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The AKC Museum of the Dog will open its doors on Feb. 8 at 101 Park Ave. in New York City. With hundreds of pieces of artwork and digital displays, there will be no shortage of dog-inspired artwork to admire. But if you want a place to start,  museum staff picked out their favorite must-see pieces in five different categories: sculpture, digital, library, painting, and photography. Visit the museum and see if you can find all five pieces.

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, Monday, and Tuesday at 101 Park Ave.  Regular hours are 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday. Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and $10 for students, seniors, youth and military veterans. You can also become a museum member for unlimited admission and more.

Sculpture

“I always root for the underdog. Whenever I’m at a sporting event or any sort of competition, I want the little guy to win. I think that is why Smoky resonates with me so much. When I think about dogs in wartime, my mind conjures up images of German Shepherd Dogs or Labrador Retrievers. The last dog I would think of would be a little Yorkshire Terrier, but that’s exactly what Smoky was. Smoky served with her owner, Bill Wynne, in WW2 after he found her in the jungles of New Guinea. Seeing the sculpture called Yorkie Doodle Dandy, which depicts Smoky sitting in a WW2-era helmet, alongside other objects that tell her story paints the picture of the ultimate underdog.”

— Jeana Wunderlich, Executive Administrator
Yorkie Doodle Dandy by Susan Bahary

Digital

“My favorite digital display in the Museum of the Dog is Find Your Match, which is a display that scans your face and matches you with the dog breed you look most like. It illustrates that people and dogs aren’t so different, which I love. One of my favorite aspects of working in the museum is watching people Find Their Match and their reactions of (almost universal) delight! I myself got the royal, majestic-looking Japanese Chin the first time I tried it. It made me feel immediately endeared to a little dog I hadn’t really given the time of day to before. Most people assume the ‘Find Your Match’ just pairs you with a dog that looks like you, but I think there is another layer to it. ‘Find Your Match’ pairs you with the dog that complements you. It never fails to put a smile on my face, whether I’m using it or watching another person try it for the first time. ”

— Jeana Wunderlich, Executive Administrator
Find Your Match

Library

“We have so many novelties — from dog astrology to knitting with dog hair guides — but the great true love of mine and the @akclibrary Instagram followers is the collection of images by dog photographer Joan Ludwig, Warm Hearts, Cold Noses. Over six prolific decades, Ludwig documented dog shows and supplied lush glamour shots to proud pet owners and publishers of dog books and encyclopedias. As the AKC archivist, I have sorted through thousands of dog show ‘win shots’ of prize-winning dogs and their handlers that can become, suffice to say, rather redundant. But I can recognize a Ludwig right away, as she never missed an opportunity relish in comically stoic judges, exotic Pacific Coast backdrops, bizarre guest trophy presenters, extreme weather, and the tendency for humans to resemble their four-legged friends, creating an offbeat and charming catalog of the world of dogs that remains just as evocative today. You may recognize her indelible image of a leaping braided Komondor from the cover of Beck’s Odelay album and there’s a lot more where that came from…”

— Brynn White, Archivist
Warm Hearts, Cold Noses by Joan Ludwig

Painting

“One of my favorite things about dogs is their ability to empathize with humans. They have an innate and unique tendency to match our moods. They know when to comfort us and when to be excited with us. I tend to think that we humans don’t always afford our canine companions the same courtesy. We aren’t as seamlessly tuned into their experiences as they are to ours—we can sometimes write them off as shallow and uncomplex. But I adore the expressions of the dogs captured in Sweet Temptation or Willpower by Charles Van den Eycken because I can fully and wholeheartedly relate to the deep internal struggle that they’re experiencing. The sheer force of will that it can take for a human to resist a delicious, defenseless cake is impressive. Imagine how hard it is for these dogs! You can see the existential strain on their faces—the tension between their desire to ‘be good’ and just eat the dang cake is striking. I chuckle just about every time I walk by the painting and think ‘Same, guys. Same.'”

— Molly Marcotte, Visitor Services Manager
Sweet Temptation or Willpower by Charles Van den Eycken

Photography

“Sandstorm in the Duna by Laura Zito is a photograph that depicts the perseverance of people and their dogs, and how the bond they share can overcome extreme odds. Although the photograph depicts a man and his Saluki being buffeted by a sandstorm, their posture and body language mirror one another. Despite the savagery of the storm, the color palette is very peaceful. It shows that the strength of the bond between the man and his dog can be stronger than even the harshest aspects of Mother Nature. It is an extremely striking photograph.”

— Jeana Wunderlich, Executive Administrator
Sandstorm in the Duna by Laura Zito 

Fun for Kids

The entire museum is kid-friendly. Kids can download an app where “Arty” the dog guides them through the museum to fun artwork and exhibits (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.

Check out the Museum of the Dog website and Facebook page for more exhibits and updates.

If you have any questions please don't hesitate to contact us at enewsletter@akc.org
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