Call (518) 463-4478 or visit www.albanyinstitute.org for more information. [Read more…] about Albany Institute: Exhibits Closing and Those Opening
Albany Institute For History and Art
The Albany Institute of History & Art has announced that it will offer a special discount admission program on Fridays and Saturdays in July and August 2011 as part of an ongoing effort to reach out to members of the Capital District community.
On each Friday in July and August, the Albany Institute will offer free admission to all visitors during regular museum hours, from 10 am to 5 pm. There will be no charge for any visitors to enter the museum and see the galleries on the following dates: July 22, 29, and August 5, 12, 19, and 26.
Additionally, the Institute will offer buy-one-get-one-free admission on Saturdays throughout July and August during regular museum hours from 10 am to 5 pm. Any adult or child visitor purchasing one admission will be entitled to one free admission of equal or lesser value. Buy-one-get-one-free Saturday dates are: July 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and August 6, 13, 20, and 27.
This program is not available in combination with any other discount or coupon offers and does not apply to group tours, facilities rentals, or special events. For more information about the summer discount admission program, please call (518) 463-4478. To learn more about current exhibitions and events, visit www.albanyinstitute.org.
Free admission to the Albany Institute of History & Art is funded in part with a Museums for America grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services, a federal agency.
The 75th Annual Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region is currently being hosted by the Albany Institute of History & Art through September 4, 2011. According to Tammis Groft, Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions at the Institute, this year’s exhibition is, “One of the largest Mohawk-Hudson Regional exhibits in recent history.” Submissions for the show, Groft said, reached an all-time high of 1,000 works from 235 artists. The final selection is comprised of 160 works by 85 artists, representing a wide-range of media, including paintings, drawings and sculptures, and videos.
Additionally, this year’s Regional raised a record amount of funding, with more than $5,000 in cash prizes and gift certificates for the featured artists. The names of prize winners will be announced at a later date.
This year’s entries were selected by exhibit juror Holly Hughes, who also curated the exhibition. Hughes is a nationally and internationally showcased artist whose work has been displayed across the United States, and in China, Finland, Germany, and France. Hughes is a professor at the Rhode Island School of Design, where she heads the painting program.
One of the longest-running regional exhibitions in the nation, the Mohawk-Hudson Regional was founded by the Albany Institute in 1936, and now rotates annually between the Institute, the University Art Museum of the University at Albany, and The Hyde Collection in Glens Falls.
An awards ceremony and reception will take place Thursday, July 21, from 5:30 to 8:30 pm, with the awards presentation beginning at 6:30. A special preview for Albany Institute members will be held on Saturday, July 9, at 10:00 am. Two free 1st Friday artists’ talks will be held on August 5 and September 2. Call (518) 463-4478 or visit albanyinstitute.org for information.
The following is a listing of upcoming lectures appearing at the Albany Institute of History & Art. Call (518) 463-4478 or visit www.albanyinstitute.org for more information.
Friday, May 6, 2011, 6:00 pm
Dahl Taylor and William Westwood: Graphic Design Presentation
As part of 1st Friday activities, the Albany Institute will host free presentations on graphic design by two of the Capital Region’s leading designers, Dahl Taylor and William Westwood. In a career spanning more than 25 years, Taylor has created paintings for illustration projects ranging from Broadway play posters to corporate annual reports. He has painted canvases for commemorative limited-edition prints for national memorials and has a 36-foot mural installed in the library of a state university. A board-certified, professional medical artist, William Westwood has more than 25 years of experience creating award-winning medical illustrations (digitally and traditionally), models, anatomical posters, animations, and presentations—all designed to teach anatomy, depict surgeries, educate patients, inform physicians, and promote new drugs and medical products for clients in almost every market in the healthcare industry. The presentations begin at 6:00 pm are free and open to the public.
Sunday, May 8, 2011, 2:00 pm
Ellen Lupton: How to Do Things with Typography: Introduction to an Art
Ellen Lupton, Curator of Contemporary Design at Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, and Director of the MFA Graphic Design Program at the Maryland Institute College of Art, will explore examples of contemporary typography and discuss how artists, writers, and designers employ typography as a tool for expression, communication, and action. Lupton is the author of Thinking with Type, 2nd Revised and Expanded Edition: A Critical Guide for Designers, Writers, Editors, & Students (Princeton Architectural Press, 2010) and many other guides to design. The lecture and book signing is free and open to the public.
Sunday, May 22, 2011, 2:00 pm
Paul Shaw: Helvetica and the New York City Subway System
Paul Shaw, an award-winning graphic designer, typographer, and calligrapher in New York City, teaches at Parsons School of Design and the School of Visual Arts. Shaw will speak and sign copies of his newest book, Helvetica and the New York Subway System (MIT Press, 2011). For years, the signs in the New York City subway system were a bewildering hodgepodge of lettering styles, sizes, shapes, materials, colors, and messages. Efforts to untangle this visual mess began in the mid-1960s, when the city transit authority hired the design firm Unimark International to create a clear and consistent sign system. We can see the results today in the white-on-black signs throughout the subway system, displaying station names, directions, and instructions in crisp Helvetica. The lecture and book signing is free and open to the public.
Sunday, June 5, 2011, 2:00 pm
Jeanne Winston Adler: The Affair of the Veiled Murderess
Set in 1853 Troy, New York, Jeanne Winston Adler’s latest book, The Affair of the Veiled Murderess: An Antebellum Scandal and Mystery (SUNY Press, 2011), draws on newspapers, court documents, and other historical records in an attempt to uncover the truth behind an unsolved murder. In the process, she addresses a number of topics important to our understanding of 19-century life in New York State, including the changing roles of women, the marginal position of the Irish, and the contentious political firmament of the time. The lecture and book signing is free and open to the public.
For more information about these lectures and other events, call (518) 463-4478 or visit www.albanyinstitute.org.
The Albany Institute of History & Art has issued a call for entries for the 2011 Exhibition by Artists of the Mohawk-Hudson Region, which the museum will host from July 9 through September 4. Entries are due by April 25, 2011. Established in 1936 and celebrating its 75th year, the Mohawk-Hudson Regional is one of the longest-running regional exhibitions in the country. This annual, juried exhibition occupies a major role in the history of contemporary art activity in the Upper Hudson Valley.
Highlighting the work of artists working within a 100-mile radius of Albany and Glens Falls, The Regional rotates every three years among the Albany Institute, the University Art Museum at the University at Albany, and The Hyde Collection. The Regional has become a barometer of contemporary art, as well as a means of support for emerging and established artists in the Capital District. Local arts patrons and businesses provide cash prizes and gift certificates that the juror awards to selected artists.
The juror for the exhibition is Holly Hughes, an artist, working in painting, printmaking, and ceramics, with studios in New York City and Columbia County. Hughes is a Professor at the Rhode Island School of Design and has extensive visiting-artist experience at other institutions, and as a teacher, lecturer, critic, juror, and curator. Her work––represented in numerous public collections––has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and reviewed in publications such as ARTnews, Art Forum, Art in America, and The New York Times.
For more information about the exhibition, call (518) 463-4478 or visit www.albanyinstitute.org. Downloadable entry forms are available on the website.
On Sunday, March 6, at 2:00 pm, the Albany Institute of History & Art will host a free lecture and book-signing by Paul Mercer and Vicki Weis, authors of the recently published book, The New York State Capitol and the Great Fire of 1911 (Arcadia Publishing, 2011). The lecture will complement a library case display at the Albany Institute of 10 historic photographs documenting the event, including the only known photo in existence of the full view of the building fully consumed by flames.
Weiss and Paul, of the New York State Library’s Manuscripts and Special Collections will discuss their pictorial history of the fire, which occurred on March 29, 1911. The book combines dramatic photographs with eyewitness accounts of the fire, which severely damaged the western portion of the capitol.
Virtually the entire collection of the State Library—as well as significant holdings of the New York State Museum—were destroyed in the blaze, which struck as the Education Department was mere months from relocating to the State Education Building across the street. The book tells not only the story of the fire and its aftermath, but also recounts the history of the construction of the capitol, as well as the pre- and post-fire history of the library.
The Albany Institute of History & Art’s library case display documenting the event includes a selection of 10 rare photos, showing both exterior and interior views taken during and after the actual fire. It also includes images of many of the firemen who responded to the blaze, The display opens on March 4 and closes in June. Viewing is free and open to the public.
The March 6 lecture and book-signing is free and open to the public. Museum admission is not included. Call (518) 463-4478 or visit www.albanyinstitute.org for more information.
On Sunday, February 27, at 2:00 pm, the Albany Institute of History & Art will host a free lecture by renowned graphic design expert Steven Heller on the topic, Designing the World of Tomorrow: Did the 1939 New York World’s Fair Change the World?
Steven Heller is an American art director, journalist, critic, author, and editor who specializes in topics related to graphic design. Heller will offer expert insight into how the 1939 World’s Fair—the second largest American world’s fair and the first to focus on the concept of futurism—affected powerful change in the world of graphic design.
The lecture is being held in conjunction with the Albany Institute’s current exhibition, Graphic Design—Get the Message!, which uses posters, broadsides, package designs, paintings, decorative arts, historical photographs, and computer interactives from local designers and companies to examine broader issues of national and international significance. The exhibition and public programs are funded by a grant from the New York State Council on the Arts. Exhibition planning was funded by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities.
For 33 years, Heller was an art director at The New York Times, for both the Op-Ed Page and The New York Times Book Review. He is the co-founder and co-chair of the MFA Designer as Author program at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, where he lectures on the history of graphic design. The author, co-author, and/or editor of more than 100 books on design and popular culture, Heller has curated numerous exhibitions on the subject of graphic design.
The lecture is free and open to the public. Museum admission is not included. Call (518) 463-4478 or visit www.albanyinstitute.org for more information.
On Thursday, February 17, from noon to 2:00 pm, the public is invited to celebrate the work of one of Albany’s most prolific artists, Walter Launt Palmer, at “Snow Scenes,” a buffet lunch and lecture at the University Club, followed by a guided tour at the Albany Institute. Attendance at the fundraiser does not require membership in either organization.
Tammis Groft, the Albany Institute’s Deputy Director for Collections and Exhibitions, will discuss a collection of Palmer’s snow scenes on permanent exhibit in the dining room of the University Club (141 Washington Avenue at Dove Street, adjacent to the Institute), along with a selection of related material in the museum’s collection.
Participants will also get a close look at two recently acquired pieces of Chinese ceramics that Palmer depicted in his 1878 painting, Interior of the Learned House, 298 State Street, Albany. The ceramic pieces were donated in 2009 by Philip Kerr of Ann Arbor, Michigan. The painting itself will be on view at the Institute, along with a library table (designed by New York Architect Russell Sturgis), which is also featured in the painting. Frequently called “The Painter of the American Winter,” the Albany-born Walter Launt Palmer (1854–1932) produced more than 300 snow scenes from 1884 to 1932. In his 1910 essay, “On The Painting of Snow,” Palmer, who had embraced Impressionism, acknowledged his debt to John Ruskin and the Pre-Raphaelites for influencing his early work, especially the discovery that the shadows on snow are blue.
The cost for the luncheon and lecture is $35 and includes admission to the Albany Institute to see its other current exhibitions. Reservations are required and may be made by calling the University Club at (518) 463-1151. A portion of the proceeds from this event will benefit both the University Club Foundation and the Albany Institute.
Illustration:: The Shining Stream by Walter Launt Palmer (oil on canvas, date unknown).
On Saturday, February 5, 2011, the Albany Institute of History & Art will open a new exhibition entitled “Graphic Design-Get the Message!” The exhibition, which will run through June 5, 2011, replaces the historic exhibit, Hudson River Panorama: 400 Years of History, Art, and Culture, which was on display from February 2009 until January 2, 2011. [Read more…] about Albany Institute to Debut Graphic Design Exhibit
George R. Hearst III, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Albany Institute of History & Art, announced Tuesday that he has accepted the resignation of Christine M. Miles, who has served as the Institute’s executive director since 1986.
Citing a personal decision to explore new challenges, Miles tendered her resignation at an executive session of the board, held following its regular meeting on Monday, January 24.
“It is with mixed emotions that the board has accepted Chris Miles’ resignation as director of the Albany Institute,” Hearst said in making the announcement. “Chris’s contribution to the arts in the Capital District cannot be overstated. Not only has the Albany Institute enriched, educated, and stimulated our region under her expert direction, the arts community as a whole has benefited immeasurably from her skill, dedication, and experience.”
Throughout her tenure, Hearst noted, Miles has guided the Albany Institute, the oldest museum in New York State, through numerous advancements and challenges. Her long-range and strategic planning has brought the museum into its fourth century of service, Hearst said, and, especially in recent years, through some of the most difficult times the arts have ever faced.
“For almost 25 years, her vision has established the Albany Institute as one of New York’s most respected and distinguished institutions,” Hearst said. “We will continue to depend on Chris’s dynamic and insightful stewardship as we prepare to enter a new and exciting phase for the museum.”
Miles says her decision to resign as executive director of the Albany Institute was one of the most difficult she has made in her career.
”Obviously, this is not a decision that is made lightly,” she said. “The Albany Institute has been the center of my professional career for a major portion of my life. And, like so many other museums and arts institutions, it currently faces substantial financial challenges. However, I believe that the foundation we have worked to build here will help sustain this magnificent institution as it continues to meet these challenges. I look forward to assisting the board and staff in this time of transition.”
Prior to joining the Albany Institute in 1986, Miles was director of the Fraunces Tavern Museum in New York City, and also held positions as director, curator, researcher, and project director at such prestigious institutions as the Octagon Museum of the American Architectural Foundation in Washington D.C.; the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City; the Museum of the City of New York; and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.
During Miles’s term as executive director, in 1994, the Institute commenced a major capital campaign to fund a $20 million renovation project that added new buildings and state-of-the-art collections storage facilities, and substantially enhanced the museum’s educational, administrative, and exhibition spaces. The Institute broke ground on the project in 1998 and was closed from 1999 to 2001, when it reopened its new spaces to the public during a Grand Opening Gala.
Miles was also instrumental in helping the Institute gain a number of major grants and awards, according to museum officials, including a $250,000 New Audiences for the Year 2000 Award from the New York State Council on the Arts; a $500,000 National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) Challenge, which enabled the museum to build its first true endowment; a $750,000 NEH Preservation and Access grant to aid in re-cataloging the collection, improving intellectual accessibility, and funding completion of the new collections facility; more than $750,000 raised over four years to fund the recent Hudson River Panorama exhibition, launched in conjunction with the statewide quadricentennial celebration in 2009; and, most recently, a $147,000 Museums for America Grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services to fund a website redevelopment project entitled, Digital Renaissance.
Under her direction, the museum has expanded its outreach to include classrooms and students in 26 states and 42 New York counties. Educational offerings have grown to include home school programs, weekend Art for All programs, Vacation Art Breaks, and summer programs. A wide range of lectures, gallery talks, demonstrations, and performances are held each year, as well as popular community-wide events such as the Institute’s Free Thanksgiving Weekend and annual Museum Gala.
Additional accomplishments include overseeing publication of the Institute’s first book documenting its collections, 200 Years of Collecting (Hudson Hills Press, 1998); and the mounting of numerous nationally and internationally recognized exhibitions, including Thomas Cole: Drawn to Nature (1993); Matters of Taste: Food and Drink in Seventeenth-Century Dutch Art and Life (2002); the 350th Anniversary Celebration of the Founding of Albany (2002); Rodin: A Magnificent Obsession (2005); Excavating Egypt (2006), and Hudson River Panorama: 400 Years of History, Art, and Culture (2009).
Miles has also served on the boards of numerous civic and arts groups, including WMHT Public Television; the Albany County Convention and Visitors Bureau; the Albany-Colonie Regional Chamber of Commerce, the University at Albany Foundation; and the Albany Local Development Corporation. She is a past president of the Museum Association of New York State and the Gallery Association of New York State.
In 2008, the Albany Roundtable selected Miles to receive its prestigious Good Patroon Award for her commitment to making the museum a broadly accessible cultural and educational resource. Established in 1988, the annual award recognizes outstanding contributions to the community by institutions and individuals. In 1996, she received the Women of Excellence Award from the Albany-Colonie Chamber of Commerce.
“Christine is starting a new chapter in her life,” Hearst said. “We are proud and thankful for the outstanding work she has done to make the Albany Institute of History & Art such a vital and vibrant part of our community, and the board wishes her every success in her future endeavors.”
Hearst said that the Albany Institute Board of Trustees will establish a recruitment committee to begin a national search to replace Miles, who will remain as executive director to oversee the transition during the course of 2011.
Photo: Christine Miles, Executive Director of the Albany Institute of History & Art (R) in conversation at a New York Council for the Humanities Event in 2010. Courtesy NY Council for the Humanities.