New York City Is Getting Its Very Own Dog Museum

David Woo
David Woo / David Woo

Dog lovers and art fanatics will be finding common ground in New York City next month. After being located in St. Louis, Missouri for 32 years, the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog is back in the Big Apple.

This home to "one of the world's largest collections of canine fine art" originally opened in New York City in 1982 but ended up moving out west just five years later. To mark its homecoming, the Midtown-based museum's first exhibit, "For the Love of All Things Dog," will open on February 8.

More than 180 pup-themed artworks will be on display, including figurines and paintings that date back to the 19th century, when depicting dogs in art became trendy, according to CBS New York. Some of the best-known "dog artists" from the period are Sir Edwin Landseer, Maud Earl, and Arthur Wardle. Wardle didn't discriminate, though; he also enjoyed painting cats.

One of the more recent items on view is Christine Merrill's painting of George H.W. and Barbara Bush's dog Millie. There will also be a library filled with books about all things dog, as well as a two-story glass vitrine with rare porcelain and bronze artifacts inside.

Aside from the traditional art mediums, the museum will also have some interactive elements. A touchscreen table teaches guests about the traits of 193 different dog breeds, while the "Find Your Match" kiosk lets visitors snap a photo—if they dare—to discover which breed their face resembles most. On the top floor, there will be an interactive puppy training exhibit.

"We have a very sophisticated work where we took a 10-month-old Labrador Retriever and put her in a motion capture suit and had her go through her basic obedience drills," museum director Alan Fausel told the American Kennel Club. "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."

The museum will be housed in the Kalikow Building at 101 Park Avenue, which is also where the American Kennel Club headquarters are newly located. Tickets to the exhibit cost $15 for adults and $5 for children under 12.