Current Exhibitions

Current Exhibitions about the History of Saratoga Springs

Internationally Famous:Famous

An Exhibition Celebrating the Creative, Bohemian Lives of Celebrity Photographer Cris Alexander and his Husband, NYC Ballet Dancer Shaun O’Brien

The body of work on exhibition is over 230 celebrity photographs from the worlds of theater, art, politics, journalism and society, some of which are recognizable to all viewers for being iconic photographs, by Cris Alexander. 

Shaun O’Brien was the lead character dancer for the NYC Ballet for over 35 years and was recognized for his characters Dr. Coppelius from Coppelia and Drosselmeyer from The Nutcracker.  This exhibition illustrates how as a couple they lived, loved, and created together for over 65 years.

This exhibit is made possible by: Michael B. Levinson of Empire Historic Arts

The Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust,  Special Thanks to Randy Crocker and Michael Whitton

 

Company L Goes to War: Saratoga Springs and WWI Troops depart for France 1916 web

In 1917, the United States joined the Allies in the fight against the Central Powers led by Germany and Austria-Hungary. This exhibit explains why America became involved in the fight and how men and women from Saratoga Springs helped win the war. The exhibit discusses heroics, horrific events and sacrifices made by the men fighting and those back at home.

Exhibit Curator Michael Levinson says that “When America entered WWI in 1917 the Army wasn’t ready for war and federalized National Guard units to build a fighting force. Company L of the 105th Infantry came from the Armory on Lake Avenue and was made up almost entirely of men from Saratoga Springs. We wanted to tell not only their story, but the story of what the community faced while they were off at war”.

 

 
 Made Possible by the Alfred Z. Solomon Charitable Trust
 
 
 

 

Permanent Exhibits

Orientation Gallery

Telling the Story of Saratoga Springs

The Orientation Exhibition in the first floor gallery provides the base on which other museum programs and exhibitions have been developed.

The exhibition features large graphics tying together each period and creating a sense of place, while smaller graphic details focus on the varied layers or thematic units within each time period.

Telling the Story of Saratoga Springs is divided into six chronological sections discussing the topics of Geology, Settlement & Development, Commerce & Transportation, Community Life, and Recreation/Entertainment.

The Canfield Casino High Stakes Gambling Room

The Casino was built in 1870 by John Morrissey, a retired prize fighter and politician raised in Troy, who already owned a gambling establishment on Matilda Street (now Woodlawn Avenue) in Saratoga Springs. Morrissey’s Club House (as it was then known) quickly became a popular but exclusive gaming establishment: neither women nor locals were permitted in the gambling rooms. In 1871, Morrissey added a large gambling room on the east side of the original building where men could play faro, roulette, rouge-et-noir, and Boston. After Morrissey’s death in 1878, the building was owned by Charles Reed and Albert Spencer. In 1894 it was bought by Richard Canfield. In 1902 Canfield bought up much of the property to the north and east of the building to create the Italian Gardens, and in 1903 he added on the magnificent dining room that features stained-glass signs of the zodiac in a vaulted ceiling. Although Canfield profited greatly from his clubhouse, the strain of anti-gambling pressure forced him to close the doors in 1907. He sold the building and gardens to the City of Saratoga Springs, at a considerable loss, in 1911.

When the Canfield Casino was in operation, the High Stakes Room was for the elite of the elite. Bets in this upstairs parlor ran into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Today the High Stakes Room is preserved with much of the original furniture from the Casino. It is a look 100 years back at turn of the century gambling, as well as providing a look into the Lake Houses that made Saratoga Springs famous through the 1950’s.

The Walworth Memorial Museum

The Walworth Memorial Museum encompasses the third floor of the museum. Visitors experience the tragedy-ridden history of the Walworth Family, headed by Chancellor Reuben Hyde Walworth. The history includes unhappy marriages, the early death of a beloved daughter, and patricide; a son murdering his father. On the brighter side, Chancellor Walworth’s eldest son, Clarence, became a much-respected clergyman, and his step-daughter and daughter-in-law, Ellen Hardin Walworth, became a co-founder of the D.A.R. and a distinguished educator and civic leader. Seven rooms chronicle this Saratoga family’s legacy.