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 !

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

a windswept papillon

image copyright and courtesy of the artist
Small dog, big presence:  this papillion by Massachusetts artist Melody Lea Lamb gazes into the wind, alert yet calm.  He's present in the moment, as dogs know so well how to be.  The original of this piece was done in colored pencil and India ink, and all of 3.5 x 2.5 inches.  The careful rendering of the fur, and overall realism of the approach, has been so skilfully handled that it doesn't overwhelm the small space of the portrait.  At Lamb's Etsy shop you can see many more of these tiny works as well as ones a bit bigger.  I was drawn to the simple, jewel-toned immediacy of this one.
Melody Lea Lamb's website is full of even more of these detailed, bright works, and I am sure they will delight you.

Monday, September 25, 2017

great lords and dogs - proverbs of serbia

From a book of Serbian proverbs published in 1915:

  • Feed your horse like a brother, but ride him like an enemy.
  • A frog saw the horse being shod and lifted up his foot also.
  • Hungry hounds make good hunting.
  • The barking of young dogs is carried away by the wind.
  • Great lords and dogs do not close the door behind them.
  • Be on the watch when an old dog barks.
  • Crop a dog's ears he remains a dog; dock his tail he is a dog still.
  • Dogs howl round empty churches.
  • If dogs had their way there would be no horses.

. . . and I have to throw this one in, though it's got nothing to do with critters:

  • Give the priest what is the priest's, and the king what is the king's, and then flee.

 -- Turner, K. Amy. National Proverbs: Serbia. London: C. Palmer and Hayward, 1915.

Sunday, September 24, 2017

a brave dog in a children's book, 1843

public domain scan from hathitrust.org

No clue who Bose is, or whose dog.  He simply appears on the last page of a little children's book published in New Hampshire 150 years ago, for no apparent reason than to be an object lesson. 

Bogert, J. Augustus., Eastman, H., Merrill, R. (1843-1854). Stories about dogs. Concord, N.H.: Rufus Merrill.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

a 14th century cat door

art.thewalters.org CC0 license
The 14th-century French cat that used this kitty door must have been a scrawny, hardworking petit chat indeed.  This fine example of feline ingress (and egress, and ingress - do cats go in and out as much when they are calling the shots?) is found at this page of the the Walters Art Museum.  There you'll find that while not many examples of cat doors have survived from the Middle Ages, no less a source than Geoffrey Chaucer mentions one in "The Miller's Tale."  There's also one at Manchester, England's Chetham Library, in a door dating from 1421.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

vintage wordless wednesday

a new one finally!  bought in astoria 9-16-17

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

elegant yarns in five colors

(PD, CC:0)
"Elegant yarns in five colors." That's the literal translation from the German title of this work as found at the Museum fur Kunst & Gewerbe Hamburg: "Elegante Garne in funf Farben."  That must be what Utagawa Toyokuni I (Japanese, 1769-1825) has shown piled up there in the left hand corner of this woodblock print.  Really it seems to be a gambit for showing this willowy beauty in her barefoot relaxation, her bright robes falling away in patterned layers.  Then, of course, we have a sassy black and white kitten in the mix, who doesn't want to be held right now and doesn't care if she takes a few of those nice robes with her!  She's probably headed for that elegant yarn, you know.

Monday, September 18, 2017

member of the wedding

Your friendly Curator was off on a weekend full of art openings (one) and lovely wedding celebrations (two).  At the first wedding, there were groomsmen, bridesmaids...and a groomsdog and bridesdog.  Up above, a reflective snap taken after the ceremony, as the bridesdog reflects upon Life and Happily Ever After, or perhaps simply didn't feel like getting up.

Friday, September 15, 2017

a saint bernard for showing off

Rug - Saint Bernard dog, circa 1885, Wellington, by Mary Hannah Tyer.
Bequest of Mrs Mary H. Quin, 1956. 
CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Te Papa (PC000250/1)
Be sure to click on the image above and see if you can get a better look at this rug.  Meticulously crafted in 1885, it has a high level of detail - the dog even has a glass bead for its eye.  You won't be surprised that this lovely object was called out for special praise at the 1885 New Zealand Industrial Exhibition.  You may be surprised that this was crafted by a teenager: 15-year-old Mary Tyer.
There's an interesting larger history about this rug; its creation was encouraged by a government that believed in the creativity of New Zealanders both inside and outside the home.  Read an enjoyable essay on Mary, her rug, and the Industrial Exhibition at Te Papa Tongarewa (Museum of New Zealand) here.