About Me

My photo
Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Friday, October 20, 2017

appreciating a caged bird

thanks reusableart.com (PD)

The Caged Canary

Morning fair to night succeeds;
Baby's laughing at the fire;
My canary shells his seeds,
And scrapes his beak against the wire.

Now he's tweet-a-tweeting loud,
Ruffling up his wings and neck;
Now he sleeks his plumage proud,
Cleans it clear of spot or speck.

Now with golden feathers flirting
Water over golden sand;
Now his twittering and chirping
Turns to music loud and grand.

What a carol! Why, I'm certain
It would nearly fill a church;
And he sings, and sings, until he
Almost tumbles off his perch.

Oh! my golden, gay canary,
Singing sweetly in all weathers,
Take the thanks of little Mary,
With the sunshine on your feathers!

Grateful for the smallest favours,
Only sand, and seed, and water—
With your gracious, gay behaviours,
Sweet the lesson you have taught her.

Gemmer, C. M. Children of the Sun, Etc., Etc., Etc.: Poems for the Young. London: F. Warne , 1869.127-8. F. Warne was Beatrix Potter's publisher.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

ever wonder why they're called "milk-bones"? here's why

thanks pixabay (CC0 creative commons). no clue on the backstory
Milk-Bones.  They've been a handy dog-treat staple for seemingly forever, but did you ever ask yourself why they're called "milk" bones instead of "meat" bones?  The answer involves the year 1907, an organic chemist, a great deal of milk (from a slaughterhouse, sadly), and the chemist's discerning dog.  Atlas Obscura has the story here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

wordless vintage wednesday redux

another from the museum collection, purchased in eureka ca 2012

Monday, October 16, 2017

a spiffy guardian for your purse

Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection (AC1998.249.94) www.lacma.org
Who's a good boy?  This boy is, and by the look of him he knows it.  This ivory netsuke is only 2.25" tall, but full of himself.  You can thank the 18th-c netsuke master Gechu for that (at least, that's who gets the credit for him in current scholarship). 
Do any of my readers remember Sister Wendy Beckett's art history series on PBS?  Even if you don't, you'll enjoy and benefit from her essay on another of Gechu's netsukes, here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

white mice have fun c. 1816

H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
In this happy surimono (color woodblock print), Kubo Shunman shows us "White Mice Playing." Shunman was a novelist and poet as well as an artist; I bet that's a poem written to the right, but alas, I cannot read it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

wordless vintage wednesday redux

from the museum collection, first posted 2012

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), via Wikimedia Commons
Somewhere in the files of the Wellcome Library you'll find "A Sleeping Cat," a Japanese work in gouache dating to the 19th century.

Monday, October 09, 2017

grey spots, a blue sky

Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
"A Grey Spotted Hound" stands at proud attention with his prey, a bird draped open-beaked at his feet (ah, poor thing). This oil on panel portrait was created in 1738 by John Wootton (British, 1682-1764), in his time considered one of the best painters of sporting life.  In the 1720's he studied in Rome as Baroque art was entering its final years.  To me that explains the deep, warm color of the background, its long scope, and the clarity of this piece's details, and how this splendidly-coated fellow stands with such presence.