We stopped by the Hudson River Panorama exhibit Sunday at the Albany Institute (on view through the rest of this year), and found it a bit of a mish-mash but worth seeing. I hadn't been aware that one of the effects of disastrous riverfront "development," especially the egregious I-787 highway, was the loss of entire islands, including Park Island where there used to be a race track, on view in a painting here. More significant works of art include Harry Worthman's splendid portrait of his father Louis carrying a "Basket of Tomatoes." Louis, I learned, was a Russian immigrant who in 1933 helped found the Menands Market for local farmers -- at least that institution is still going strong. And Albany Rural Cemetery, shown with a dirt road in an 1849 painting, otherwise looks little changed. There is some nice Hudson River School art on view, in pristine condition as opposed to some of the pictures in the impressive permanent collection upstairs. The exhibit, for example, has an 1850 Robert Havell "View on the Hudson" with finely detailed tree leaves in the foreground, and the grand river with its inlets in a bright yet soft light beyond.
Wandering into the permanent collection, a side foyer is dominated by the stern, forward-leaning, long-haired but very male "Angel of the Sepulchre" by Erastus Dow Palmer. A nearby marble relief by the same artist is "Peace in Bondage" from the Civil War year 1863. It's another angelic form, but a lovely, partially nude female one decidedly on the sexy side.
Outside on Washington Avenue in front of the museum, labeled tulips were in various stages of bloom. (We didn't get to the Moses statue in Washington Park, center of this coming weekend's tulip festival, which I always think they hold a week late but will no doubt be a good time. They were still filming that tanker-truck thriller, with I assume Angelina Jolie's stunt double, on the spaghetti-junction off ramps of the aforementioned 787.)