DOGS have their Day at revived NY museum.

DOGS play cameo roles in some of the West's most iconic paintings, yet man's best friend has arguably gotten short shrift in the global museum hierarchy.

But a museum addition in Manhattan restores the animals to what canine aficionados will no doubt view as their rightful place at the center of the picture.

The American Kennel Club's Museum of the Dog, which opens Friday in midtown Manhattan, contains a smorgasbord of works of varying aesthetic ambition, along with interactive displays.

The museum's opening has been timed to coincide with the start of Westminster Week, an annual midwinter canine fest that attracts dog-lovers from around the world and culminates with the  Westminster Dog Show and the selection of ''Best in Show'' at Madison Square Garden.

The collection comprises more than 2,000 paintings, photos, sculptures and artifacts and includes a healthy range of works that document what the ancestors of today's pets looked like in the 19th century and earlier.

These include the skeleton of ''Belgrade Joe'', a Fox terrier that dies in 1888 and is seen as a seminal  figure in that breeds evolution.

Some works are photographs like a depiction of breeds that will appeal to dog-showing professionals.

''They look at the painting as they would a show dog and they critique it that way - by the anatomy, they way it's built and so forth.

There's nothing about how it was rendered or anything like that,'' said Alan Fausel, the museum's executive director, who specialised in canine art with private auction houses before being held to lead the museum in 2018. [Agencies]


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