Public Programs

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

LECTURE 19th Century Landscape Photography

Sunday, April 30 • 2:00pm - 3:00pm

Diane Waggoner, Curator of 19th-Century Photographs at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

When photography arrived in the United States in 1839, it first established itself in major cities in the East. Yet, with the exception of practitioners working during the Civil War, many eastern landscape photographers have gained limited recognition in comparison to photographers who ventured west and documented the settling of the frontier.

Photographs of the East, however, are not only visually arresting but also have a story to tell about national preoccupations. Created for multiple purposes, these images express a diverse set of aesthetic, moral, topographic, and instrumental concerns. They helped shape evolving mythologies of the American wilderness, revealed the impact of the Civil War on the physical landscape, and played an important role in both industrialization and environmental preservation.

This talk, based on the exhibition East of the Mississippi: Nineteenth-Century American Landscape Photography, on view at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, March 12-July 16, 2017, will offer an overview of this vivid chapter of America’s photographic history.


Free with museum admission


IMAGE: Von’ Storch Breaker, Thomas H. Johnson, Scranton, Pennsylvania, c. 1863–1865, Albumen photographic print on letterpress mount, Gift of the estate of J. Tabor Loree, Delaware and Hudson Railroad Collection, JD 82-09

A Presentation on The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace

Thursday, May 4 • 6:00pm - 7:00pm

In anticipation of the performance on May 6th of the stirring composition, The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace, Albany Pro Musica’s Artistic Director and University at Albany Conductor in Residence Maestro José Daniel Flores-Caraballo, joined by singers of Albany Pro Musica, will discuss and demonstrate what makes this such a uniquely appealing masterwork.

Since its premiere in 2000, Sir Karl Jenkins’ compelling composition has been performed over 1,500 times. Written for chorus, orchestra, soloist and muezzin, this poignant work was dedicated to the victims of the Kosovo conflict which was unfolding as it was being composed; its dramatic cry for peace remains relevant to our nation and the world.

Free admission

This program is part of a month-long Capital Region-wide series of programs, organized by Albany Pro Musica around the theme of Reconciliation and Peace, that culminates in the chorus’ performance of Karl  Jenkins’ “The Armed Man: A Mass for Peace” on May 6, 2017, 7:30pm at EMPAC. For detailed information on these programs as well as ticket information for the concert, see their website.

PUBLIC PROGRAM Bird Watching in Washington Park

Sunday, May 7 • 8:00am - 9:00am

Tristan Lowery and John Pipkin, Washington Park Conservancy

Bird watchers and nature fans of all kinds can try their hand at spotting the many species of birds in Washington Park. Tristan Lowery and John Pipkin from the Washington Park Conservancy will lead the walk and share their birding expertise.

The program will begin at Englewood Place in Washington Park. Participants should dress for all weather conditions and are encouraged to bring binoculars.

Co-Sponsored with the Washington Park Conservancy

Suggested donation of $10


IMAGE: Birdhouse, Washington Park, Albany, J. S. Van Buren, c. 1890, Albumen photographic print on card, Albany Institute of History & Art, Main Photograph Collection, Series 19, no. 33

SPECIAL EXHIBITION The City School District of Albany 2017 Elementary School Art Show

Friday, May 5 • 5:00pm - 8:00pm Saturday, May 6 • 10:00am - 5:00pm Sunday, May 7 • 12:00pm - 5:00pm

We are delighted to partner with the City School District of Albany to present this wonderful showcase of student talent featuring visual art works by students from each of the twelve Albany elementary schools.

This exhibition grew out of our service with the Superintendent’s Arts Advisory Committee that was formed in order to build creative relationships and share resources with stakeholders, community organizations, and arts professionals.

Free admission



Friday, May 5 from 5—8PM  Tonight will include special performances by music students.
Saturday, May 6 from 10AM—5PM
Sunday, May 7 from Noon—5PM

PUBLIC PROGRAM Albany-Nijmegen: Sister-City History

Wednesday, May 10 • 6:15pm - 7:15pm

Anja Adriaans, founder and chair of Stichting FAN: Friendship Albany-Nijmegen
Paul Grondahl, Director of the New York State Writers Institute

This year is the 70th anniversary of war-relief for the people of the City of Nijmegen in the Netherlands and it is a history tied to the City of Albany’s Tulip Festival.

Last fall, independent researcher Anja Adriaans gave a presentation at the Albany Institute about Albany’s connection to the city of Nijmegen in the Netherlands. This story, rooted in World War II, was brought to life when she showed a long-lost film created in Nijmegen to thank the residents of Albany for their involvement in the war-relief effort in 1947. Her passion was infectious and attendees were curious to know more. They were fascinated to discover that part of the official “thank you” to the city of Albany was a shipment of tulip bulbs that were planted and bloomed for the first Tulip Festival in 1949.

Adriaans returns to Albany to share recent research and show a new documentary film that includes interviews with World War II residents of Nijmegen who remember receiving packages of supplies from the residents of Albany in 1947. Guest will be treated to special music by the Musicians of Ma’alwyck, a commemorative insert from the Times Union, and the unveiling of a new traveling exhibition.


Free admission

IMAGE: Help Nijmegen! April 13-30th, Times Union, Albany NY, April 21, 1947, Albany Institute of History & Art Library, MG238/F3, DI 1121


There are three events on May 10: