• CANstruction 2019
    March 27, 2019 to April 10, 2019

    CANstruction is an annual exhibit and design competition that connects talented architects, engineers, contractors, and students to imagine and create colossal structures built completely out of canned food items. This year, fourteen structures will be on display on the State Museum’s 4th Floor Terrace to raise awareness of food insecurity...


  • Cornplanter's Tomahawk Blade
    July 16, 2018 to December 30, 2018

    On June 20, 2018, a pipe tomahawk stolen from the New York State Museum nearly 70 years ago was returned by an anonymous donor.

    This tomahawk has particular significance—at one of several meetings between the U.S. and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) leaders in the years 1792–1794, President George Washington gifted it to...

  • Art of the Erie Canal
    April 28, 2018 to September 23, 2018

    The Erie Canal, the foremost engineering marvel of the 19th century, sparked the imagination of artists in America and abroad. This companion exhibition to Enterprising Waters: New York’s Erie Canal looks at the art inspired by the canal, and the opportunities it afforded artists, both trained and untrained, working in...


  • Votes for Women
    November 4, 2017 to May 13, 2018

    The New York State Education Department and the Office of Cultural Education present this large-scale exhibi­tion and companion catalog titled, Votes for Women: Celebrating New York’s Suffrage Centennial, at the New York State Museum between November 4, 2017 and May 13, 2018.

    Votes for Women celebrates the centennial of women’s suffrage...

  • A Spirit of Sacrifice: New York State in the First World War logo
    April 15, 2017 to June 17, 2018

    As the nation commemorates the centennial of American participation in World War I, A Spirit of Sacrifice examines how New York State and its citizens played a critical role in the United States’ efforts during the war, and discusses its significance to understanding history today. Both on the battlefield and...

  • Kids Curate
    February 24, 2017 to February 26, 2017

    The votes are in! Visit the State Museum February 24 – 26, 2017 to see what objects are on display for the first exhibition at the museum curated by children across the state!

    Throughout November, children voted for their favorite artifacts and specimens in the Museum’s collections to go on...


  • Path to Statehood
    November 7, 2016 to November 28, 2016

    New York’s first constitution (1777) and the United States constitution (1787) established stable governments after the turmoil of the American Revolution. Though Great Britain had no written constitution, its political system profoundly influenced the American constitutions. New Yorkers Alexander Hamilton and John Jay argued forcefully for the U.S. Constitution. Governor...

  • Plaza Art
    October 22, 2016 to September 3, 2017

    The Empire State Plaza Art Collection has been heralded as one of the greatest collections of modern American art in any single public site. Beginning in 1965, Governor Nelson Rockefeller assembled a commission of art experts to select the works for the Plaza and personally signed off on each acquisition....

  • Hudson Valley Ruins
    August 20, 2016 to December 31, 2017

    This photography and architecture exhibition is based on the work of Robert Yasinsac and Thomas Rinaldi. Their 2006 book, Hudson Valley Ruins: Forgotten Landmarks of an American Landscape, studies the region's forgotten cultural treasures. In addition to great river estates, the book profiles sites more meaningful to everyday life in the...

  • Ashley Bennett, SUNY Oswego, Leo, 2015, Mixed media
    June 4, 2016 to October 23, 2016

    The Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition presents artwork selected by a panel of jurors from the fall 2015 and the spring 2016 student art exhibitions at the State University Plaza in downtown Albany over the past academic year. The works on exhibit at the New York State Museum represent the...

  • Detail of Bronze Statue
    April 9, 2016 to July 17, 2016

    At the turn of the twentieth century, works of art depicting majestic landscapes, Native Americans, cowboys and cavalry, and animals of the Western plains and mountains were collected eagerly. Through bronze sculptures, paintings, and works on paper, the exhibition Imaging the American West explores the popularity of artworks with American...

  • canstruction web icon 1 x 1
    March 16, 2016 to March 30, 2016

    CANstruction helps feed those in need throughout the Capital Region by inviting the design and construction industry to give back to the communities they help build. Regional design teams have joined forces with The Food Pantries for the Capital District to fight hunger by creating playful sculptures made entirely out...


  • 1975 Off City Island NY painting
    October 24, 2015 to February 21, 2016

    The Coast & the Sea features more than fifty paintings ranging in date from 1750 to 1904 along with a medley of artifacts culled from the New-York Historical Society's collection of marine paintings and maritime artifacts. This exhibition offers audiences a rich trove of maritime works set in a meaningful historical...

  • Kidspace poster
    June 1, 2015 to March 6, 2016

    Discover the lives of Shaker children in a fun, creative, hands-on learning experience for young visitors Explore Shaker innovation through their inventions and then design your own!

    Enjoy learning about the innovation, spirituality, education, and culture of the Shakers through an interactive experience for the whole family! Make sure to...

  • Plaza at 50 exhibition graphic
    June 1, 2015 to January 17, 2016

    In June 1965, the cornerstone was laid for what would become The Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza. Marketed at the time as a “Design for the Future,” the Plaza exists today as an icon of 20th century Modernist architecture. This exhibit commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Empire...


  • Represent Icon
    December 13, 2014 to July 3, 2016

    Despite centuries of outside influence, the Native People of New York State are culturally and governmentally distinct and today remain deeply proud of this designation. While language, values, ceremony, and physical territory unite and define these communities, their most accessible expressions are found in the fine and traditional arts.


  • Shaker chairs
    November 15, 2014 to March 6, 2016

    The Shakers: America's Quiet Revolutionaries features over 150 historic images and nearly 200 Shaker artifacts, including artifacts from three Shaker historical sites: the Shaker Heritage Society, Hancock Shaker Village and the Shaker Museum | Mount Lebanon. The 7,000 square foot exhibition explores the Shakers as one of the most significant and...

  • Speicher Poster close up 2
    October 18, 2014 to March 22, 2015

    New York painter Eugene Speicher (1883-1962) was one of the foremost American realists of his generation, closely associated with George Bellows, Robert Henri, Leon Kroll, and Rockwell Kent. Born in Buffalo, NY, Speicher first garnered national recognition in the 1910s for his incisive portraits of actors, artists, and friends, which...

  • The family Room detail
    September 11, 2014 to September 12, 2015

    The Family Room at One Liberty Plaza – World Trade Center Site includes personal remembrances, photographs, and tributes from the Family Room at the World Trade Center site. The Family Room was established as a private place for families to remember their loved ones killed in the 2001 attacks. Contents...

  • Paleobotany Collection Cover Page
    August 30, 2014 to August 30, 2015

    The Binghamton University collection, acquired in 2013, comprises roughly 100 cabinets containing several thousand specimens, the result of 60+ years of collecting in areas across New York state, Pennsylvania, Virgina, Belgium,and Canada. It is an important research collection as many of the fossil localities represented in the material are no...

  • The Passenger Pigeon exhibition graphic
    August 30, 2014 to March 30, 2015

    September 1st 2014 marked 100 years since Martha, the last Passenger Pigeon, died, and thus the extinction of Ectopistes migratorius. This event will be commemorated in the nation's museums as a way to address extinction, evolution, and the conservation of biodiversity.

    NYSM will exhibit Passenger Pigeon specimens, an egg, and...

  • SUNY graphic white background
    May 31, 2014 to August 31, 2014

    The 2014 Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition presents artwork selected by a panel of jurors from the fall 2013 and the spring 2014 student art exhibitions. The Museum exhibition features a wide range of media used by the students. The traditional areas of drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, and...

  • Animal Thumbnail
    April 19, 2014 to January 4, 2015

    Focus on Nature XIII features 91 natural and cultural history illustrations, representing the work of 71 illustrators from 15 different countries. The subjects represented are diverse, ranging from those only found in the artists’ home country to those that have a worldwide distribution. A special feature of FON XIII is...


  • 60 from the 60s art detail
    December 12, 2013 to June 29, 2014

    60 from the 60s features 60 prints from the 1960s by 10 of the most significant photographers of that eventful decade, offering a dynamic look at photography of the era. Many of the photographers were just beginning to create a name for themselves in the 1960s, and some

  • Silver teapot
    November 16, 2013 to June 27, 2014

    Since 1969, the decorative and fine arts collections of the New York State Museum have been enhanced by generous donations from the Wunsch Americana Foundation Inc. under the direction of Eric Martin Wunsch. The Wunsch Collection consists of over 700 pieces of furniture, paintings, silver, ceramics, and folk

  • artwork of a soldier and a cannon
    November 9, 2013 to June 21, 2014

    Sanford Gifford's Civil War chronicles the wartime experience of New York State native and renowned Hudson River School painter, Sanford Robinson Gifford, who served during the war with the 7th Regiment, New York State Militia. The exhibit will feature three of Gifford’s paintings from the collection of the New York State...

  • Weather Event graphic signage
    November 2, 2013 to February 23, 2014

    Weather Event focuses on Charles E. Burchfield’s depictions of the weather south of Lake Erie, where the artist lived for most of his life. Individual weather events are examined through both an artistic and scientific lens. 

    Burchfield's representations of weather, wind, skies and sounds are unique historical records of the environment...

  • American Flag hanging from building close up
    September 10, 2013 to December 31, 2013

    On September 11, 2001, six firefighters from the FDNY Engine 6 Company were dispatched to the World Trade Center where they hooked the Engine 6 Pumper into a Trade Center standpipe on West Street. Four men from the Company—
    Lieutenant Thomas O’Hagan, Firefighter Paul Beyer, Firefighter William Johnson, and...

  • Art exhibition poster close up
    June 15, 2013 to September 15, 2013

    The 2013 Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibitionpresents artwork selected by a panel of jurors from the fall 2012 and the spring 2013 student art exhibitions. The Museum exhibition features a wide range of media used by the students. The traditional areas of drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics, and sculpture are...

  • Derby Thumbnail graphic
    June 1, 2013 to September 1, 2013

    Coinciding with the Annual Capital District All-American Soap Box Derby, this exhibition features two prized derby cars. The first, designed by Richard F. Russell, was built and raced in 1949 in Schenectady, New York. The second, a modern Stock car built from a standardized kit, was raced by Taylor Van Denburg in last year’s...

  • photo of a dining room at Manatoga
    May 4, 2013 to December 31, 2013

    Russel Wright: The Nature of Design explores the work and philosophy of renowned industrial designer Russel Wright, whose former home in the Hudson Valley—Manitoga—is now a national historic landmark. The exhibition focuses on one of Wright's most pervasive preoccupations, which also has much relevance today: the relationship of humankind with the...

  • I shall think of you often close up photo
    March 30, 2013 to September 22, 2013

    Childhood sweethearts Doctor Tarbell and Mary Lucy Conant met one another at a very young age while attending school in Groton, Tompkins County. Their courtship, interrupted by the outbreak of the Civil War, endured the hardships of separation familiar to many New Yorkers during the conflict. Following his release from...

  • can scuplture
    March 28, 2013 to April 11, 2013

    Envision a world where design feeds much more than your imagination. 

    In March of 2013, this vision will come to life with the 3rd Annual Capital Region Canstruction event as teams of architects, engineers, contractors and students come together to create whimsical and innovative structures using only canned goods. 


  • Ludins painting close up
    February 16, 2013 to May 12, 2013

    This retrospective exhibition spans the 70-year career of artist Eugene Ludins, beginning with his residency at the Maverick colony in Woodstock in 1929. Ludins was a leading member of the Hudson Valley arts community, Ulster County Director of the Federal Arts Program of the WPA, and an avid baseball player....

  • Black and White photo of little girl
    January 26, 2013 to May 19, 2013

    Gordon Parks: 100 Moments celebrates a photographer who transformed the visual story of America with his ever-questioning lens, highlighting—in particular—the significance of Parks’s photographs from the early 1940s. 100 Momentsfocuses on Parks’s photographic practice of documenting African Americans in Harlem and Washington, D.C., during a pivotal time in U.S. history. These photographs were...


  • 2013 Moon Rock
    December 19, 2012 to February 10, 2013

    This exhibition features fragments of moon rock brought back to Earth by Apollo 17. When Apollo 17 returned from the moon on December 19, 1972 it made the record books for several reasons. It was the last and longest manned lunar mission and brought back the largest amount of moon...

  • 2012 Marshal House Flag
    October 24, 2012 to February 24, 2013

    Shortly after the Confederates bombarded Fort Sumter, South Carolina, in April 1861, James Jackson hoisted an extremely large Confederate national flag onto a 40-foot-tall flagpole atop his hotel, the Marshall House, in Alexandria, Virginia. On May 24, 1861, Federal forces, including Colonel Elmer Ellsworth and the 11th New York Volunteers,...

  • paiting of people on bus
    October 19, 2012 to January 20, 2013

    During the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt promised a "new deal for the American people," initiating government programs to foster economic recovery. Roosevelt's pledge to help "the forgotten man" also embraced America's artists. The Public Works of Art Project (PWAP) enlisted artists to capture "the American Scene" in works...

  • Civil War snare drum
    September 22, 2012 to March 23, 2014

    The pivotal role New York State played in the war is the focus of this 7,000-square-foot exhibition. As the wealthiest and most populous state, the Empire State led all others in supplying men, money, and materiel to the causes of unity and freedom. New York’s experience provides significant insight into...

  • Photo of man in rowboat
    June 29, 2012 to February 24, 2013

    Our 21st-century appreciation of the Adirondacks is certainly derived from this area’s obvious natural beauty.  That perception has also been influenced by the descriptions and practices of the many 19th-century tourists who came to visit the landscape.  Seneca Ray Stoddard was a leading figure in inspiring people, through his photographs...

  • Best of Suny Cantaloupe thumbnail
    June 2, 2012 to September 3, 2012

    The 2012 Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition presents artwork selected by a panel of jurors from the fall 2011 and the spring 2012 student art exhibitions. The Museum exhibition features a wide range of media used by the students. The traditional areas of drawing, painting, photography, printmaking,

  • Carolina Parakeet
    May 2, 2012 to June 1, 2012

    Genetic Studies on the Carolina Parakeet Reveals Evolutionary Origins

    The Carolina Parakeet became extinct before any systematic study of its ecology or evolution was undertaken. New insights concerning the natural history of extinct species can come from only two sources: studies of related species, and the study
    of museum...

  • FON XII 2012 Graphic
    April 28, 2012 to December 31, 2012

    Focus on Nature XII is a juried exhibition of natural and cultural history illustration that features artwork from around the world. Artists depict biological, geological, and archeological subjects using a wide range of media, from traditional watercolor to recently developed digital techniques. The basis for selection of these works is...

  • Gilboa Stump illustration
    March 1, 2012 to March 20, 2012

    In Gilboa, NY, scientists have been finding fossil Eospermatopteris tree stump casts for over 150 years. As new material has come to light interpretation of this early forest has changed. The March 1, 2012 issue of the scientific journal, Nature, explores the history of this varied and complex forest ecosystem...

  • War of 1812
    January 1, 2012 to December 31, 2012

    To commemorate the Bicentennial of the War of 1812, the New York State Museum, Archives, and Library present this web feature exhibition in coordination with museums, historic sites, re-enactors and other partner organizations across the state and in Canada.


  • Marking Time Graphic 2
    November 11, 2011 to February 26, 2012

    Marking Time: Voyage to Vietnam offers insight into the thoughts and feelings of young Americans going to war during the 1960s, a turbulent time in our nation’s history. This unique, multidimensional exhibit features a complete eight-man berthing unit recovered from the troopship General Nelson M. Walker, which transported

  • Woman with child black and white photo
    October 15, 2011 to March 31, 2012

    Since the early years of photography, African Americans appeared in front of and behind the camera. In some images, they were the loving focus of the picture. In others, the photographer scarcely recognizes their humanity. This range of images allows us to perceive how African Americans were seen

  • Mohu graphic
    October 8, 2011 to October 15, 2011
    The Artists' I explores the essence of all things creative that an artist draws upon. Whether the artist is inspired by beauty, a place in time or a particular story, the “I” is the movement of energy that flows from the artist to his or her work. The exhibition...
  • twin towers
    September 9, 2011 to April 28, 2012

    Before the Fall: Remembering the World Trade Center 

    Beginning in 1997, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) sponsored artist residencies at the World Trade Center. The exhibition includes works by artists who were part of the LMCC’s residency programs from 1997 through September 10, 2001, including works that

  • From the Collections logo
    July 15, 2011 to April 30, 2012

    The New York State Museum traces its origins to an 1836 survey of the state’s geology, plants, and animals. To celebrate 175 years of adding to the scientific and historical knowledge of New York, the State Museum presents an exhibition that showcases many of its important collections in

  • Best of Suny 2011 tree graphic
    June 3, 2011 to August 6, 2011

    The 2011 Best of SUNY Student Art Exhibition presents artwork selected by a panel of jurors from the fall 2010 and the spring 2011 student art exhibitions. The exhibition features a wide range of media used by the students. The traditional areas of drawing, painting, photography, printmaking, ceramics,

  • old photo of the capitol fire in 1911
    March 19, 2011 to August 15, 2011

    In the early morning hours of March 29, 1911, a fire broke out in the northwest corner of the New York State Capitol. The fast-moving flames claimed the life of an elderly night watchman and destroyed much of the State Library and irreplaceable collections of the State Museum.

    The 100th...

  • Close up ant photo
    January 29, 2011 to April 9, 2011

    Small yet abundant, with complex and wildly diverse lifestyles, ants are everywhere, living lives mostly hidden from our view. What if we could see into their world . . . on their level? Now, with the aid of a macro lens and the insights of ant expert and



  • Frank Eckmair artwork of old barn
    November 19, 2010 to October 15, 2011
    The Landscape of Memory explores a singular artistic vision through the Museum’s collection of works by Frank C. Eckmair. An internationally recognized printmaker, Eckmair has an intimate affinity for the quiet landscape of rural central New York. His subjects are its farm fields, stone walls, abandoned homes, and old...
  • Smoky landscape painting
    September 3, 2010 to March 19, 2011
    The landscape of New York State is unparalleled in its rich variety and beauty. The mountains, valleys and rivers as well as the beaches, towns and cities of New York have been a subject of interest to artists, photographers, historians, and scientists alike for hundreds of years. Whether documenting...
  • old photo of Soldiers
    May 28, 2010 to March 26, 2011

    Since its inception, New York has been guided by the principle that its defense lies in the hands of its citizenry. From militiamen defending their homes on the colonial frontier to individuals serving in conflicts around the globe, a courageous cadre of New Yorkers continues this legacy of selflessness to...

  • Monkey Illustration
    April 12, 2010 to October 31, 2010
    Focus on Nature (FON) is an international, juried, biennial exhibition of scientific, natural and cultural history that began in 1990. A five-person jury consisting of both scientists and artists selects pieces based on high degree of technical quality, scientific accuracy, aesthetic achievement, and educational value. It represents a wide...
  • women suffrage black and white photo 2
    March 1, 2010 to April 30, 2010

    This installation featuring artifacts and images from the Women's Suffrage movement of the early 20th century, opens in time for Women's History Month. The exhibit features two large artifacts from the Museum's extensive History collections. One, a wagon, served as both a prop and a speaker’s platform for

  • close up portrait photograph
    February 12, 2010 to May 9, 2010

    This exhibition from George Eastman House in Rochester, New York, presents photographic masterpieces that capture historic and contemporary moments in American history. The exhibition represents more than 150 years of photography, with images by such photographers as Ansel Adams, Mathew B. Brady, Alvin Langdon Coburn, Dorothea Lange, Eli

  • owl graphic
    January 30, 2010 to October 11, 2010

    This exhibition commemorates the 100th anniversary of the publication of Birds of New York, one of the most popular books issued in the State Museum’s history. The exhibition features dozens of original watercolors made for the book by famed bird artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes, as well as the



  • The great nation will endure photography exhibition poster closeup
    October 1, 2009 to March 14, 2010

    Curated and designed by staff at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum in Hyde Park, New York, this traveling exhibition features more than 150 images of America taken between 1935 and 1942 by the legendary photographic unit of the Farm Security Administration (FSA). The FSA was a

  • eyes of others poster
    September 8, 2009 to January 6, 2010

    What does American art tell us about American attitudes toward race? Through the Eyes of Others: African Americans and Identity in American Art explores the complicated issues surrounding race in American culture as seen in paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th centuries. This exhibition juxtaposes 19th-century views

  • 1609
    July 3, 2009 to March 7, 2010

    Two worlds collided in 1609 when Henry Hudson and the Dutch sailed up the “great river” and met the Native People of New York. This exhibition introduces visitors to information about Henry Hudson, Native People of New York, and the Dutch period in New York state by dispelling some

  • Skyscraper perspective
    June 13, 2009 to January 3, 2010

    In 1929, after eight years in Europe, photographer Berenice Abbott (1898–1991) returned to New York City. She was inspired by its dramatic transformation. New construction was everywhere; hundreds of 19th-century buildings had been torn down to make way for dozens of skyscrapers. She was determined to capture this momentous change in photographs. In 1935, with the...