

The objects of history can take many forms: artifacts, paintings, sculptures, devices, even blankets.

Yep, blankets.

The Albany Institute opens a new exhibit these weekend that highlights the museum's collection of textiles -- specifically quilts, coverlets, and bed hangings -- from the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries. And while that might sounds a bit... sedate? ... we were struck during an early peek at the exhibit this week how much the quilts served as a media to communicate ideas, desires, and identity. They were like the Pinterest boards of the 1700s.

Here are a handful of photos from the exhibit, along with a quick Q&A with the institute's chief curator about quilts as social media, the evolution of the bedroom, and why textiles need their rest.

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The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy at the Albany Institute

Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy coverThis could bizarre and fun: The author of The Great Abraham Lincoln Pocket Watch Conspiracy will be at the Albany Institute for a talk October 5.

What is this conspiracy, you ask. Let us turn our attention to the blurbage:

Join Albany historian and writer Giacomo Calabria (pen name, Jacopo della Quercia) for a lively talk about his recently published historical novel that is part sci-fi, part action adventure, and part comedy embedded in a narrative based on meticulous research. The result is an outlandish secret history that aligns perfectly with national as well as the city of Albany historical record.
Calabria is an educator and history writer whose work has been featured on the comedy website Cracked.com, BBC America, CNN Money, and the Huffington Post.

Here's an A.V. Club review of the book. And article in Slate from earlier this year by Calabria: "Abraham Lincoln's Steampunk Presidency."

The talk at the Albany Institute is at 2 pm on Sunday, October 5. It's free with museum admission.

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

The history of Albany as seen through beer-colored lenses

upper hudson valley beer cover and craig gravina

Upper Hudson Valley Beer and co-author Craig Gravina

There are many ways to look at the long history of Albany and the surrounding region: politically, economically, architecturally, and so on. Craig Gravina and Alan McLeod have chosen to do so through beer-colored lenses.

The two beer scholars -- you might remember them from the Albany Ale Project -- have teamed up to write Upper Hudson Valley Beer, a book about the rich history of brewing in this region and its resurgence over the last few decades. There's a launch party for the book -- with a beer tasting -- at the Albany Institute on September 11.

We bounced a few questions to Gravina this week about the role of beer in Albany's history, the state of the region's beer scene today, and where it might be headed.

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Hudson Valley Hops 2014

albany institute beverwyck beer tray

A tray from the old Beverwyck Brewery in Albany. It once stood on Ferry Street, not far from where the Central Warehouse stands today.

Could be fun/interesting: The Hudson Valley Hops event returns to the Albany Institute April 12. Blurbage:

This event is a celebration of the strong history of brewing in Albany and today's craft beer industry. Guests can sample the finest local craft beers, hear talks by beer historians and brewery experts, enjoy tasty food, and take home a commemorative glass. There will also be a special exhibition with artifacts that tell the history of brewing in Albany and the capital region. Historic photographs, advertisements, and packaging from local brewers will be on view for this event. ...
Participating breweries include: Adirondack Brewery, Brewery Ommegang, Brown's Brewing Co., Chatham Brewing, C.H. Evans Brewing, Druthers, and Olde Saratoga Brewing Co.
Guest speakers include: Craig Gravina and Alan McLeod from the Albany Ale Project; Dietrich Gehring from Indian Ladder Farms; Roger Savoy from Homebrew Emporium; and Sam Filler from the Craft Beer Initiative at Empire State Development.

Albany has a long, interesting brewing history. So there's definitely a lot hear about. And, you know, there will also be beer.

The event is from 4-7 pm at the museum on April 12. Tickets are $30 each.

Earlier on AOA: Resurrecting a beer, and part of Albany's history

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

image: "Beverwyck Brewing Company Serving Tray" from the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art

The Albany Institute, Googled

google art project albany institute screengrab

A screengrab from the Albany Institute's collection on Google Art Project.

Check it out: The Albany Institute of History and Art has been added to Google's Art Project, an online gallery of works from museums around the world.

The Google project, started in 2011, now includes 53 works from the institute, ranging from old images of Albany to the Hudson River School paintings to photos of objects. The interface for browsing the images is nice -- and the works are available is very high resolution. An example: check out this panorama of the Albany waterfront from around the beginning of the 20th century. You can zoom in to see details very clearly.

Google Art Project currently has collections from 314 museums posted online. Of that group, 92 museums are also available in "museum view" -- it's like StreetView, but inside the museum. Example: The Art Institute of Chicago.

The Albany Institute will eventually be joining that group -- the Google camera was there today.

It's good to know that when Google's army of robots eventually over the world, the art might be saved.

Earlier on AOA: Virtually browsing the Albany Institute's collections

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

screengrab from Google Art Project

Looking up State Street, almost a century ago

state street albany 1917 via Albany Institute cropped

An old view that was once new.

The Albany Institute shared this photo on Twitter this week -- it's a look up State Street in Albany in 1917, from the Delaware & Hudson Railroad Building. (The institute has a bunch of photos from its collection online.)

We always love to gawk at old photos and this one's no different. Three things about it:

+ Construction of the D&H building (now the SUNY central administration building) spanned from 1914 to 1915. So, in some sense, this view had only existed for about two years when the photo was taken. Because before that, there wasn't a tower from which to take the photo.

+ Look down toward the bottom of the photo, on the left side, near where State Street meets Broadway. See that awning and the restaurant sign? That appears to be right where the awning for Jack's is today. Jack's didn't move to that spot until 1937, but it looks like there was a restaurant there even at the time of this photo.

+ The streetcar tracks are visible on the roads in the photo, and there's a horse-drawn cart on Broadway. But also look closely along the sides of State Street -- yep, cars. (The Model T was about a decade old at this point.) And they're parking along State Street much in the same way they still are almost a century later.

There's a large-format, uncropped version of the photo after the jump.

(there's more)

A look at the new mummy exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art

mummy coffin lids

You live your life as a priest or sculptor. You die. You're preserved, sent off into the afterlife. And there you rest for 3,000 or 2,300 years. Then a decidedly unrestful period. Your effects are split up. You're partially unwrapped to make sure you're not "squishy." You're sold for maybe $100. A steamboat ride to the other side of the planet. Fanfare. Hubbub. Outright mania. Gender confusion. Gawkers. So many school children. An x-ray. Another x-ray. Is that the beginning of understanding? Finally?

To put it another way: the afterlife is complicated.

It's one of themes that emerges from the Albany Institute of History and Art's new exhibit, "The Mystery of the Albany Mummies," which opens this Saturday.

Here's a quick look from a preview Thursday.

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Virtually browsing the Albany Institute's collections

albany institute beverwyck beer tray

"Beverwyck Brewing Company Serving Tray" from the collection of the Albany Institute of History and Art.

The Albany Institute of History and Art has been quietly building an online database of its collections. And this week it publicly announced the catalog is there for the browsing.

The online collections database ranges from paintings to historical objects to posters to maps.

Here are a handful of items that caught our eye while browsing...

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Currier and Ives exhibit at Albany Institute

Currier and Ives lexington

"Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington," a lithograph printed by Nathaniel Currier. The Lexington was a luxury steam ship that caught fire and sunk in 1840.

Opening this Saturday (February 9) at the Albany Institute of History and Art: The Legacy of Currier & Ives, an exhibit that includes 64 prints from the famous 19th century printing and publishing firm. Blurbage:

The exhibition, organized around five themes of Identity, Progress, Home, Success, and Artist, introduces the visitor to the firm of Currier & Ives and illustrates, through interpretive and educational materials, how their imagery became ingrained in the national consciousness. During the seventy-two years that Currier & Ives operated (1834-1907) the firm produced more than 8,000 lithographs. Their colorful prints, which hung in homes and public buildings across America, gave testimony to the events and ideas that shaped national history, its progress, and art. Currier and Ives worked with several prominent artists like Eastman Johnson, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait, and George Henry Durrie, whose designs are represented in the exhibition along with others.

The story behind the firm Currier and Ives is interesting -- it specialized in identifying images that would be popular and then producing them inexpensively. We bet Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives would have been all over the web if they were operating today (CurrierIvesFeed?).

The Albany Institute exhibit runs through June 15. It could make a pretty good double bill with the also-currently-open Making of the Hudson River School exhibit.

The Albany Institute advertises on AOA.

image: "Awful Conflagration of the Steam Boat Lexington," from the Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts, Springfield, Massachusetts

LEGO Challenge at Albany Institute 2012

LEGO Empire State PlazaThe Albany Institute's LEGO Challenge is back this weekend. Blurbage:

Bring friends, family, and colleagues to work together to create beautiful Lego® structures. This year's theme is "On the River." Whether you're creating a boat, a bridge, a house with a water view, or even an underwater creature, let your imagination run wild! Basic Building blocks will be supplied, however, contestants may bring their own.

Last year's event was a lot of fun, and included some really good designs.

The building sessions are Saturday, Sunday, and Monday (Columbus Day). Registration is $20 per team -- teams can include up to four people, of any age. Space is limited, so the institute recommends pre-registeration.

And, of course, if you don't want to compete, you can just go to check out the designs as part of a visit to the museum.

American Impressionism at the Albany Institute

in vorhees garden by matilda browne

"In Voorhees’s Garden" by Matilda Browne.

A new exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art -- American Impressions: Paintings from the Florence Griswold Museum -- is now open, and there's a reception today (Thursday) from 5-8 pm. From the blurbage:

It is both history and art. The genre is from the turn of the century, complete with all the Yankee charm of New England. And the art is genuinely American, derived from the classic impressionists of Europe and enhanced with authentic Yankee heritage. You might notice the artists' deft use of shadows to accent shapes and dimension, or you might be in awe of the gifted brush techniques, or you might be amazed at the striking use of color -- but nobody has to know any of that to just plain love these beautiful stories told in images.

The exhibit includes 50 paintings from American Impressionists.

The works are on loan from the Florence Griswold Museum in Olde Lyme, Connecticut -- the town was the site of one of art colonies in which American Impressionism simmered around the turn of the 20th century. The Albany Institute and the Griswold Museum have worked out a trade of sorts -- the institute sent the Griswold an exhibit of Hudson Valley art earlier this year, and the Impressionists exhibit is the Grisdwold's side of the trade. It will be on display until January 6.

William Kennedy: The author will be at the Albany Institute Sunday talking about how "how Albany has changed during his lifetime, including downtown, Capitol Hill, Center Square, the advent of the South Mall, the eradication of the Gut, the changes wrought after the decline of the Dan O'Connell / Erastus Corning machine, the leadership of Mayors Tom Whelan and Jerry Jennings, and the role of Nelson Rockefeller in these changes." The talk is at 2 pm. It's $10 / $8 students.

LEGO challenge at Albany Institute

trinity church albany lego bill leueThis looks fun: the Albany Institute for History and Art is holding an Albany architecture LEGO challenge November 25-27. From the blurbage:

Take part in the LEGO® Building Challenge and create your own take on Albany's Architecture. The challenge is open to individuals, partners, and teams of all ages (up to four people per team). So grab your family, colleagues, and friends and get building! Basic LEGO®s will be provided, or you can bring your own. Challenge participation is free, but spaces are limited so reservations are recommended. Contact Barbara Collins, Education Coordinator, at collinsb@albanyinstitute.org.

The challenge is limited to 15 teams, and registration is still open. Bonus: AOA Mary will be one of the judges.

The LEGO challenge is part of the museum's annual free gift fair and family festival. Also on the slate: ace local LEGO builder Bill Leue will be working on his re-creation of the historic -- and now demolished -- Trinity Church.

Earlier on AOA:
+ "Kid Stuff" at Albany Institute
+ Trinity Church, reconstructed

photo: Bill Leue

"Kid Stuff" at Albany Institute

mr potatohead real potatoThis could be fun: an exhibit called "Kid Stuff" is opening this weekend at the Albany Institute of History and Art. From the blurbage (link added):

Kid Stuff, an interactive exhibition based on the book by David Hoffman, takes us back to the age of tailfins and vinyl records with more than 40 vintage toys, which reveal a fascinating look at invention and innovation, social history and industrial growth, play and entertainment. Visitors of all ages will be able to see vintage toys with original packaging and promotional material and have the opportunity to play and interact with contemporary versions.

Among the lineup of toys in the exhibit: Mr. Potato Head, Slinky, the Magic Eight Ball, Etch-a-Sketch, Matchbox cars, PEZ, and LEGO.

Speaking of which: the museum is looking for LEGO donations -- it's planning a LEGO building competition for kids.

"Kid Stuff" opens Saturday and runs through March 2012.

photo via Albany Institute

Get the Message at Albany Institute

Graphic Design Exhibit Composite

A few of the images from Graphic Design: Get the Message.

By Liz Clancy Lerner

The Graphic Design: Get the Message exhibit at the Albany Institute of History and Art is definitely worth a visit for design nerds, it will also be interesting to anyone who's a critical consumer of media -- or just curious about the images we see every day.

Stay a little while and you'll see it's also about world history, innovation, how far we've come as a country, and how we absorb information...

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The Scoop

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