In the heart of downtown Albany lies one of the city's best-kept secrets: the Albany Institute of History & Art. Located only a few blocks from Empire State Plaza and New York State's governing body, the AIHA boasts an impressive array of art collections that tell the story of Albany and its surrounding areas along with an exhibit containing pieces dating back to 1,000 B.C.E.
As one of the oldest museums in the United States, founded in 1791, the Albany Institute of History & Art serves a vital role in preserving and displaying the richness the city and country has to offer. Despite being over 200 years old, the museum has stood the test of time, often raising money to fund key renovations to stay relevant; most recently when $17 million was raised between 1998-2001. 
Over the years various collections have come and gone through the museum but just like the museum itself, one such exhibit that seems to have stood the test of time - literally and figuratively - is the Ancient Egypt exhibit. First introduced in 1909, this specific exhibit has grown to now include two complete mummies, one male and the other female, along with reproduced exerts from the "Book of the Dead", artifacts including textiles and ceramics along with hieroglyphics. There is even a mummified dog included! 
Other significant exhibits include pieces related to the Hudson River School of art which grew in prominence during the mid-18th century. Thomas Cole is largely credited for sparking the movement which depicts the beauty and elegance of the Hudson River landscape, sometimes idealizing nature. 
On a weekly basis one can travel to the museum either alone or with friends and family and enjoy educational opportunities ranging from film screenings to public lectures to the unveiling of new exhibits.