New York City is going to the dogs.
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog will open its doors in midtown Manhattan on Feb. 8, just a few days before the start of the popular 142-year old Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show.
The space, located in the Kalikow Building at 101 Park Avenue, will house one of the world’s largest collections of canine fine art.
It marks the museum’s return to New York after a 32-year absence. The museum had moved to West St. Louis County, Missouri, during that time.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) decided it was time to bring the collection back to a larger audience. New York City is home to more than 100 museums, and AKC wanted its to be the only one dedicated to dogs.
“This museum is a beautiful ode to man’s best friend and we are thrilled to bring these pieces and exhibitions to new audiences,” says Alan Fausel, executive director of AKC Museum of the Dog.
The museum has several hundred paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints, sculptures, bronzes, porcelain figurines, decorative arts objects and interactive displays depicting dogs throughout the ages.
Famous artists such as Edwin Landseer, Maud Earl and Arthur Wardle will have their works on display.
The first exhibition appropriately will be called “For the Love of All Things Dog.”
Spanning two floors with a double-height atrium space at the stairs, the museum has a two-story glass display case with rare porcelain and bronze figures of dogs. There is also a library where visitors can learn about their favorite breeds.
The museum mixes digital elements into the exhibits.
The gallery includes interactive exhibits such as a “Find Your Match” kiosk that takes a visitor’s photo and determines which AKC-registered dog breed he or she looks like.
There is a “Meet the Breeds” touchscreen table that lets visitors explore breeds’ features, traits and history.
For the kids, there is an app that lets them interact with “Arty,” a virtual dog/tour guide.
The museum also has a gift shop with items such as children’s books and stuffed dogs, dog-themed clutches, scarves and pins. Some of the items can even be custom-ordered with the customer’s breed of choice on it.
Admission will cost $15 for adults, $5 for children under 5, and $10 for senior citizens, students, veterans, and active military.
For a peek at the museum before it opens next month, take a look at the photo gallery above.