Albany's best art museum is the second-oldest museum in the United States -- older even than the Smithsonian and Louvre. Restored and sensitively expanded in 2001 -- two turn-of-the-20th-century buildings were linked by a modern glass lobby -- the museum presents the history of the Hudson River and Albany through the works of local artists and artisans. The permanent collection includes decorative arts, furniture, and nearly 5 centuries of paintings and sculpture. Among the most important are paintings by artists such as Thomas Cole, from the Hudson River School, the first American school of art. In the Colonial Albany gallery are furnishings, paintings, and artifacts that tell the story of the ancient Dutch settlement in this area 350 years ago. Ancient Egypt galleries feature a pair of mummies, a priest, and a priestess, from 304 B.C. and 966 B.C. The museum presents special exhibits that are among the best in upstate New York, and there are plenty of lectures and activities geared toward children. An hour or two should be sufficient here.
- © Frommer's 2013
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- Recommended 2010