More than 180 pieces of dog artwork and half a dozen interactive digital exhibits line two floors and three stories of New York City’s newest museum: The AKC Museum of the Dog. The museum will officially open February 8, 2019.
While this isn’t the first AKC Museum of the Dog, it’s the first time the AKC Museum of the Dog and AKC Collection are both on display together. From 1982 to 1986 the museum was located at the New York Life Building, but for the past 30 years, it was located in St. Louis, Missouri. This year, the museum has moved to the Park Avenue location where the AKC headquarters, library, and archives are currently located.
The museum director, Alan Fausel, says most people will spend at least an hour exploring the exhibits, but he says you could easily spend longer if you get consumed by the digital “Meet the Breeds” table, which lets you interact with and explore the characteristics of all 193 of AKC’s recognized breeds.
Dog Exhibits Go Digital
Dogs are all over social media today, and Fausel hopes these digital exhibits draw in young people. For example, you can find out what dog breed looks most like you by getting your photo taken and analyzed. On the top floor, you’ll find digital, interactive puppy training.
“We have a very sophisticated work where we took a ten-month-old Labrador Retriever and put her in a motion capture suit and had her go through her basic obedience drills,” Fausel says. “Then we transferred that to a screen where you can actually train the avatar of that dog in real time through voice and hand signals.”
Museum visitors can download an app to learn more about the exhibits, and kids can download an app where “Arty” the dog guides them through the museum (think Pokémon GO.) There is also an activities table on the top floor where kids can create artwork and display it on the community wall.
How Often Will Exhibits Change?
The opening exhibit will stay up for about six months. After that, Fausel says the next exhibit will feature all female artists. There are about eight times as many pieces in storage as there are out on display.
Additionally, Fausel has over 600 of these pieces photographed, so any items that aren’t currently on display can be discovered through a digital database.
Know Before You Go
Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and $10 for students, seniors, youth, and military/veterans. You may also choose to become a member to gain unlimited museum admission plus other unique benefits.
There will be plenty of dog-themed toys and accessories to purchase in the gift shop as well. The museum is located at 101 Park Avenue. Guests can enter on 40th Street between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue. On opening weekend, the museum is open to the public from 2 p.m. – 5 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday and Monday. Regular hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday.