New York State Museum

This morning, I went to the New York State Museum all by myself.  I know, I know:  kids love it.  A wonderful family destination.  But last time I went, it was with the kids and the husband and my parents, and there just wasn’t time to look at everything.  Specifically, the 1609 exhibition, in honor of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson’s trip up “his” river.  I love history, and I’ve been meaning to go back.  So when I realized that the exhibition’s closing on Sunday, I had to go.  Turns out that the museum will actually be closed this Saturday and next Saturday. So, umm, don’t go then.

Anyway, I liked 1609, and I also got a chance to take a closer look at the exhibition on archaeology under Albany, which I thought was really interesting.  But also, I’m a little bit of a geek that way.  If you’ve got a kid who’s learning about the triangle trade in Colonial times, it’s got pieces from an old distillery that was buried under a would-be parking lot here in Albany.

I was a little bit bummed because when I looked online, there was also a description of a new Exhibit:  Women Who Rocked the Vote.  If I had been paying attention, I would have noticed that it said that this was in the Main Lobby.  I looked around the museum, and then I finally asked someone at the information desk.  Turn around, she said.

Oh.  Duh.  That’s it?  Yes, that’s the entire exhibition.  I was a little bit sad.  I’m all about girl power, and I’d been hoping that it could be its very own post.  I even found my two favorite Suffragette Songs: the runner up,  Sister Suffragette, from Mary Poppins (with the classic line:  “Though we adore men individually, we agree that as a group they’re rather stupid.”)  and the prize-winning Schoolhouse Rocks’ Sufferin’ Till Suffrage.  Please, click and enjoy.    And no, we have not yet made it to Seneca Falls.  Clearly it’s in our future.  I would love to know if anyone’s gone, and, if so, what’s a good age to take the kids?

But the surprise hit, for me, was This Great Nation Will Endure, with photographs from the Great Depression.   Jeez.  The next time I’m feeling sorry for myself, I will think of this woman. Sorry:  this was the only version that I could find easily, and it’s tough to see the photo well, but you can read the caption.

Some images that I was really excited to discover went with Dorothea Lange’s famous photo Migrant Mother.  Click on the link and you’ll say, yeah, I know that one.  But the news, for me, was that Lange took a total of 6 photographs of Florence Owens Thompson and her children, and in one of them, she’s breastfeeding the baby.  Scroll down and you’ll see the other images.  I don’t know, sometimes I see a famous photograph and I wish that I could zoom out or zoom in a little bit, so that was interesting, and seeing this icon nursing when we still have a hard time getting Facebook to let you post nursing moms and babies photos. . . well, anyway, I was excited.  But again, I’m a geek.


  1. Yikes! Didn’t realize that “1609” was closing already. I’ll have to get over there this week. My son is in 4th Grade, the year they’re supposed to learn about NY history. Since he’s homeschooled, we’re able to use museum visits to cover some of the curriculum.

    FYI – the Tang’s Lives of the Hudson exhibit closes in mid-March.

  2. Mari

    We just went to Seneca Falls with our 4 year old. The Womens Rights National Park was cool-a few kids things but her attention span lasted about 30 minutes. The Hall of Fame was unfortunately closed.

  3. Kelly

    Seneca Falls is The last time I went was in college – but it was very interactive. Perhaps middle elementary would be a good age.

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