Man's Best Friend Comes Back to New York

The AKC Museum of the Dog is Open in Manhattan

By Kayla McMillan

The space,  located in the AKC headquarters at 101 Park Avenue, will house one of the world’s largest collections of canine fine art, including over 180 pieces of dog artwork and a half a dozen interactive digital exhibits.

Walking dogs in Turku, Finland. Paul Shoul photo.
Walking dogs in Turku, Finland. Paul Shoul photo.

Actually, this isn’t the first AKC Museum of the Dog, but it will be the first time that the AKC Museum of the Dog and AKC Collection are both on display together. From 1982 to 1986, the museum was located at the New York Life Building. But for the past 32 years, it was located in West St. Louis County, Missouri.

This year, the American Kennel Club decided it was time to bring the collection back to the Big Apple. New York City houses about 100 museums, with a population of over 8.5 million people, and 59 million visitors per year, AKC is sure to bring in plenty of dog lovers.

With two floors and three stories worth of artwork, visitors will get a chance to see all 193 of AKC’s recognized breeds. The museum will have an interactive digital table they call “Meet the Breeds,” which lets you interact with and explore the characteristics of every breed.

Iditarod veteran dog, pulling a sled in Bend, Oregon. Max Hartshorne photos.
Iditarod veteran dog, pulling a sled in Bend, Oregon. Max Hartshorne photo.

Social media is consumed by pictures of man’s best friend, so it’s clear that these digital exhibits will draw in the younger generations.

Other interactive exhibits include interactive puppy training and a chance to discover what dog breed looks most like you by getting your photo taken and analyzed.

To keep things interactive, there’s an app that museum visitors can download to learn even more about the exhibits. The children aren’t left out either; they can download a separate app where “Arty” the dog guides them through the museum. Additionally, there are activity tables on the top floor where kids can create artwork and display it on a community wall.

The opening exhibit will stay up for about six months. Alan Fausel, the museum’s director, told The Riverdale Press that “the next exhibit will feature all female artists.” According to Fausel, there are about eight times as many pieces in storage as there are out on display.

The AKC Museum of the Dog will feature art from well-known dog painters like Maud Earl and Arthur Wardle. There’s even a seven-foot screen of a real Labrador retriever named Molly that visitors can interact with and have her do a variety of tricks. Fausel explained to The Riverdale Press that to accomplish this, Molly wore a motion capture suit that would typically be used to create life-like movements for computerized characters in games and movies, allowing the simulated version of her to follow tricks on the screen.

Additionally, Fausel has over 600 of these pieces photographed, so any items that aren’t currently on display can be discovered through a digital database.

Tickets and Info

Tickets are $15 for adults, $5 for children under 12, and $10 for students, seniors, youth, and military/veterans. You may also choose to become a member to gain unlimited museum admission plus other unique benefits.

There will be plenty of dog-themed toys and accessories to purchase in the gift shop as well. The museum is located at 101 Park Avenue. Guests can enter on 40th Street between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue. Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday to Sunday.