New York State Museum celebrates 175th anniversary

The New York State Museum is getting old enough to be a museum piece itself. At 175 years it’s the oldest state museum in the country (and the largest), yet it’s constantly renewing its exhibitions and is anything but old and stuffy.

To celebrate, the museum is having a special exhibit called From the Collections, which shows the museum’s origins from an 1836 survey of the state’s geology, plants, and animals. Some of these original collections are on display, including minerals, the baleen of a whale, and information about some of the early researchers who got the museum going. One popular item is the Weebermobile, a one-cylinder car built in 1903 by Christian Weeber Jr. He began building cars in Albany as early as the 1890s.

Then there are the regular displays, such as the Native American art, a collection of Shaker artifacts, photos of Harlem in the 1920s, and a mastodon, shown here this photo courtesy Bob Keefer.

From the Collections runs until 1 April 2012.