While we may be celebrating the season differently this year, there are plenty of exhibitions to get us into the holiday spirit.
From the festive holiday-themed Saturday Evening Post covers by Norman Rockwell to “Decking the Halls” at the Fenimore Art Museum in Cooperstown, there are a variety of exhibits across the region that will do the trick.
Norman Rockwell Museum
From the heartwarming homecoming scenes to the comical scenes of children discovering the secret behind Santa Claus, no one captured the holidays quite like illustrator Norman Rockwell. Some of Rockwell’s classic images will be available to view in “Norman Rockwell’s 323 ‘Saturday Evening Post’ Covers” at the museum.
The museum will also host its miniature Stockbridge winter village and toy train set, featuring more than 20 small-scale replicas of the architecturally notable buildings in downtown Stockbridge, which Rockwell depicted. The illustrator’s original Main Street painting will be on view and a video tour is available through the museum’s app.
Visitors are also encouraged to view the Wish Tree on the museum’s front terrace and write down a wish to hang on the tree. To visit and purchase tickets in advance, visit nrm.org.
Albany Institute of History & Art
This long-standing museum is starting a new tradition and continuing a few others this holiday season.
It will offer an outdoor pop-up exhibit featuring archival photos and images of winter scenes and themes. One photograph dating to 1912 shows people ice skating in Washington Park. The exhibit is placed along Washington Avenue and is available to view both inside and outside of museum hours through Jan. 3.
Inside, the Institute has been decorated with classic holiday decor, and the traditional dioramas from artist and children’s book author Joan Steiner will be on view throughout. Some feature holiday scenes such as “The Nutcracker,” made with unexpected items like mini candy canes and recorders. There is also a scavenger hunt to go along with the exhibition, which will be up through Feb. 21.
The Albany Institute is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 12-5 p.m. Sunday. Timed tickets are encouraged and can be purchased up to 24 hours in advance online. For information, visit albanyinstitute.org.
More from Celebrate 2020
- On with the shows: There are still holiday performances to see and hear, outdoors or online
- The roads less traveled: COVID leaves huge hole in Capital Region holiday racing schedule
- From unique to quirky, shopping local in Capital Region has its perks
- Capital Region artists continue to create new music
Fenimore Art Museum
The museum, known for presenting folk art among other genres, continues its wintertime tradition with “Decking the Halls.”
The exhibition features a selection of holiday ornaments, cards, music and photographs, which reflect on the legend of Santa Claus and the origins of certain Christmas carols. It will also feature the writings of Susan Fenimore Cooper, which discuss local traditions of villagers dating back as far as the 1840s. The exhibit runs through the end of the year.
For information, visit fenimoreart.org.
Ten Broeck Mansion
The Albany County Historical Association is offering tours of its festively decorated home, the Ten Broeck Mansion.
The mansion was built in 1798 for Abraham and Elizabeth Ten Broeck. The ACHA received the mansion as a gift from the Olcott family in 1948, and the museum site stretches across nearly four acres, including gardens and a gallery space.
The ACHA hosts tours on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 2:30 p.m. through Dec. 20.
Tours will include stories about holidays past and the history of the mansion. Advance tickets are required, and all visitors must wear a mask and practice social distancing.
ACHA will also have free take-home ornament kits via the outdoor garden educational kiosk. Children can bring the ornaments they create to hang on the community tree display at the mansion.
A pop-up porch sale with locally made wreaths and other goods will run at the mansion from noon to 3 p.m. through Dec. 20. For information, visit tenbroeckmansion.org.