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Press Releases :: 12/13/06

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(518) 474-1201


Albany, New York -- 12/13/06

ALBANY, NY – In honor of Governor-Elect Elliot Spitzer’s inauguration, the New York State Museum will be open during regular hours on New Year’s Day with free family programs, as well as a special exhibition of rare artifacts reflecting more than two centuries of New York State politics and social history.

            Running for Governor: New York Election Campaign Collections, 1777 to 2006 will be open outside West Gallery from New Year’s Day through mid-January and documents the gubernatorial elections spanning the eras from former Governor George Clinton to Governor –Elect Eliot Spitzer. Complementing the exhibition will be artifacts from other non-gubernatorial campaigns held in New York State, such as those for the Supreme Court, comptroller, attorney general, U.S. Senate and others. 

            The exhibition will include collections from the State Museum, State Library and State Archives.  Many of the items are from a one-of-a-kind collection of artifacts, recently acquired from Bill Winnewisser of Syracuse, which represents major, as well as third party candidates.

            The exhibition will include furniture, rare broadsides, early campaign buttons, bumper stickers, election leaflets, banners, artwork and other objects. They show how campaign literature has evolved from being very formal to more casual and creative. The artifacts reflect historically important issues that were discussed and debated by candidates in New York State and the country-at-large, including transportation, civil rights, education, abolition, the environment and prohibition. 

            Some of the specific items that will be on display include former Governor DeWitt Clinton’s chair, circa 1825; circa 1816 Clinton painting; a colorful 1994 Peter Max poster that was a tribute to former Governor Mario Cuomo; an 1899 tray bearing the image of  former Governor and President Theodore Roosevelt; a 1900 practice voting machine;  a 1919 Al Smith



inaugural badge; an expenditure listing for the 1931 inauguration of former Governor and President Franklin Roosevelt; several tickets to various 1933 inaugural events for former Governor Herbert Lehman and a 1795 broadside depicting former Governor Robert Yates.

            Other activities at the Museum on New Year’s Day will include gallery tours, Trash to Treasures and friendship bracelet crafts, various interactive exploration station activities and scavenger hunts. In addition, the Museum carousel will be operating and Discovery Place for children will be open. Reservations are not necessary to participate in Museum activities.

            The inauguration will take place at 12 p.m. on New Year’s Day outside the Capitol in West Capitol Park. The inclement weather location is the Times Union Center (formerly the Pepsi Arena).   Following the inauguration, the governor-elect and his wife will receive members of the public at the Executive Mansion between 1:30 and 3:30 p.m.

            A reception will also be held in the Empire State Plaza concourse from 1 to 5 p.m. The concourse will feature displays of New York’s cultural highlights including art shows, dance exhibits and other performances. Members of the cast of the Broadway show Wicked and the Garth Fagan Dance Company of Rochester will perform. Several restaurants will also offer regional specialties.

            At 5 p.m. there will be a free concert at the Times Union Center featuring James Taylor, Natalie Merchant and children’s performer Dan Zanes.

            The public is asked to RSVP for non-museum inaugural events at or by calling 212-370-7755.

            The New York State Museum, established in 1836, is a program of the New York State Education Department. Located at the Empire State Plaza on Madison Avenue in Albany, the Museum is open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. except on Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission is free and the Museum is fully accessible. Further information about Museum programs and events can be obtained by calling (518) 474-5877 or visiting the Museum website at

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