From canine-inspired adventure tours to four-figure designer dog houses to legit dog cloning, our world is dog-obsessed. Now, some say even the art world is “going to the dogs.” Starting next month, the AKC will prove that’s literally true with the return of the official American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog to Manhattan — the world’s largest and perhaps only museum dedicated entirely to man’s best friend.
The museum is designed to be equal parts archival, educational, and fun. The new Manhattan location will house works by some of the world’s most famous dog-loving artists including Maud Earl, Sir Edwin Landseer, and Arthur Wardle. The works cover almost every medium from prints, drawings, and watercolors to sculptures and decorative household objects. The centerpiece of the museum will be a towering, two-story vitrine full of rare bronze and porcelain sculptures. Visitors can also tuck into the museum’s private library to learn about their favorite breeds. The first featured exhibit will be titled simply “For the Love of All Things Dog” and will combine a sampling of the club’s favorite works from both the museum and the AKC itself.
A number of interactive exhibits will debut exclusively at the new midtown Manhattan location. The most interesting — or, depending on the results, insulting — will be a “Find Your Match” kiosk. After snapping your photo, the kiosk will determine the AKC-registered dog breed that you most closely resemble. (Side note: If you were considering this as a cute “first date” spot, you might want to reconsider.) A digital “Meet the Breeds” table will provide visitors with an interactive, touchscreen-enabled look at the club’s many breeds including their history, traits, and features. A free smartphone app will also help guide visitors around the museum with a virtual canine guide named “Arty.”
The original Museum of the Dog opened its doors at New York’s iconic Life Building alongside the AKC’s headquarters in 1982. It was subsequently moved to St. Louis, Missouri in 1987 where it remained for more than 30 years. In that time, the museum amassed the largest collections of dog- and canine-related art in the world.
American Kennel Club’s rebooted Museum of the Dog will officially open February 8, 2019, just steps from New York City’s Grand Central Station.