Just steps aways from the historic landmark Beaux Arts Grand Central Station you’ll find the thoroughly fresh and modern AKC Museum of the Dog. The museum returns to NYC with the hope and promise to fulfill its mission admist a much changed dogdom landscape. It’s mission is dedicated to the collection, preservation, exhibition and interpretation of the art, artifacts and literature of the dog for the purposes of education, historical perspective, aesthetic enjoyment and in order to enhance the appreciation for and knowledge of the significance of the dog and the human/canine relationship. It’s about the species – the dog, pure and simple. And oh what a beautiful museum it is, and what a job it has cut out for the AKC. I’m optimistic!
The collection is the world’s largest collection of fine art and artifacts devoted to the dog, over 2,500 original paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, bronzes, porcelain figurines and a variety of decorative art objects all airily displayed. In fact, like all great museums, it isn’t possible to display it all at once.
As you approach the museum, you can’t miss the glass enclosed suspended dog sculpture above the AKC TV broadcast studio. It’s readily seen from the street. Likewise as you approach the entranceway, you can’t miss the digital dog art prancing above. The first floor displays classic paintings, but “Find Your Match” and “Meet the Breeds” digital tables make this an experiental museum. The nearby coat closet discreetly displays Disney dog film posters (well I am a pop culture Disney fan too).
The optional open stairwell to the second floor takes you past an amazing case of vitrines. As you enter the second floor (also accessible by elevator) you see a bright gallery of classic paintings, museum cases and rear activity table. A library and student table is also in the far rear with the book stacks. The museum does have further research archives available by appointment.
It’s a dog lovers week in NYC, and now with the AKC Museum of the Dog back here year- round, I’m excited to see what’s in store to keep the museum’s mission and the dog front and center. It’s a great start to be back with a museum getting great international press.
Very unlike Disney, the boutique gift shop is behind the first floor counter rather than at the museum’s end. The collection is elegant and pricey, but intriquing, perhaps more on that in a future post. This Labrador lover would shell out funds if the timing was right and I did see a mighty fine collection of pins others were eyeing up. It is afterall Westminster week for breed lovers. Speaking of which, tomorrow is the AKC Meet the Breeds at the Piers. See you there?