The Capital Region In 50 Objects Exhibit Opens in Albany

If you had to describe Upstate New York using just 50 symbols or images, could you do it? A new art show proves it can be done

What do a typewriter, a chamber pot, billiard balls, a 28-foot-tall dog, and perforated toilet paper have in common?

They all represent the Capital Region, of course. Well, not of course. But each of these objects made the final cut of the Albany Institute of History and Art’s newest exhibition, The Capital Region in 50 Objects. The exhibition opens on September 19 and will run through April 3.

For the purposes of this show, the Capital Region comprises Albany, Rensselaer, Saratoga, and Schenectady counties. How do you represent more than 400 years of post-Henry Hudson history in just 50 objects? The museum, under the direction of Executive Director Tammis Groft and Chief Curator Doug McCombs, spent more than three years surveying nearly 60 museums and cultural organizations throughout the region. They also worked with the Albany Times Union to ask readers to submit their ideas based on themes such as arts, sports, entertainment, science and technology, politics, and others. After reviewing the responses, a committee worked to select the final 50 topics to represent a diverse history of the region.

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“The exhibition represents the voice of our region — how all of us who live and work here see our own history and identity,” McCombs says.

So how do the five above-mentioned artifacts do that? And what are the other 45 objects on display? Find out for yourself, when the exhibition debuts at a special reception on Friday, September 18 from 5:30-8 p.m. This reception is free and open to the public, but RSVPs are requested. Guests should RSVP to 518-463-4478, ext 403.

If you go…

The Capital Region in 50 Objects
When: September 19-April 3. Opening reception Friday, September 18 at 5:30-8 p.m. (RSVP requested)
Where: Albany Institute of History and Art, 125 Washington Ave., Albany
Cost: $10, $8 students and seniors, $6 children 6-12, children under 6 free
Details: 518-463-4478;

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