The New York State Museum in Albany was founded in 1836 as the State Geological and Natural History Survey. The museum offers a variety of programs year round – lectures, workshops and exhibits, focusing on art, science, and community. This year, for instance, a retrospective of American Realist painter Eugene Speicher will be on view through March. Speicher was born on April 5, 1883 in Buffalo, New York, and died on May 11, 1962. He is best known for landscape paintings such as Morning Light (1912), housed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The Binghamton University Paleobotany Collection will be on view through August. The collection includes thousands of fossils dated back to the Devonian period.
Also, an exhibition dedicated to the Shakers called The Shakers: America’s Quiet Revolutionaries will be on view through March 2016. The exhibition, divided into six areas, speaks about the Shakers’ way of life, and their influence in shaping American identity. The Shakers exhibit is organized in partnership with the Shaker Museum in Mount Lebanon, Columbia County. The Shaker Museum in Columbia County contains the most important collection of Shaker artifacts in the world.
Among its permanent collections, the New York State Museum holds The Cohoes Mastodon discovered in 1866 (the mastodon is 11,000 year old); the Iroquois Indians Diorama created in 1918; an impressive mineral and fossil collection; and many more. In 1910 and 1914 the museum published the Birds of New York book. In 1926 it expanded its activities to include other areas of interest such as history and art. In 1927 the museum launched its educational program for teachers and students in New York State.
This weekend February 14 – 16 the museum hosts its annual Gem, Mineral and Fossil Show, organized in partnership with the New York Academy of Mineralogy and the Capital District Mineral Club. Thirty exhibitors will participate in this program. The hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The following weekend February 20 – 22 the museum will host its annual fundraiser New York in Bloom, a floral show with over one hundred arrangements from New York’s most exquisite florists and floral designers. Themed activities will be offered throughout the weekend, including demonstrations and children’s activities. The hours are Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
The museum’s regular hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.