New York City is home to some of the most impressive museums in the world, but at least one has completely gone to the dogs—and people are barking to get in the doors. It’s the freshly re-opened American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog.
Located in the shadows of Grand Central Station at 101 Park Avenue, the museum brings “canine fine art” to midtown Manhattan after several decades in St. Louis, Missouri. The move allows not only greater exposure, but also access to the AKC headquarters’ massive library and collections at the same address.
This isn’t just some collection of “Dogs Playing Poker,” donated by disgruntled wives after a basement cleanout. No, the Museum of the Dog is truly a New York City-caliber art museum. As one of the world’s largest collections of canine fine art, the museum will feature art from famous dog artists such as Arthur Wardle, Maud Earl, and Sir Edwin Landseer.
If you’re not an expert on canine fine art, that’s perfectly fine. Your new loyal companion “Arty,” a virtual guide dog, can take you on a walk through the museum.
In addition to the beautiful paintings of man’s best friend, the museum features rare and often downright adorable porcelain pooches and bronzes. Of course, there are also nods throughout the building to some of our favorite famous canines, like Lassie and Old Yeller.
Visitors are also able to check out a 2,000-year-old paw print, read their dog’s horoscope, and gaze at a 30 million-year-old dog fossil.
“What makes the museum especially unique is that it is suited for everyone. From children and families to dog show enthusiasts, there is no other museum like it in NYC,” says Alan Fausel, executive director of the museum.
After browsing the collections in this dramatic, visually-impressive space, we can almost guarantee you’ll be ready to add a new furry friend to the family—and the American Kennel Club obliges with its “Meet the Breeds” touchscreen table. The digital station can be used to learn all about the different breeds, including their features, traits, history, and more. It’s the perfect way to start planning for your next puppy.
If you can’t have the joy of your very own dog at this time, the Museum of the Dog has something for you, too: You can spend a few minutes playing fetch with their virtual Labrador puppy, Molly.
“The Museum of the Dog is an ode to dog lovers everywhere,” says Alan Fausel. We’re inclined to agree. By blending traditional canine fine art with contemporary design and modern digital technology, the American Kennel Club has unleashed a museum that, for us, wins Best of Show.
The AKC Museum of the Dog is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets range from $5 to $15 and a visit is sure to make your tail wag.