Saturday, January 29, 2011

THE AKC MUSEUM OF THE DOG


If you like dogs and you also like art, you should go to this museum sometime, because you will probably like it.  The location of the museum is in St. Louis, which is not close to everybody, but at least it is in the middle of the country, so maybe if you are someday going on a trip across the country, you can stop in St. Louis to see the museum.

Ginjim's Royal Acres Mervyn
by Roy Anderson
The way the museum got started was that in 1971 a bunch of members of the Westminster Kennel Club got together and decided that besides having a really big, important dog show every year, they could also do something to teach people more about dogs, and about the history of dogs in art and books, and stuff like that.  So then they started asking other dog people for money, and lots of people gave a bunch of money, and by 1981, there was enough money to open The Dog Museum of America.  And it opened first in New York City at the AKC headquarters, because they had space for it there.  The first exhibit opened to the public on September 15, 1982, and it was called "Best of Friends:  The Dog and Art."


Lots of companies that make dog food and other things for dogs gave money for the museum, and that's how a lot of the artwork got purchased.  Plus people also donated artwork, or they left it to the museum in their wills.  So the number of pieces in the museum grew until there wasn't enough room anymore at the AKC offices.  After that, five cities asked the museum's board to think about moving the museum to their town, and the five were:  Denver; Los Angeles; Pebble Hill, GA; Orlando; and St. Louis).  So the board looked at these places, and in 1986 they voted to move to St. Louis.

Chickadee
Bronze by Louise Peterson
The building where the museum is in St. Louis is a big, old mansion called the Jarville House, which was built in 1853 by Edgar Monsanto Queeny.  Mr. Queeny was the president of the Monsanto chemical company from 1928 to 1960.  The house is 14,000 square feet in size, which means it is big enough for more than 500 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and watercolors.  Some of the paintings that are always on display at the museum are by Maud Earl and Sir Edwin Landseer, who are artists I have talked about before.


If you go to the Museum of the Dog, you can see all the artwork, and you can also go in the gift shop and buy things.  Or you can use the library to do research on dogs.  And another thing you can do is rent space for a business meeting or for your dog club event.  Oh, and guess what!  Dogs are allowed in the museum, too, along with their humans.

Harlequin Great Dane
Rosenthal
Every Sunday afternoon between March and October, there is this thing called "Guest Dog of the Week," where you can meet dogs of different breeds, and you can ask their owners about what that kind of dog is like.  Of course, the dogs that go to this event have to be on their good behavior, and they are not allowed to bite the museum guests.

Mom has been to the AKC Museum of the Dog a couple of times, but she hasn't been there recently.  Maybe sometime she will drive over to St. Louis to visit the museum again, and if she does that, maybe she will take me with her.  I think that would be fun, and educational, too!

5 comments:

  1. Aw man, I wish I had known about this when I visited St. Louis!

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  2. Oh, dear. Now I guess you will have to go back to St. Louis again. I have never been there, personally, but my mom says it is a great place to visit, and that the Botanical Gardens are nice, too. Also the Arch. But the Dog Museum is the best thing!

    Piper

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  3. How about that!! I was in St. Louis a couple months ago to meet my daughter, but had NO idea the AKC Museum was there! My daughter and I will be meeting again in St. Louis, and we WILL visit this museum! I think it's only right that there is a museum for the dog, as dogs are MOST special and as the old saying goes, "Dogs are a GIRL'S best friend." I might have changed one word in that phrase, but I like it better that way. :)
    Love, AP

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  4. Dear Aunt Patty,
    You should keep reading my blog so you can learn all the Very Important Things you need to know, such as about the Dog Museum in St. Louis. I'm glad that you now know about it and can visit it next time you are in St. Louis. Just make sure you don't try to drive to St. Louis when it's snowing, because that could be bad!
    Love, Piper

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