New York State Museum

New York State Museum The New York State Museum is a center of art, science, and history dedicated to exploring the human and natural history of the state.

The New York State Museum is a center of art, science, and history dedicated to exploring the human and natural history of the state. Established in 1836, it is the oldest and largest state museum in the country. From its beginning, the Museum has been home to some of the nation’s leading scientists, including the founders of American paleontology, ethnology, botany and mycology. Its collections rank among the finest in many fields and total more than 16 million scientific specimens and one million cultural objects. Located at the southern end of the architecturally stunning Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller Empire State Plaza in Albany, the New York State Museum welcomes visitors from across the globe and thousands of students each year. Its 100,000 square feet of exhibition space features several new exhibitions per year in addition to long term exhibitions. The Museum also offers a variety of educational public programs for learners of all ages.

#Science Tuesday: MalacologyDid you know that freshwater mussels are easiest to spot in late summer? This is because the...
08/06/2019

#Science Tuesday: Malacology
Did you know that freshwater mussels are easiest to spot in late summer? This is because the mussels are not buried as deep in the sediments as they usually are throughout the rest of the year, and the water tends to be less turbid or high. Recently, NYSM and NYSDEC scientists took advantage of this fact to paddle up the Moses Kill to survey a previously undescribed mussel community. Enjoying the beautiful wildlife and recording the presence and identity of mussels along the way, an impressive diversity of at least nine species of native freshwater mussels were discovered, making this small river one of the most mussel-species-rich streams in eastern New York! This is important as mussel communities in tributaries may support the diversity of mussel species in the main stem of larger rivers such as the mighty Hudson. #NYSMresearch #freshwatermussels

Photos:
(1) Traveling up the Moses Kill by kayak
(2) Ligumia nasuta (top 2) and Elliptio complanata (bottom) documented with GPS
(3) Many mussels
(4) Other wildlife, including a green frog
(5) Other wildlife, including white water lilies

Watch snails and slugs crawl and figure out which end of an earthworm is the front at an interactive children's program ...
08/02/2019

Watch snails and slugs crawl and figure out which end of an earthworm is the front at an interactive children's program tomorrow, August 3, from 2:00 - 3:00 pm.

Kids will hear author Anita Sanchez read from her book "Rotten! Vultures, Beetles, Slime and Nature's Decomposers" during this lively, hands-on program designed for children grades kindergarten through 4.

Learn more: https://bit.ly/315SRCa

07/31/2019

Earlier this month, we celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission, the spaceflight that landed the first two humans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, on the moon.

Featured here are copies of New York State newspapers the day after the landing of the Apollo Lunar Module, Eagle, on July 20, 1969. Also included from the NYSM's History Collection is a glass tumbler commemorating the event.
#HistoryHumpday #Apollo11 #NYSMhistory

07/30/2019

Today’s #ScienceTuesday features three colorful examples of fluorescent sphalerite (zinc sulfide) specimens from the NYSM Mineral Collection. Collected from the Balmat mining district in St. Lawrence County, NY, they are wonderful examples of minerals that emit visible light when exposed to ultraviolet radiation, X-rays, or an electron beam. #minerals #NYSMresearch #fluorescent

The State Museum’s collections are researched not only by scientists and historians, but also elementary students!This...
07/30/2019

The State Museum’s collections are researched not only by scientists and historians, but also elementary students!

This past school year, a 5th grade class from Austin Road Elementary School in Mahopac, NY used artifacts from the State Museum’s history collection to research and write a book about the American Revolution.

The students’ teacher, Mary Jean Cerbini, toured the collection with Don Wildman, host of Travel Channel’s “Mysteries at the Museum”. Mary Jean and Don followed the format of the “Mysteries of the Museum” show by first selecting artifacts and then asking the students to study them and discover the stories each object told. The result was a book created by the students sharing their research on the American Revolution and the objects in the Museum’s history collection. Great work!

Visit the State Museum Friday mornings now through August 16 for special children's programs.Tomorrow, July 26 from 10:3...
07/25/2019

Visit the State Museum Friday mornings now through August 16 for special children's programs.

Tomorrow, July 26 from 10:30 - Noon, children can learn about New York's plants and pollinators and create their own flowers using a variety of fun materials and tools.

Learn more: http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/programs/flowers-and-pollination

As "Hamilton: An American Musical" prepares to open this August in Schenectady, NY, University of Albany and NYSM resear...
07/24/2019

As "Hamilton: An American Musical" prepares to open this August in Schenectady, NY, University of Albany and NYSM research fellow Danielle Funiciello draws our attention to three real New York women featured in the show—the Schuyler sisters Angelica, Eliza, and Peggy. Pictured here are their two younger sisters, Cornelia and Caty. Together, the five women were the daughters of Revolutionary War Major General Philip Schuyler and Dutch heiress Catharine Van Rensselaer Schuyler. They also had three brothers. Notably, youngest daughter Caty was 25 years younger than her eldest sister Angelica. Cornelia’s image was painted by famed artist Thomas Sully, while Caty’s was painted by French artist Robere during his exile to America during the French Revolution. Both portraits are held at the Schuyler Mansion. Also featured here is a letter written by Philip Schuyler to Stephen Van Rensselaer III on September 3, 1785, with the statement, “Embrace Margaret, Caty, Cornelia and Rensselaer for us.” (Letter courtesy of the New York State Archives Manuscripts and Special Collections, Schuyler Papers.) #HistoryHumpday #Schuyler #NYSMhistory

#ScienceTuesday: Historical ArchaeologyRecently, archaeologists at the NYSM and their colleagues have been reanalyzing a...
07/23/2019

#ScienceTuesday: Historical Archaeology
Recently, archaeologists at the NYSM and their colleagues have been reanalyzing artifacts found in the bottom of a barrel excavated in downtown Albany during the late 1990s. This barrel was located under the floorboards of a house that burned in 1797, thus sealing the contents in that moment in time. A wide variety of artifacts—including ceramics, glass, and tobacco pipe stems—were recovered from the barrel. There were also many objects that would not normally be discarded as refuse. A marble, a cowry shell, a watch face, prehistoric stone tools, chains, a meat hook, and nearly a dozen knives were among the other objects recovered. Some of the objects including the clay marble, a large pottery fragment, and a few of the knives were etched with letters and symbols. But who collected these things? The wealthy owner of the property, John Bogart, would have had no need to store his belongings in such a manner. One possibility is that these objects were the personal possessions of enslaved African Americans living in the house. If so, then symbols such as the “X” on the pottery and on one of the knives may represent a form of cross commonly used throughout west central Africa as well as the Americas. As a collection of curated objects, the barrel assemblage offers a rare glimpse of the personal belongings of enslaved people in the north.
Pictured below are the large pottery fragment (with etchings have been highlighted in white), a reticulated cowry helmut, and prehistoric stone tools and a gun flint. #NYSMresearch #archaeology

In the 1920s the family of S. Hugh Paine bought this automobile camp trailer (pop-up camper) from the Zagelmeyer Auto Ca...
07/17/2019

In the 1920s the family of S. Hugh Paine bought this automobile camp trailer (pop-up camper) from the Zagelmeyer Auto Camp Company in Bay City, Michigan. The eleven-member family’s first trip with the trailer was 3,300 miles and included stops in New York State.

In 1930, the Paines moved to Houghton, NY where the eldest son, Stephen, became President of Houghton College. Stephen purchased the trailer from his parents and used it into the 1960s to travel as far as Florida and California. These photos show the Paine family enjoying various camping trips with the trailer. The trailer was retired in 1989 when it was donated to the New York State Museum. #HistoryHumpDay #camping

#ScienceTuesday: Native American ArchaeologyWest Athens Hill remains one of the iconic archaeological sites in the New Y...
07/16/2019

#ScienceTuesday: Native American Archaeology
West Athens Hill remains one of the iconic archaeological sites in the New York region. Fluted points and other Paleoindian stone artifacts excavated in the 1960s by state archaeologist Dr. Robert E. Funk demonstrated that early Native Americans visited this Hudson Valley hilltop to quarry toolstone in the late Ice Age. These archaeological findings are illustrated in the "Ice Age Hunters" life group in the Native Peoples Hall. Lacking radiocarbon dates, however, questions about the antiquity of the site’s Paleoindian occupations persisted. In a recent paper, curator of archaeology Jonathan C. Lothrop and colleague Christopher Ellis analyzed formal characteristics of the site's fluted points and the distinctive protocols for how these points were made (https://doi.org/10.1080/20555563.2019.1601473). Their study demonstrates that the oldest points at West Athens Hill are comparable to Clovis fluted points, radiocarbon dated elsewhere in North America to 13,400-12,800 years ago. This "relative dating" analysis shows that West Athens Hill was indeed one of the first localities visited by early Native Americans who peopled the New York region in the Ice Age.
Photo (top): Ice Age Hunters life group, Native Peoples Hall, New York State Museum; (bottom) Finished fluted points (I-N) and unfinished fluted bifaces (A-H) in the West Athens Hill collection of the New York State Museum.
#nysmresearch #archaeology #iceage

We're excited to partner with Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton on the "Focus on Nature XV" exhibition. T...
07/15/2019

We're excited to partner with Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton on the "Focus on Nature XV" exhibition.

The exhibit, which features 87 illustrations created by 69 artists, will be on display at the Roberson from July 21, 2019 - January 20, 2020.

Illustrations in the exhibit include a painting of a 95-million-year-old octopus by Esther van Hulsen, which was painted with the octopus’ own ink! The fossil of the octopus was found in such excellent condition that it was possible to obtain some ink.

Learn more about the incredible illustrations: http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/fon

Kids can create their own abstract artwork tomorrow, July 13, at 1:00 pm at the "Modernism at the Woodstock Art Colony" ...
07/12/2019

Kids can create their own abstract artwork tomorrow, July 13, at 1:00 pm at the "Modernism at the Woodstock Art Colony" program.

Learn about how artists working in the 20th century Woodstock Art Colony were inspired by styles like abstraction and cubism. This program is ideal for children ages 9 and older.

Details: https://bit.ly/2XHDhzj

(Photo: Abstract Composition by Rolph Scarlett)

Perhaps best-known as an art patron and the founder of the museum that bears her name—the Whitney Museum of American A...
07/10/2019

Perhaps best-known as an art patron and the founder of the museum that bears her name—the Whitney Museum of American Art—Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney was also a sculptor who had studied at the Art Students League, garnered numerous public commissions, and whose strong ties to Woodstock and its artists began in the 1920s. This small scale sculpture depicts her daughter Barbara at age ten and is on view in the exhibition "The Historic Woodstock Art Colony: The Arthur A. Anderson Collection"
http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/exhibitions/arthur-anderson-collection
#HistoryHumpday #gertrudewhitney

Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney (American, 1875-1942)
Young Girl (Wall Flower), 1913
Plaster with patina finish

#ScienceTuesday: Natural History Illustration"Focus on Nature XV" (FON) is the culmination of 30 years of natural histor...
07/09/2019

#ScienceTuesday: Natural History Illustration
"Focus on Nature XV" (FON) is the culmination of 30 years of natural history illustration biennial exhibitions organized by the New York State Museum. This year’s exhibit takes place at the Roberson Museum and Science Center in Binghamton, New York from July 21, 2019 through January 12, 2020. There are 87 pieces by 69 artists representing 13 countries. The primary purpose of FON has always been to highlight the skills of artists and the possibilities of this genre in terms of subject, medium, style, and presentation.

Since "Focus on Nature" began in 1990, the quality, style and techniques employed by natural history illustrators have evolved greatly, particularly with the introduction of the computer and other media including 3D printing, videos, Yupo and clayboard. Artists are also able to easily communicate across continents, strengthening global relationships and expanding the reach of new techniques.

Further, the purpose of this style of illustration has also shifted. For centuries, in the absence of cameras or video, illustrators held the primary responsibility of visually documenting scientific discoveries and research as well as expressing the human relationship with the natural world. In an age of high-speed technology, it is often difficult to slow down to make patient and deliberate observations of the environment or to reflect on our part in the earth's cycle. Illustrators can encourage thoughtfulness as well as present comprehensible, appealing images that provide knowledge and stimulate curiosity, leading to a better understanding of organisms and ecosystems that then encourages good stewardship of the planet. At a time when the survival of all forms of life are threatened, every effort to highlight the urgency of the situation is important.

For more information and to view the catalog of artwork from the upcoming FON XV exhibition, please visit: http://www.nysm.nysed.gov/fon
#naturalhistory #illustration

REMINDER: The New York State Museum is closed today, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. The Museum will reopen to...
07/04/2019

REMINDER: The New York State Museum is closed today, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. The Museum will reopen tomorrow, July 5.

This ribbon from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, was probably created in conjunction with the “...
07/03/2019

This ribbon from the 1901 Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York, was probably created in conjunction with the “Negro Exhibit.” This exhibit, created by W.E.B. DuBois, displayed the accomplishments of African Americans in several disciplines including science, literature, art, and education after less than forty years of freedom from slavery.

Emancipation celebrations took place in New York State well into the 20th century and gave African Americans an opportunity to celebrate the end of slavery within their communities. #HistoryHumpday #NYSMhistory #webdubois #emancipation

#ScienceTuesday: Glacial GeologyLater this summer, NYSM geologists will begin a large-scale project to investigate the s...
07/02/2019

#ScienceTuesday: Glacial Geology
Later this summer, NYSM geologists will begin a large-scale project to investigate the stratigraphic record of the Finger Lakes in Ithaca, NY. The Finger Lakes are among the most famous glacial landscapes in the world, yet scientifically we know little about the details of their origin and the geologic record retained in the lake basins. Cayuga Lake is more than 430 feet deep and the sediment thickness is estimated at 740 feet thick. Currently, most hypotheses regarding age and distribution are based on seismic surveys collected in the early 1990’s. Beginning in September, the museum scientists plan to collect continuous cores of this sediment record in the Cayuga Trough to evaluate the record of Ice Age events. These sediment cores and fossils will provide high-resolution geologic information to help evaluate the current hypotheses as well as learn more about the natural history of New York State. #fingerlakes #NYSMresearch #glacialgeology

A big thank you to Albany Kids Out And About readers for voting the New York State Museum as one of the Top 20 Places to...
07/02/2019

A big thank you to Albany Kids Out And About readers for voting the New York State Museum as one of the Top 20 Places to Take Kids in the Capital District!

NOTICE: The New York State Museum will be closed on Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. The Museum will ...
07/01/2019

NOTICE: The New York State Museum will be closed on Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day. The Museum will reopen on Friday, July 5.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were founded by Ralph C. Wilson Jr....
06/26/2019

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Buffalo Bills. The Bills were founded by Ralph C. Wilson Jr. and joined the American Football League in 1959. In the early years the team won back to back AFL Championships in 1964 and 1965. In the 1990s the Bills went to four straight Super Bowls, the only team in the history of the NFL to ever do so. The team recently donated artifacts to the State Museum’s growing sports collection, including a football signed by former players Bruce Smith, Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Chris Mohr, and Will Wofford. #HistoryHumpday #NYSMhistorycollection #buffalobills

There are still spots remaining for Saturday’s hike at Thacher Park with State Museum geologist Chuck Ver Straeten! Ch...
06/25/2019

There are still spots remaining for Saturday’s hike at Thacher Park with State Museum geologist Chuck Ver Straeten!

Chuck will highlight the geology and topography of the area during this picturesque tour. The hiking tour begins at 9:00 am this Saturday, June 29.

Pre-registration is required; call 518-872-0800 to register. bit.ly/31Qq85A

#ScienceTuesday: OrnithologyBlackpoll Warblers breed across the North American boreal forest and winter in tropical Sout...
06/25/2019

#ScienceTuesday: Ornithology
Blackpoll Warblers breed across the North American boreal forest and winter in tropical South America. In the photograph at left is an adult breeding male captured in New Brunswick. On the right is an adult breeding male captured in Yukon Territories and affixed with a light-level geolocator that tracked its annual migration path. Western-breeding birds arrive later, depart earlier, and migrate much further than eastern-breeding birds. This figure appears in a new research paper entitled “Length polymorphisms at two candidate genes explain variation of migratory behaviors in blackpoll warblers (Setophaga striata)”, published in the journal Ecology and Evolution. The team of authors includes NYSM Curator of Birds Jeremy Kirchman and was led by former NYSM Graduate Fellow Joel Ralston, who now is a professor of biology at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana. The researchers found that the lengths of some genes are consistently correlated with spring departure date and with migration duration in both spring and fall. It’s not yet clear how the length of these genes controls the migratory behaviors of these amazing birds. #NYSMresearch #blackpollwarblers

NOTICE: The Native Peoples of New York gallery will be closed July 1 - August 5 for required maintenance. We appreciate ...
06/24/2019

NOTICE: The Native Peoples of New York gallery will be closed July 1 - August 5 for required maintenance. We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.

We look forward to reopening the gallery on Tuesday, August 6.

Learn about the rise of the barge canal during a lunchtime tour of the Erie Canal exhibition next Thursday, June 27 at n...
06/21/2019

Learn about the rise of the barge canal during a lunchtime tour of the Erie Canal exhibition next Thursday, June 27 at noon.

https://bit.ly/2L73pfA

Address

222 Madison Ave
Albany, NY
12230

Opening Hours

Tuesday 09:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:30 - 17:00
Thursday 09:30 - 17:00
Friday 09:30 - 17:00
Saturday 09:30 - 17:00
Sunday 09:30 - 17:00

Telephone

(518) 474-5877

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