Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art is one of the oldest museums in the United States. It also is the major repository for the region's heritage, with nationally significant collections. The genesis of the Albany Institute of History & Art began with The Society for the Promotion of Agriculture, Arts, and Manufactures, founded in New York City in Federal Hall. Supported by the New York state legislature, to which it served as an informational advisor, the society met to improve the state’s economy through advances in agricultural methods and manufacturing technologies. In accordance with the condition that they meet where the legislature convened, the society moved to Albany in 1797, when it became the state capital.
From 1993 to 2000, the Albany Institute raised $17 million to bring the museum galleries and facilities up to twenty-first-century standards with a renovation and expansion project that created the museum you know today. The "new museum" reopened in September 2001. After a six-month search for a new director, the board announced the appointment of David Carroll, effective September 12, 2011. Carroll, who was executive director of the Western Museum of Mining and Industry in Colorado, replaced Christine Miles, who ran the Albany Institute of History & Art for twenty-five years. In December of 2012, Carroll left Albany and Tammis K. Groft took over as Interim Executive Director. In June of 2013, Groft was unanimously appointed Executive Director by the board of trustees.
Mission and Vision
The Albany Institute is dedicated to collecting, preserving, interpreting, and promoting interest in the history, art, and culture of Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley. The museum achieves this mission through its collections, exhibitions, education programs, library, research projects, publications, and other programs offered to the general public.