Beginning this month the Albany Institute of History & Art will launch a new monthly lecture series entitled Making It American. The series will take a broad look at what art and material culture can teach us about the development of American history, culture, the arts, politics, and our identity as a nation.
In this series, invited scholars will analyze American values and ideals to enhance our experience and understanding of our world. A painting or school of painters, or a spinning wheel or farm kitchen tools will serve as touchstones for the series.
Making It American will offer audiences an opportunity to learn from scholars recognized in their field, whom we will challenge to make their expertise and our collections accessible.
Funding to launch this series has been provided by New York Council on the Humanities and Fidelity Investments. Tickets are $10 General Public; $8 Students and Seniors; $5 AIHA Members.
Mapping America: Maps as a Historical Resource
Joseph Garver, Curator of Maps at the Harvard College Library
Sunday, November 18, 2 PM
Focusing on the cartographic history of New York (with a special emphasis on the Hudson Valley), this presentation will examine how we can use maps to investigate our personal and collective past. Garver will use early New York and New England Maps to show how the simplest map can reveal our history, how people perceive an imagine spaces they occupy, and events that were significant in shaping the landscape or life of the places they call home.
400 years of American Quilts
Linda Baumgarten, Curator of Textiles & Costumes, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
December 2, 2 PM
Baumgarten will share how quilts were shaped by imported objects and traditions and how every group that settled in the U.S. brought its own quilting traditions. Quilts speak volumes about the multi-ethnic story of America, the availability of materials, changing styles, memories, human connections, and the daily lives of individuals who stitched stories that often live beyond their names.
Making Impressionism American
Amanda Burdan, Assistant Curator, Brandywine River Museum
January 6, 2013, 2 PM
In 1886, the last year of the Impressionist exhibitions in Paris, the first exhibition of French Impressionism was shown in the United States. This distance allowed American artists, critics, and collectors time to reflect and translate the style into something tailor-made for American audiences. Burdan will illustrate how French Impressionism was not simply adopted, but adapted and repurposed by American Artists.
Illustration: Jacques-Gérard Milbert (1766-1840) Artist; Isidore-Laurent Deroy Engraver “Albany- Capital of the State of New York, 1829-29” Albany Institute of History & Art Purchase.