Albany Institute of History and ArtWorld Renowned Hudson River School Collection by 35 Artists, Including Thomas Cole, Frederic Church and Asher Durand, Now Available to View Online

Project sponsored by Capital Region creative economy entrepreneur Tom Nardacci

Albany, N.Y. – The Albany Institute of History & Art today announced the launch of a new 3D digital tour of their Hudson River School exhibition. The Albany Institute has one of the largest collections of Hudson River School style paintings and now, using cutting-edge technology, visitors can explore the Christine & George R. Hearst III gallery and discover the landscapes and scenes of the Hudson River School painters from anywhere in the world.

“We are thrilled to announce the 3D digital tour of the historic Hudson River School exhibit,” said Tammis K. Groft, Executive Director of the Albany Institute of History & Art. “Families can enjoy this classic collection at home – while we now turn to brainstorming how to transform even more of our museum's collections into a virtual experience.”

The Albany Institute’s Hudson River School exhibition is home to 83 paintings by 35 artists, including the movement’s founder Thomas Cole who has the greatest representation with 16 paintings on display. The paintings range in date from John Vanderlyn's paintings of Niagara Falls (1802-1803) to George Herbert McCord's painting of Lake George (1887). The exhibit is also home to two paintings by Sarah Cole, the sister of Thomas Cole, one of a small number of women artists who painted landscapes in the Hudson River School style.

"The Hudson River School’s painting collection is one of the Institute's most popular exhibitions,” said W. Douglas McCombs, PhD, Chief Curator at the Albany Institute of History & Art. “Being able to visit it virtually through this 3D tour allows audiences the ability to view these national treasures whether the galleries are open or closed.”

After the launch of the online Hudson River School Project, the Albany Institute plans to use this 3D technology in the future to advance STEAM programming, to engage different audiences and to dive deeper into their collection. These experiences will also be able to be shared and distributed by some of Albany’s prominent tourism brands, like Discover Albany, so people from all throughout the state and beyond can view this prominent collection online.

“The Hudson River School paintings are such an important part of United States history, and we are so incredibly lucky to have them right here in Albany,” said Jill Delaney, President and CEO of Discover Albany. “We hope that locals and future visitors take advantage of viewing the collection from the comfort of their own homes until they are able to visit in-person again soon.”

The project was funded by Tom Nardacci, founder and CEO of Aurelius Coworks (Troy Innovation Garage/Bull Moose Club) and Gramercy Communications. Nardacci tapped Troy Innovation Garage member V. Owen Bush of Hudson Reality Capture, whose new startup has started to work with museums and galleries as well as work with commercial and residential property owners, to work on implementation of the project.

“When my family canceled our April trip to Paris, I decided to take my children on a virtual tour through The Louvre and thought, why can’t we recreate this experience right here in the Capital Region?” said Nardacci. “I engaged with Tammis and the team at the Albany Institute to brainstorm how to get this project off the ground while people are still at home and homeschooling their children. The Albany Institute has so many great immersive programs and I thought this would be another great tool for them. Working with Owen and his team, this innovative project took shape in just a matter of days.”

To explore the exhibit through this 3D tour, visit



About the Albany Institute of History & Art: Founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art is New York’s oldest museum. Its collections document the Hudson Valley as a crossroads of culture, influencing the art and history of the region, the state, and the nation. With more than 35,000 objects and one million documents in the library, it is an important resource for the region, giving our community a sense of the part the Hudson Valley played in the American story, and our own place in history. Permanent and temporary exhibitions are open year-round and create a sense of place, allowing visitors to meet the people who helped shape this region. Among the museum’s best-known and most-loved collections are the 19th century Hudson River School landscape paintings by artists like Thomas Cole and Frederic Church, the 19th century sculpture collections, and, of course, the famous Albany Mummies that came to the museum in 1909 and have been on view ever since

The Albany Institute of History & Art is located at 125 Washington Avenue in downtown Albany, New York. The museum is currently closed to the public through June 30, 2020 (schedule subject to change). While closed, the Albany Institute has launched a Museum at Home initiative encouraging curiosity and creativity at home and directing the public to a variety of online resources such as student lesson plans, virtual tours, video presentations, online exhibitions, at-home art projects, and digital collections , plus a new series of museum blogs that highlight behind-the-scenes stories and fun ways to connect to the museum remotely. Museum at Home materials are available through the Albany Institute’s website ( and promoted through daily posts on the museum’s social media channels: Facebook (, Twitter (@AlbanyInstitute), and Instagram (albanyinstitute).



Aine Leader-Nagy

Director of Community Engagement