Tag Archives: Albany Institute For History and Art

Albany Institute Opens Exhibit in Renovated Gallery

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1998.16_wen-329bdf18The Albany Institute of History & Art just opened a new exhibition, Big and Bold: Contemporary Art from the Albany Institute’s Collection, sponsored by Omni Development Company, Inc. The show will run until March 2, 2014.

The exhibition includes 19 works by 19 artists, including paintings, collage, mixed media and sculpture and draws from the Albany Institute’s collection of over 350 works of contemporary art. Big and Bold showcases pieces that are large in size, bold in color, and have commanding presence. It is the first exhibition in the Institute’s newly renovated Lansing Gallery. Continue reading

Albany Ale Project ‘Cask Tap’ Event for 1901 Beer

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Albany Ale Keg tapThe Albany Ale Project is bringing back some of the beers of Albany’s past! In partnership with C.H. Evans Brewing Company, an adaptation of a 1901 recipe for “Amsdell’s Albany XX Ale” is about to be available for the first time in over 100 years.

A ceremonial “cask tap” event is planned for Saturday, November 2, 2013, from 5 to 7pm, at the Albany Institute of History & Art, to celebrate its return. Speakers include: the founding members of the Albany Ale Project, C.H. Evans’ brewer Ryan Demler, and the Institute’s Curator of History and Material Culture, Dr. W. Douglas McCombs. Food will be available and, of course, C.H. Evan’s version of one of Albany’s historic brews. Continue reading

Mystery of the Albany Mummies Exhibition, Lectures

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albany mummy_9619 spr 9-21-09 vertIn conjunction with its newest exhibition The Mystery of the Albany Mummies, the Albany Institute of History & Art will host an international lecture series. The first lecture will take place on this Sunday, September 22, 2013, at 2 PM.

Dr. Peter Lacovara, Senior Curator of Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, and Near Eastern Art at the Michael C. Carlos Museum in Atlanta, and guest curator of the new exhibition, will explore how he helped solve the mystery of the Albany mummies, gathered objects from around the world to tell the story of Ankhefenmut and his coffin, and how the exhibition offers a window into the life in ancient Egypt’s 21st Dynasty. The lecture is free with museum admission. Continue reading

Albany Insitute Exhibit Features Former Director Rice

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Norman Rice 1966The Albany Institute of History & Art is currently exhibiting, Sixty Years and Still Collecting: Norman S. Rice. The exhibition includes highlights of the Albany Institute of History & Art’s remarkable collection of artwork, historical objects, and research materials assembled by Director Emeritus Norman S. Rice. He has served as the facilitator, and in some cases the actual donor, of many of the Institute’s greatest treasures.

Since his arrival in 1953 as curator, to the present day and his somewhat less demanding role as director emeritus, Rice has kept the Institute and Albany’s rich cultural history forefront in his thoughts and actions. In the exhibition Sixty Years and Still Collection: Norman S. Rice, a sample of Rice’s favorite objects is the focus of attention. Over 45 items are displayed and they demonstrate Rice’s passion for regional art and history, they showcase the wide variety of items Rice brought into the collection and they reveal the many ways Rice acquired objects for the Institute.  Continue reading

Albany Institute Event Featuring Hudson Valley Hops

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Albany BrewerThe Albany Institute of History & Art will be hosting its second event featuring Hudson Valley Hops on Saturday, April 20, 2013 from 4-7pm.

The event will be a celebration of the history of brewing in Albany and today’s craft beer industry in and around the Hudson Valley. Guests can sample the finest local craft beers, engage with experts in the field, enjoy an assortment of food and tour the museum galleries. Continue reading

Albany Institute Launches New Lecture Series

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Beginning this month the Albany Institute of History & Art will launch a new monthly lecture series entitled Making It American. The series will take a broad look at what art and material culture can teach us about the development of American history, culture, the arts, politics, and our identity as a nation.

In this series, invited scholars will analyze American values and ideals to enhance our experience and understanding of our world. A painting or school of painters, or a spinning wheel or farm kitchen tools will serve as touchstones for the series. Continue reading

Partners for Albany Stories Honoring Retiring Assemblymen

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Partners for Albany Stories (PAS) will host a reception to honor Assembly Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari, Assemblymember John J. McEneny, and Assemblymember Robert Reilly for their significant contributions to Albany’s historic and cultural resources. The event will take place at the Albany Institute of History & Art on Wednesday, June 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, with presentations at 6 PM.

PAS is a collaboration of historic, cultural, and preservation organizations working to develop an integrated historical narrative and marketing approach for the city of Albany and build the capacity of our member institutions to serve the community’s economic development goals.

Light refreshments will be served. Suggested donation is $15.00 per person, and can be made online at albanyinstitute.org or by phone at (518) 463-4478, ext. 405. Registering online will record your RSVP as a tax deductible donation.

Great, Strange and Rarely Seen: Objects from the Vault

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The Albany Institute of History & Art has unlocked its vault to present some of the little-known objects in the new exhibition Great, Strange and Rarely Seen: Objects from the Vault opening Saturday, April 14, 2012. A special exhibition opening reception will be hosted on April 12.

The exhibition reveals the cosmopolitan breadth of the Institute’s holdings with stunning Chinese lacquer, intricately carved Japanese netsuke, and 18th-century English porcelain statuettes. Other collections, like patent models and human hair jewelry, demonstrate the ingenious and quirky sides of human creativity. Also to be included are panoramic photographs, unusual clocks, a chronology of mirrors, women’s bonnets and hats, British and American fortepianos, and riches from the Library.

Individuals are invited to celebrate the opening of the exhibition with a special reception on Thursday, April 12 from 5-7 PM at the Albany Institute. Guests will enjoy a preview of Great, Strange and Rarely Seen followed by wine and light hors d’oeuvres. This event is free of charge.

Great, Strange and Rarely Seen is on display in the Main Floor Galleries of the Albany Institute of History & Art, located at 125 Washington Avenue, Albany. This exhibition has been generously funded by the Buchman Foundation and Elle Shushan, and will be on view through August 26, 2012.

Albany Institue Annouces Spring Lecture Lineup

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The Albany Institute of History & Art has announced its 2012 Spring Lecture lineup. From April through June, visitors are invited to attend lectures given by local authors and nationally recognized scholars. Topics will range from United States presidents to New York’s French history to Japanese netsuke.

All of the lectures listed are with museum admission. Lectures are presented in the Key Cultural Center at the Albany Institute of History & Art, located at 125 Washington Avenue, Albany. The schedule is as follows:

* Susan Leath, “Bethlehem: Stories beyond the Book”

* Dennis Gaffney, “The Presidents”

* Eloise A. Brière “J’Aime New York”

* Rob Naborn, “Memories of Eilardus Westerlo”

* Elle Shushan, “The Albany Influence: Portrait Miniatures in Federal New York”

* Sam Aldrich, “Dancing with the Queen, Marching with the King”

* Jeffrey Klotz, “Netsuke: Function and Decoration”

For more information on any of these lectures, visit albanyinstitute.org or call (518) 463-4478.

Medical Center to Scan Albany Institute Mummies

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In preparation for the 2013 exhibition The Mystery of the Albany Mummies, the Albany Institute of History & Art’s two mummies, each thousands of years old, will be brought to Albany Medical Center for CT scans and x-rays, using modern imaging techniques to learn the mummies’ genders, causes of death, and more. Leading experts in body imaging and Egyptology will direct the procedures and analyze results.

The Albany Institute of History & Art’s two mummies were acquired from Cairo, Egypt in 1909, were brought to the Albany Institute from Cairo in 1909 by Samuel W. Brown, a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees. The mummies and their coffins have been seen by generations of visitors.

Arthur Pielli, Radiology Manager at Albany Medical Center, and two radiologists, Phuong Nguyen Vinh, MD, and Michael Edward Schuster, MD will examine the mummies. The results will then be analyzed with the help of Egyptologist and medical doctor Dr. Robert Brier, a Senior Research Fellow at Long Island University known as “Mr. Mummy,” and Dr. Peter Lacovara, the exhibition’s guest curator and Senior Curator of Egypt, Nubia and Near East at the Carlos Museum at Emory University.

The mummies were last examined by x-rays and CT scans on November 12, 1988. This preliminary analysis helped to determine the mummies’ sex, approximate ages, and various insights into the mummification process. The x-rays and CT scans show a number of bundles inside both of the mummies. Based on the last scan, it was determined that the partially unwrapped mummy is Ankhefenmut, a priest in the temple of Mut at Karnak in Thebes during Dynasty XXI (c.1085-945 BC).

Ankhefenmut is reported to have died in 966 and was probably between 55 and 65 years old at the time of his death. The wrapped mummy is a woman. Her name is not known because the top of the coffin was badly deteriorated and left in Cairo by Samuel Brown in 1909. According to Brown she also came from the cache at Deir el-Bahri. X-rays reveal that she was probably between 35-45 years old when she died.

During Dynasty XXI, a change in the practice of mummification occurred. The internal organs were no longer placed in canopic jars, but were usually wrapped in linen packages. These packages were then placed in the empty body or placed between the legs. Canopic jars, however, continued to be a part of the funerary equipment, but were made smaller.

Perhaps the most interesting discovery was a well-crafted fake toe, possibly made of ceramic, carefully attached to the right foot of the wrapped mummy. It is presumed that the toe was fashioned for the woman during the mummification process because of the belief that one had to be physically intact to enter the afterlife. This discovery was highlighted on The Learning Channel’s program, The Ancient ER, in February 2003.

The initiative is a collaboration between the Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany Medical Center, University at Albany Foundation, and the University at Albany Center for Humanities, Arts, and TechnoSciences.

Photo: Partially unwrapped mummy of Ankhefenmut, a priest in the temple of Mut at Karnak in Thebes during Dynasty XXI (c.1085-945 BC). Courtesy Albany Institute of History and Art.