The AKC Museum of the Dog is excited to announce its next exhibition opening this fall. “Photos, Please Do Not Bend: The Catherine Johnson Collection” will run from October 8th through December 29th.
The title of the exhibition, “Photos, Please Do Not Bend,” refers to a time when photographic prints, due to the time and expense in obtaining them, held more esteem as valued objects. Before the advent of the polaroid camera, one often waited for photos to arrive via mail. Envelopes were marked “Photos, Please Do Not Bend.” This collection allows a glimpse into the lives of dog owners and their relationships with their companions.
Johnson’s collection of amateur and vernacular photography will include approximately 200 photos on display, spanning multiple decades, and can be found on the third floor of the Museum. Each group of pictures will be accompanied by a moving quote about dogs relating to the selected photographs.
A special printing of the Catherine Johnson collection book, “Dogs” will be available for purchase in the Museum gift shop. The book includes a forward written by the Executive Director of the AKC Museum of the Dog, Alan Fausel.
“Photography has always been the most instant and powerful form of communication for me,” said Catherine Johnson. “I hope that when you look at these photographs, they spark a fond personal memory. When selecting these images, I looked for something in them in which you can see the affection and connection that the amateur felt for the dogs, the people in the photographs and their wish to preserve these elusive moments in time. It is an honor to have this exhibit in the launch year of the AKC Museum of the Dog in New York City.”
Catherine Johnson is one of the world’s top collectors of photographs of dogs having amassed an archive of vernacular amateur snapshots. She began her career in photography representing British photographer Norman Parkinson in America. She is the author of Thank You, Andy Warhol and is the editor of Stieglitz and the Photo-Secession: 1902 and The Luminous Years: Karl Bissinger’s Mid-Century Portraits among other books. She lives and works in New York City as a producer and serves on the Photography Committee at the National Arts Club.