There’s an infamous painting of dogs playing poker that has made its way into many a living room across America. But, if you truly love dogs or art, you may enjoy the chance to see some finer representations of man’s best friend, as well as learn more about the distinguished history of dogs as artistic subjects.
On Friday, June 4, at 6:30 p.m., the museum will celebrate the artistic canine with an engaging lecture by Dr. Edgar Peters Bowron, the Audrey Jones Beck Curator of European Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Titled Best in Show: The Dog in Art from the Renaissance to Today, the lecture is sponsored by the museum’s Painting and Drawing Society. Five percent of the proceeds from all tickets sales will benefit the Cleveland Animal Protective League (APL).
Dogs are a common visual theme in Western art and have been called the “artist’s best friend” for their role as companion and model. Whether blending into the background or sitting front and center with their masters, few other animals have been captured so extensively across every culture and medium.
Want an advance preview of what you might hear? Listen to Bowron share insights on the subject in this podcast from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Tickets to the lecture are available now through the Cleveland Museum of Art’s box office at 216-421-7350 or online.
In the meantime, enjoy the following images from our own collection that feature dogs.
Portrait of Frederick de Vries and His Dog , 1597. Hendrick Goltzius (Dutch 1558–1617).
Engraving; 36.3 x 26.8 cm. Gift of The Print Club of Cleveland 1951.275
Dog , 1954. Kiyoshi Saito (Japanese, 1907–1997). Color woodcut.
The Kelvin Smith Collection, given by Mrs. Kelvin Smith 1985.462
Sitting Dog , c. 1525–1530. Germany, Nuremberg, 16th century. Bronze (hollow cast) with worn dark brown patina; 5.75 cm. Purchase from the J. H. Wade Fund 1960.74