Replica Ship Half Moon Opportunities Announced

William T. (Chip) Reynolds, Director, New Netherland Museum and Captain, Replica Ship Half Moon has announced that work is proceeding on fall programming and regular ship-board projects, and the ship will be holding an upcoming sail training opportunity.

On July 21-22 crew old and new alike will come together on the Half Moon to train in sail handling and ship operations. The two day program will depart from and return to Peckham Wharf in Athens, NY while anchoring out on the evening of the 21st. Crew will board 8am Saturday and depart late afternoon on Sunday.  No prior experience necessary- all training will be provided. Preference will be given to those who have volunteered with the Half Moon this season.

If you would like to participate in the sail training weekend, send an email with your name, phone number, location and the information for an emergency contact to: hmvolunteer@gmail.com

Dockside work continues on the Half Moon as they prepare for sail training and other programming through the summer and Fall of 2012. Crew have been working around the ship on various projects. Doug Lyke has been working on rewiring bilge pumps and radio wires- Gene Tozzi repaired the decorative anchor on the front of the ship- Woody Woodworth and Bob Hansen have installed new water pumps and other elements for the ship’s generator.

In addition to work around the ship, they’ve also said goodbye to bo’sun Wesley Jasper who spent three months living and working aboard the Half Moon, and who is headed to the Rotterdam Maritime Academy in the fall.

Work will continue weekdays throughout the summer. If you are interested in joining in and assisting with maintenance work around the ship, contact them at 518.443.1609 or by email at: hmvolunteer@gmail.com

This season, the Half Moon will be open for school and public tours in Albany NY Sept 22 & 23 and Sept 29 & 30 and public viewing in Connecticut.

Half Moon also offers school class tours. Educators looking to sign-up their class Sept 21, Sept 24-28 and Oct 1-4, should contact Carol Ann Margolis at the Albany Convention and Visitor’s Bureau: 518.434.0405

The 85-foot replica of the ship Henry Hudson sailed while exploring the Hudson River in 1609 has a volunteer crew of 15 and was built in Albany, N.Y. in 1989 to commemorate the Dutch role in exploring and colonizing America. The Half Moon replica has six sails on three masts, sporting 2,757 square feet of canvas. It’s equipped with six cannons and four anchors.

The original ship, called the Halve Maen, was commissioned on March 25, 1609 for the Dutch East India Company. The company hired Hudson, an Englishman, to search for a passageway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. He thought he had found that passage when he sailed up the river that now bears his name. In making his trip up the river, Hudson claimed the area for the Dutch and opened the land for settlers who followed. His voyage came 10 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock. 

For general information about the replica Half Moon check their website.

Photo provided.

Partners for Albany Stories Honoring Retiring Assemblymen

Partners for Albany Stories (PAS) will host a reception to honor Assembly Majority Leader Ronald Canestrari, Assemblymember John J. McEneny, and Assemblymember Robert Reilly for their significant contributions to Albany’s historic and cultural resources. The event will take place at the Albany Institute of History & Art on Wednesday, June 13 from 5:30 to 7:30 PM, with presentations at 6 PM.

PAS is a collaboration of historic, cultural, and preservation organizations working to develop an integrated historical narrative and marketing approach for the city of Albany and build the capacity of our member institutions to serve the community’s economic development goals.

Light refreshments will be served. Suggested donation is $15.00 per person, and can be made online at albanyinstitute.org or by phone at (518) 463-4478, ext. 405. Registering online will record your RSVP as a tax deductible donation.

Suffrage Campaign Wagon on Display at Capitol

A horse-drawn suffrage campaign wagon used by suffragist Edna Buckman Kearns to organize for Votes for Women is on exhibit at the state capitol in Albany, through May 2012. The artifact of the suffrage movement is representative of the tens of thousands of women nationwide who participated in the 72-year movement to win the right to vote for women.

The story of the Edna Kearns suffrage campaign wagon is detailed in a blog and web site called Suffrage Wagon News Channel (suffragewagon.org), which for the past two years has been publishing news and stories of the Votes for Women movement. Suffrage Wagon News Channel is published by Marguerite Kearns, the granddaughter of Edna Buckman Kearns, and it features the writings and organizing of Edna Kearns who worked on Long Island and New York City as an writer and editor of suffrage news as well as an on-the-ground organizer for the state and national campaigns.

“All types of people are amazed when they hear stories of the suffrage movement,” says Marguerite Kearns, who said she grew up listening to family stories about Grandmother Edna, but she didn’t learn about the suffrage movement in school.

“My grandmother died in 1934, so what I know is from the papers my grandmother saved. As I read my grandmother’s writings and news clippings, I am touched by the dedication and persistence of her generation. We stand on strong shoulders, and this type of strength is something we don’t have to reinvent. It’s part of a collective memory that comes alive when stories of the movement are shared.”

Suffrage centennials have been celebrated in the western states where women first won the right to vote. Oregon, for example, has numerous events scheduled for its centennial in 2012. And New York State is putting preliminary plans in place to celebrate its centennial in 2017. The national centennial for Votes for Women is set for 2020 in the United States.

The exhibit is sponsored by NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo at the state capitol to recognize women’s accomplishments and as a way to make history more real for his three daughters.

Historic Cherry Hill Opens, Fundraiser Planned

Historic Cherry Hill in Albany, a non-profit historic house museum built in 1787 and lived in continuously by five generations of the same family until the death of the last family member in 1963, opens for the public season on Wednesday April 4th. The museum has 20,000 objects, 30,000 manuscripts, 7,500 textiles, 5,000 books and 3,000 photographs in its collection and offers a behind-the-scenes restoration tour exploring the large restoration project currently underway on Wednesday afternoons at 1, 2 and 3pm and on Saturday afternoons at 2 and 3pm.

A special fundraiser to benefit the museum will be held on Saturday, April 14th from 5:00pm to 7:30pm. Participants will join Van Rensselaer family member Elsie Whipple and Cherry Hill hired hand Jesse Strang on the 185th anniversary of their romantic rendezvous at Hill’s Tavern, explore the historic tavern building and learn about their tryst that led to murder. The fundraiser is hosted by The Tailored Tea at the Historic Hills House, formerly known as Hill’s Tavern and will include wines and specialty teas as well as homemade sweet and savory treats. Tickets are $50.00 per person. For more information or to order tickets, call Historic Cherry Hill at (518) 434-4791.

Admission to Cherry Hill is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and college students and $2 for children between the ages of 12 and 18. The museum also offers an Architecture Hunt for Families on Saturdays between 1 and 2pm. Admission for the Hunt is $2 for adults and $1 for children ages 6-11. The museum is open from April through December for tours on these days. For more information visit the museum’s website.

Medical Center to Scan Albany Institute Mummies

In preparation for the 2013 exhibition The Mystery of the Albany Mummies, the Albany Institute of History & Art’s two mummies, each thousands of years old, will be brought to Albany Medical Center for CT scans and x-rays, using modern imaging techniques to learn the mummies’ genders, causes of death, and more. Leading experts in body imaging and Egyptology will direct the procedures and analyze results.

The Albany Institute of History & Art’s two mummies were acquired from Cairo, Egypt in 1909, were brought to the Albany Institute from Cairo in 1909 by Samuel W. Brown, a member of the museum’s Board of Trustees. The mummies and their coffins have been seen by generations of visitors.

Arthur Pielli, Radiology Manager at Albany Medical Center, and two radiologists, Phuong Nguyen Vinh, MD, and Michael Edward Schuster, MD will examine the mummies. The results will then be analyzed with the help of Egyptologist and medical doctor Dr. Robert Brier, a Senior Research Fellow at Long Island University known as “Mr. Mummy,” and Dr. Peter Lacovara, the exhibition’s guest curator and Senior Curator of Egypt, Nubia and Near East at the Carlos Museum at Emory University.

The mummies were last examined by x-rays and CT scans on November 12, 1988. This preliminary analysis helped to determine the mummies’ sex, approximate ages, and various insights into the mummification process. The x-rays and CT scans show a number of bundles inside both of the mummies. Based on the last scan, it was determined that the partially unwrapped mummy is Ankhefenmut, a priest in the temple of Mut at Karnak in Thebes during Dynasty XXI (c.1085-945 BC).

Ankhefenmut is reported to have died in 966 and was probably between 55 and 65 years old at the time of his death. The wrapped mummy is a woman. Her name is not known because the top of the coffin was badly deteriorated and left in Cairo by Samuel Brown in 1909. According to Brown she also came from the cache at Deir el-Bahri. X-rays reveal that she was probably between 35-45 years old when she died.

During Dynasty XXI, a change in the practice of mummification occurred. The internal organs were no longer placed in canopic jars, but were usually wrapped in linen packages. These packages were then placed in the empty body or placed between the legs. Canopic jars, however, continued to be a part of the funerary equipment, but were made smaller.

Perhaps the most interesting discovery was a well-crafted fake toe, possibly made of ceramic, carefully attached to the right foot of the wrapped mummy. It is presumed that the toe was fashioned for the woman during the mummification process because of the belief that one had to be physically intact to enter the afterlife. This discovery was highlighted on The Learning Channel’s program, The Ancient ER, in February 2003.

The initiative is a collaboration between the Albany Institute of History & Art, Albany Medical Center, University at Albany Foundation, and the University at Albany Center for Humanities, Arts, and TechnoSciences.

Photo: Partially unwrapped mummy of Ankhefenmut, a priest in the temple of Mut at Karnak in Thebes during Dynasty XXI (c.1085-945 BC). Courtesy Albany Institute of History and Art.

William Kennedy’s Prohibition Story:An Interview with Exec Producer Dan Swinton

The passage of the Volstead Act and prohibition against intoxicating liquor caused a profound change in American culture by breaking the traditional mold of heroes and anti-heroes. Popular media has romanticized the anti-hero “gangster” role, and some of the greatest actors of the movie-making era have portrayed names like Al Capone, “Bugs” Moran, “Bugsy” Siegal and “Machine Gun” Kelly on the silver screen. In many instances, thugs, authorities and officials become the puppets of the crime boss, or the authorities become as violent as the criminals do.
Read more

Albany’s Unique Architecture: H.H. Richardson

Any visitor to Albany has to consider the unique architecture styles that define the city. New York History had the recent opportunity to talk with Andrew Alberti, the program manager for Lakes to Locks Passage, about Albany’s architecture. Alberti studied the history of Albany’s architecture when he was a Masters student at the University at Albany’s public history program. Read more

See New St. Peters Church Exhibit First, Free

Visitors to the Albany Institute of History & Art on Friday, March 2 from 5–8 PM can enjoy a free sneak peak at the museum’s newest exhibition, St. Peter’s Church: 300 Years of History & Art before it’s officially opening on March 3. The event is in association with Albany’s 1st Friday art walk, showcasing the art scene in downtown Albany. The show, running through April 29, will examine the role St. Peter’s Church has played in shaping Albany and the upper Hudson Valley.

The exhibition showcases the distinguished history of St. Peter’s Church in Albany, New York, which begins in 1708 when England’s Queen Anne sent missionaries to establish friendly relations with the Iroquois.

A gambrel-roofed masonry edifice with a bell tower was completed in 1715. Located on State Street, just below present day Chapel Street, it was the first Anglican Church built north of New York City and west of the Hudson River. In 1802 Albany architect Phillip Hooker designed a new Federal Style church near the same location, which Richard Upjohn of New York City, well-known for his Gothic Revival Style replaced in 1860. His son, Richard M. Upjohn added the impressive bell tower in 1876.

The richly decorated interiors include work by leading artists designers including windows designed by the English artist Edward C. Burne-Jones and fabricated by the William Morris Company of London in 1880- the chancel windows made by Clayton and Bell of London in 1885- and the rose window over the State Street entrance made by the Tiffany Company in 1892. Drawn from the collections of St. Peter’s Church and the Albany Institute, the exhibition includes the rarely seen 1712 Queen Anne Communion Service, land grants, portraits, furniture, drawings, prints, maps, and photographs arranged to highlight the history of the church and its role in the historical events that molded the region.

The show will be located within the Entry Gallery of the Albany Institute of History & Art, which is situated at 125 Washington Avenue, Albany. In conjunction with the show, the Institute is hosting a three-part lecture series entitled “300 Years, One Congregation” for a more in-depth look at the church and its legacy. Visit albanyinstitute.org for more information.

RELATED EVENTS:

300 Years, One Congregation: Three Buildings, Four Distinguished Architects
Sunday, March 4 at 2 PM
John G. Waite, FAIA, and Doug Bucher of John G. Waite Associates, Architects, PLLC will present a lecture on the architectural and artistic history and legacy of St. Peter’s Church. Free with museum admission.

300 Years, One Congregation: One Faith: The Stained Glass Windows at St. Peter’s Church

Sunday, March 25 at 2 PM
Mr. Anthony Anadio will present an illustrated lecture of the stories told by the thousands of pieces of stained glass created by some of the world’s finest artisans that are part of St. Peter’s Church. The lecture will be followed by a tour of St. Peter’s to see the actual windows. Free with museum admission.

Illustration: St. Peter’s Church circa 1850 by James Eights (1797-1882), watercolor.

Chris Pryslopski: Preserving the Recent Past

It may be true that our past is behind us, but some of it remains nearer than the rest. Distance provides a remove from which to appraise the value of a person, thing,or event. The lack of such distance can limit our perspective on the nearer parts, and in some instances, might destroy our heritage before we have a chance to adequately consider it.

Consider two examples of Capitol architecture. The 1899 New York State Capitol is heralded as a triumph. The virtual tour proudly states that the building took 32 years and $25 million to construct. It highlights the “grand spaces” and extravagant details throughout the building such as its carved staircases, its paneled chambers, and the exotic materials used inside and out. I have visited it myself and would recommend the tour to anyone with an interest in architecture or government.

But I would also recommend another nearby capitol, the Orange County Government Center. Equally grand, drafty, challenging, and detailed, it was designed by Paul Rudolph and opened in 1970. It is the last remaining work by an internationally renowned modern architect in the county, but when the Government Center appears in the news, it is most often being condemned as outdated, costly, and impractical,an architecturally inappropriate eyesore. Rather than imported granite and marble, it was constructed of cast concrete. Where the State Capitol is celebrated for a 56 foot high Assembly Chamber, The Government Center is faulted for the wasted space around open staircases and the thermal loss of its clerestories and large windows.

Paul Rudolph was unique among modernists in successfully winning a number of public contracts, but the fate of his creations is typical. The ideological, aesthetic, and engineering chutzpah of these architects who advanced the art through the Twentieth Century is now derided as kitsch, impractical, or failed. And our historic preservation laws do not provide umbrage for such youngsters: not yet 50 years old, their buildings must fend for themselves against nature and man.

If a building falls down due to poor design in less than 50 years, so be it. But the backlash against modern architecture is often about creating a new legacy by removing a previous one. At Gettysburg National Military Park, the National Park Service tried to destroy celebrated modernist Richard Neutra’s 1961 Cyclorama. They replaced it with a new visitor center, built to look old, on previously undisturbed ground, claiming it to be more appropriate to the site.

Fortunately, while many fail to appreciate plywood, plate-glass, and concrete with the same fervor that they exude for timber, stained glass, and marble, there are a few organizations addressing the importance of our latest inheritance. Learn more about the Recent Past Preservation Network and their efforts to preserve the Cyclorama online

The RPPN’s blog post about the Orange County Government Center is located here

The mission of DOCOMOMO New York/Tri-State is to“increase public awareness and appreciation of Modern movement architecture,landscape and urban design- to identify and document local examples- and to advocate for the protection of those determined most significant.”

The social, political, and engineering context that these buildings represent is a significant part of our national identity. While the nature of the movement and its pioneering use of engineered materials may condemn some of its experiments to rubble, there are enduring examples as well. Take a moment to consider what you haven’t yet,maybe your children’s children will thank you one day!

Photo: Orange County Government Center. Courtesy the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University, via the Recent Past Preservation Network.

Chris Pryslopski is Program Director of Marist College’s Hudson River Valley Institute and Associate Editor of the Hudson River Valley Review.

St. Peters Church in Albany the Focus of Events

The Albany Institute of History & Art will be presenting the first of a three lecture series “300 Years, One Congregation”, about St. Peter’s Church on State Street on Sunday, February 12 at 2 PM. In this first lecture “In One City of Two Cultures, Ministering to Three Nations” the history, purpose, and influence of St. Peter’s Church in Albany will be explored by a panel of experts, including the Reverend Paul Hartt, Rector, Ms. E. Connie Powell, Church Archivist and Mr. Chris Grill, Mentor at Empire State College. This event is FREE with museum admission.

The lecture series is in conjunction with the upcoming exhibition “St. Peter’s Church in Albany”, opening at the Albany Institute on March 3 and running through April 29, 2012. The exhibition draws from the collections of St. Peter’s Church and the Albany Institute and includes the rarely seen 1712 Queen Anne Communion Service, land grants, portraits, furniture, drawings, prints, maps, and photographs to highlight the history of the church and its role in the historical events that shaped Albany and the Upper Hudson Valley.

The other two lectures included in the series are:

Three Buildings, Four Distinguished Architects

SUNDAY, MARCH 4 | 2 PM
John G. Waite, FAIA, and Doug Bucher of John G. Waite Associates, Architects, PLLC will present a lecture on the architectural and artistic history and legacy of St. Peter’s Church. FREE with museum admission.

One Faith: The Stained Glass Windows at St. Peter’s Church

SUNDAY, MARCH 25 | 2 PM
Mr. Anthony Anadio will present an illustrated lecture of the stories told by the thousands of pieces of stained glass created by some of the world’s finest artisans that are part of St. Peter’s Church. The lecture will be followed by a tour of St. Peter’s to see the actual windows. FREE with museum admission.

RELATED EXHIBITION:
ST. PETER’S CHURCH IN ALBANY

MARCH 3–APRIL 29, 2012

The distinguished history of St. Peter’s Church in Albany, New York begins in 1708 when England’s Queen Anne sent missionaries to establish friendly relations with the Iroquois. A gambrel-roofed masonry edifice with a bell tower was completed in 1715. Located on State Street, just below present day Chapel Street, it was the first Anglican Church built north of New York City and west of the Hudson River. In 1802 Albany architect Phillip Hooker designed a new Federal Style church near the same location, which Richard Upjohn of New York City, well-known for his Gothic Revival Style replaced in 1860. His son, Richard M. Upjohn added the impressive bell tower in 1876. The richly decorated interiors include work by leading artists designers including windows designed by the English artist Edward C. Burne-Jones and fabricated by the William Morris Company of London in 1880- the chancel windows made by Clayton and Bell of London in 1885- and the rose window over the State Street entrance made by the Tiffany Company in 1892. The exhibition, drawn from the collections of St. Peter’s Church and the Albany Institute, include the rarely seen 1712 Queen Anne Communion Service, land grants, portraits, furniture, drawings, prints, maps, and photographs arranged to highlight the history of the church and its role in the historical events that shaped Albany and the upper Hudson Valley.

Illustration: St. Peter’s Church circa 1850 by James Eights (1797-1882), watercolor.