I was not sure of what I would find at a "dog museum" but what the heck. I have mixed
about man's best friend. How much can you say about dogs, right? Well, I was
pleasantly surprised at the quality and number of well-displayed exhibits. If you're a
dog lover and you are in the St. Louis area, I highly recommend you check it out.
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, home of the world's finest collection of art devoted to the dog, is located in beautiful Queeny Park, West St. Louis, Missouri. The Museum, with its 14,000 sq. ft. facility, which includes the historic Jarville House (built in 1853), displays over 700 original paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, bronzes, and porcelain figurines, and a variety of decorative arts objects depicting man's best friend throughout the ages. On permanent display is Sir Edwin Landseer's oil on canvas of a Deerhound and Recumbent Foxhound and many Maud Earl portraits of various terrier breeds.
The AKC Museum of the Dog 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 to enhance the appreciation for and knowledge of the significance of the dog and the human-canine relationship. This museum promises to enlighten and inspire all who have had the pleasure of loving a dog and experiencing his loyal devotion.
In the 1970s, a number of dog lovers began meeting to talk about creating a national museum for art and books dedicated to dogs. In 1973, the Westminster Kennel Club Foundation conducted a survey to explore the level of support for such a project. The results were encouraging, but the idea was thought to need more support before a museum could come to fruition. Thus, in 1979, the American Kennel Club Foundation was formed to help achieve this goal.
The museum moved in 1987 from New York City, where it was housed at the AKC office in the New York Life building on Madison Avenue, to the historic Jarville House in west St. Louis County. The intent was for the newly named The Dog Museum to operate on its own entity, but in 1995 the museum was renamed the AKC Museum of the Dog in an effort to help ensure its future through re-affiliation with the American Kennel Club. Gift donations of art continue to make this museum's collection one of the largest in the country.
Frank T. Sabella forever holds the distinction of being the first contributor of art with his gift donation of several paintings including the charming oil on canvas of a long-haired terrier Bob painted by the well-known artist George Earl as well as a charming portrait of a Newfoundland by English artist Horatio Henry Couldery. Donations by other contributors followed with the museum's collection of art quickly growing.
The Museum Gift Shop offers a variety of items in your favorite breed including stationery, magnets, postcards, fun T-shirts, jewelry, and novelty items such as games and puzzles. The Gift Shop is open during regular hours. Be sure to ask about special discounts available during the holiday season.
More than three thousand books and dog-related publications are available in the Museum's Hope A. Levy Memorial Library. Invaluable to individuals researching canine history is a variety of historically important publications including the comprehensive "The Illustrated Book of the Dog", dated 1890, by Vero Shaw, and "Dogs and All About Them", dated 1910, by Robert Leighton. The book collections also contain numerous items of interest for young visitors. The Hope A. Levy Memorial Library is open Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., by appointment.
Tuesday - Saturday from 10 AM - 4 PM
Sundays 1 PM - 5 PM
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog
1721 S. Mason Rd
St. Louis, Missouri