Museums are one of the top things to do in Albany County. Rotating exhibits typically receive all the buzz, but Albany's museums are home to a variety of ongoing exhibits that are definitely worth exploring. Learn something new at one of the below museums in Albany County!
The Albany Institute of History & Art, one of the oldest museums in the country, boasts a treasure trove of art and historical objects documenting the life and culture of New York's Upper Hudson Valley from the late 17th-century to present. The Hudson River School: Landscape Paintings from the Albany Institute is an ongoing exhibit featuring nearly ninety breathtaking paintings by legendary Hudson River School artists such as Thomas Cole, Frederic Church, Jasper Cropsey, and Asher Durand. Marvel at scenic landscapes from rugged coastal views to magnificent mountains, all telling a visual history of the Hudson Valley during the 19th Century. See the exhibit in-person, online through a 3D virtual tour, or explore into this virtual exhibit, The Making of the Hudson River School.
The New York State Museum, the oldest and largest state museum in the country, is stacked with over a dozen ongoing exhibits that are worth exploring. See The World Trade Center: Rescue, Recovery, Response to learn about the history of the World Trade Center, the September 11 attacks and the following rescue efforts through objects, images, videos and more. Explore Black Capital: Harlem in the 1920s, an exhibit celebrating the rich and diverse culture of Harlem with historic photographs, artifacts, archival material and more. View the Cohoes Mastodon, a skeleton discovered in 1866 during construction of Harmony Mill No. 3 near Cohoes Falls. Marvel at the splendor of the Minerals of New York exhibit showcasing an array of alluring minerals and gems from the Herkimer ‘Diamonds’ (quartz) to glow-in-the-dark minerals. Click here for a complete list of ongoing exhibitions.
Visit the American Italian Museum & Cultural Center, the largest Italian American museum on the East Coast, to learn about the stories and contributions of Italian Americans. The museum houses several ongoing exhibits honoring and telling the Italian immigrant story and their contributions. Learn about the Italian music, Italian immigrants in professional sports, Italian folk art, an exhibit of old photos and an exhibit honoring Italians who served in the military.
Start your exploration of the Albany Pine Bush Preserve, one of only twenty inland pine barrens left in the entire world, at the Discovery Center sponsored by Trustco. Home to a variety of interactive exhibits, the Discovery Center teaches visitors about the preserve's geologic history, plants and animals, restoration, human influence, scientific research and protection of the preserve. While walking through the space, make sure to look up at unique plants and animals (including the endangered Karner blue butterfly) soaring above you on the atrium ceiling.
The Irish American Heritage Museum, nestled in Quackenbush Square, tells the story of the contributions of the Irish people and their culture in America. Permanently on display, view The Irish in America exhibit diving into the stories of Irish immigrants and their roles in founding America, labor, the military, education and religion, politics, culture and sport, and innovation. See the conditions they lived in through a replica of a thatched cottage and a tenement apartment.