Monday, February 4, 2019

AKC Museum of the DOG Unleashed in New York:: Review By Polly Guerin

New York City adds another "feather in its cultural cap,"  with the re-imagining of the  AKC Museum of the Dog, located on prominent Park Avenue in the Kalikow Building, 101 Park Avenue, corner of 40th Street. Opening date February 8, 2019.
       Located just  one block from Grand Central Terminal, THE MUSEUM OF THE DOG designates itself, so to speak, as the "Best in Show," newcomer in the museum hub of Murray Hill. 
       In its sparkling new home the museum's two-floor residence has the advantage of clear story windows that shed light on the exhibitions and artifacts. Across the top perimeter dog silhouettes parade to the delight of viewing from the street.

       The Museum's mission to refocus on the role the DOG has played in our lives and our history. In its new location the MUSEUM OF THE DOG expands its reach to thousands more visitors both locally and from around the world with canine-related exhibitions and its extensive collection of fine art and artifacts, new and innovative programming, events and lectures.      

      CANINE FINE ART: The Museum houses one of the world's largest collections of canine fine art. including paintings by famous artists including the superb oil on canvas of The Two Dogs by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, A vibrant portrait of Salukis by the English artist, James Ward. Then, too, there are works by Maud Earl, Arthur Wardle, plus rare porcelains, including small as well as life-size ceramics and bronzes of remarkable note. Alan Fausel, long-time director of AKC Cultural Resources, formerly at 260 Madison Avenue, is The Museum of the Dog's Executive Director and with his consummate knowledge pointed out that the in addition to the canine art work on display there are hundreds more in storage. To this end his innovative use of movable wall panels makes it easy to change the configuration of the art exhibitions. 
      Prior to its debut in New York City for three decades the Museum's vast collection had been displayed at the Museum's home outside of St. Louis and now it is permanently installed in New York City, home of the American Kennel Club headquarters, and where the Museum first took root.  In addition to being the premiere institution  for the display of art, artifacts, and literature related to pure-bred dogs in America, the museum is also an innovative and interactive learning center engaging both young and adult with delightful interactive programs and fun activities. 
Two Majestic Ceramic Dogs: Photo by Shaye Weaver
EXHIBIT SPOTLIGHTS: Dogs on the Job exhibit is just one of the many engaging digital experiences throughout the museum. In the digital dog "Molly" interactive exhibit learn to train a dog on the job with a series of commands and hand signals for dog training. I enjoyed the Find Your Match kiosk, that takes your photo, aligning its likeness with an AKC-registered dog breed. Users can email or share their match through social media. By the way, I was matched up with a Terrier breed with a 
reddish coat.  Then, too, there is the AKC TV Broadcast center and near the staircase is a diversified window case display of ceramic and bronze dogs of all variety.
      THE LIBRARY.RESOURCES CENTER houses over 3,000 books and dog-related publications including the comprehensive The Illustrated Book of the Dob (1890) and Dogs and All About Them (1910).  School children will also delight in the area set aside for drawing and creating
dog-related crafts. 
       The Museum also has an app where children can interact with the exhibits with ARTY, a virtual dog/tour guide, throughout the Museum. For more information about the AKC Museum of the Dog, membership or entrance fees: visit
       Ta Ta Darlings!!!  As a dog person myself, I was enthralled by the companionship, loyalty and service provided by dogs, you will, too!!!  Fan mail welcome, please write to
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