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2022-2023 Speaker Series 



Wednesday November 30, 2022

The Many Faces of American Folk Art

by Marilyn Sassi

Presentation begins at 7PM

Bethlehem Public Library, 451 Delaware Avenue, Delmar


Sassi begins her talk with painted portraits of local, early 18th century Dutch families and the untrained artists who created them. She explores the “golden age” of American folk art from 1830 to 1850. In folk art, the most common, workaday objects are decorated turning them into true artistic expressions. From portraits and landscapes to weathervanes and carousel horses, the art is created by untrained individuals with an innate talent for color and design.


Marilyn Sassi is an adjunct professor at Schenectady County Community College and Hudson Valley Community College. She is a past curator of Schenectady County Historical Society and the Fulton County Museum. In addition to her teaching and museum experience Marilyn has been involved in the field of antiques for many years. 


This event is free and open to the public.

Presentation begins at 7PM

Registration suggested as seating is limited. Call 518-439-9314 or online at

Bethlehem Library

Feb. 8, 2023 John Pipkin - Albany Rural Cemetery

March 8, 2023 Jack McEneny - The Irish in Albany

April 12, 2023 Mark Peckham - Steamboat Navigation on the Hudson 

Sept. 14, 2022 Michael Barrett  Hudson Mohawk Gateway - Silicon Valley of the 19th Century

Many scholars agree that the Capital District is one of several “birthplaces of the American industrial revolution.” Nineteenth Century entrepreneurs consciously used the cutting-edge technology of their day to transform the dominant rural-agrarian lifestyle into an infrastructure devoted to advancement of industrial enterprise. 


Oct. 12, 2022 Ian Mumptom The Schuyler Museum- Coping with Life's Necessaries

The Schuyler family enjoyed many luxuries as part of their refined lifestyle, but what might their hygiene practices have looked like? How did their practices differ from or align with those of other residents of 18th century Albany? 


Nov. 9, 2022 Ted Hilscher Barns of the Hudson Valley

The talk gave an introduction to identifying and understanding the barns and associated outbuilding of the Hudson Valley. The presentation included information on local barns still found in the town of Bethlehem.