Jackson Arn: Artsy
“The only thing on earth that loves you more than you love yourself.” That’s Josh Billings, an otherwise forgotten 19th-century humorist, expressing an ageless truth about dogs.
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog (MoD), located on Park Avenue in Manhattan, returns some of that sweet, unconditional affection. The two-story space (which opens to the public on February 8th, after more than two decades in St. Louis and a few early years in the New York Life Building) is well-lit and generally state-of-the-art, with luminous interactive displays and larger-than-life sculptures that lend it the air of a shrine—appropriate for canine celebration, the closest thing to a national religion America has to offer.Like any religion, dog-loving is subtler and stranger than it appears. The hundreds of oil paintings, bronzes, dolls, photographs, and prints in the MoD’s exhibition (culled from the MoD and American Kennel Club’s private collections) suggest the ways in which human beings’ view of their pets—and, per Billings, themselves—have changed over the centuries. Taken together, they’re something like a long, dreamy catalogue of the loyalty, the friendship, and the love we think—or at least hope—we deserve. …Read More
Pictured: Photo of the New York City Museum of the Dog courtesy of the museum.