Best in Show: Museum of the Dog Opens in New York

It's open! Museum of the Dog

Dogs finally get the treatment they deserve in the recently opened American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in New York Citythe Big Apple’s only museum devoted to dogs. The two-story, Gensler-designed museum is just steps away from Grand Central Station and houses one of the world’s largest repositories of canine fine art, with works from famous dog artists like Sir Edwin Landseer and Maud Earl on display. The new building affords space for a rotating selection from the museum’s collection of 1,700 works of dog art, while the upper level houses a 4,000-plus volume library and an arts and crafts station for families.

But that’s not all. Opened by the American Kennel Club, the largest purebred registry in the world and the overseeing body for a vast array of dog sporting events, including the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, the museum’s aim is both educational and experiential. Along with traditional museum pieces like dog paintings and sculptures, the Museum of the Dog has integrated modern, interactive features. Throughout the Museum, visitors will experience exhibits that combine physical and digital elements, breathing new life into the collection. Spanning two floors with a double height atrium space at the stair, the gallery includes exhibits such as interactive “Meet the Breeds” touchscreen tables and “Find Your Match” kiosks where visitors can have their picture taken and matched with a dog breed. (Are you an adaptable, playful, and smart French bulldog? Or maybe a friendly, bright, and amusing Boston Terrier? You’ll have to visit to find out.)


Museum of the Dog nyc


Unfortunately, pet dogs aren’t allowed in the museum (service animals are welcome, or course) but visitors who need a bit of canine love can teach the digital service dog, Molly, to respond to voice commands and hand signals. Or download the museum’s app, equipped with augmented reality experiences, and let Arty the virtual dog lead you on a museum tour. Have kids with you? They’ll love the app’s scavenger hunt.

Whether guided by Arty or not, you’ll come away with a deepened sense of the significance of the bond between dogs and people. One of the displays is dedicated to a Yorkie named Smoky who was rescued from a World War II foxhole by a soldier. Smoky not only boosted morale but saved the lives of 250 men by crawling through a pipe with a telephone line to establish communication between soldiers.

Add to this guest lectures, movie nights, talks by authors in the library, and kids’ events like Dog Safety Workshops or earn a Guide Dog Patch, and you have a new NYC must-visit museum to add to your list. You can even pick up some awesome dog merch at the gift shop at the Museum of the Dog.

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