Dog lovers, rejoice! There’s now a museum in New York City that pays tribute to your furry friends.
Interested in New York?
The American Kennel Club’s Museum of the Dog is a party with all types of pooch paraphernalia ranging from fine art, interactive exhibits and ancient artifacts.
The Museum of the Dog was founded and originally resided in New York City in 1982, but then moved to St. Louis five years later. Now, after years of preserving all of the things that pay tribute to the dog, it’s back in the Big Apple.
The doors officially open Feb. 8, but we know your tails are wagging with excitement, so we’ll throw you a bone and give you a sneak peek.
(MORE: New app reunites missing pets with owners by using facial recognition)
Art to bark about
The collection of dog art is impressive and extensive. The museum holds work from Sir Edwin Landseer, who often painted portraits of Queen Victoria’s dogs. Queen Victoria was an animal lover, and her love of dog art in particular made it very popular in the 19th century.
Not only are their paintings lining every wall of the museum, there are also sculptures sprinkled around the building. A glass wall that extends three floors lines the staircase filled with people’s personal dog sculptures and trinkets that were kindly donated to the museum.
Perhaps the most patriotic portion of the museum is a portrait of the Bush’s beloved dog, Millie, sprawled out in front of the White House. The painting sits next to a letter from former first lady Barbara Bush that reads, “It is a great pleasure for me to send warm greetings to all participating in the grand opening of this new museum dedicated to perceiving the art, artifacts and literature of the dog. What a unique a wonderful way to exhibit this aspect of history.”
You can see one large piece of art without even having to step foot inside the door, a giant wire dog sculpture hangs from the rafters facing Park Avenue and can be seen through the glass exterior while you’re walking by on the street. The sculpture, like the Empire State Building, will light up different colors for different events and holidays.
Ever wondered what breed of dog you’d be? With the museum’s “Find Your Match” machine, you won’t have to. The touchscreen exhibit takes a picture of you, then matches you to the dog breed you look like most. The results are hilarious and can be emailed straight to your phone so you can share.
If you think you knew a lot about dog breeds before, you’ll learn a lot doggone more at the exhibit’s “Meet The Breeds” kiosk. The touchscreen rotates with all 193 known dog breeds. When you drag a dog into the dog house in front of you, the kiosk will not only tell you the breed of dog but also its home, appearance, origin, attributes, past, present and gallery.
The museum also offers a section dedicated to our canine coworkers and allows you to train your own dog using a motion screen. The exhibit was made by placing a motion capture suit on a real Labrador retriever and mimicking its movements. Once you train your virtual dog, you can even play fetch!
To better enjoy the artwork, the museum will offer an app where users can interact with and learn more about each art piece with “Arty.” Kids will also have a “scavenger hunt” option on the app, that will help them learn while playing a game.
There may be some modern interactive features to this museum, but there is also a ton of history. Items that exhibit the timeline of the dog range from the ancient Roman Empire to World War II.
A paw print found from the Roman Empire around the second and third century AD is on display on the top level of the museum as well as an ancient dog skeleton the museum deems its “mascot.”
Dog accessories have also changed throughout the years. In 19th century Europe, people used to tie wooden wagons to their dogs, like the one displayed in the museum, and have them fetch fruit and other items for the family. This stopped when laws were put into place to ban people from using their dogs to complete these tasks.
Dog houses and collars have also changed dramatically from back in the day, as you can see by the collar exhibit and the elaborate 19th century dog house on display.
The Museum of the Dog is a paw-some experience for any dog lover! Give yourself a treat and go check it out.
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