An entire art museum dedicated to dogs is back in the city after 32 years away, bringing a pack of painted floppy ears, wagging tails and grinning faces along with it.
The AKC Museum of the Dog, which was open from 1982 to 1986 at the New York Life Building and housed one of the largest collections of dog art in the world, returned on Park Avenue in midtown on Feb. 8. It had spent 32 years in St. Louis.
For its Manhattan reincarnation, the collection is updated with interactive exhibits, like a “Find Your Match” kiosk that asks you to say “woof” and take takes your photo to match you with the AKC-registered dog breed that is most like you (this reporter got the Australian Terrier) and a “Meet the Breeds” touch screen where you can explore different breeds’ features, traits and histories.
For kids, there is a tour guide app with a virtual dog named Arty that will take them through the museum.
The museum has a 2,000-year-old paw print, a 30 million-year-old fossil of a dog (the ancient hesperocyon), life-size sculptures of Great Danes, a giant wire dog sculpture hanging over AKC’s filing studio, hundreds of bronze and glass figurines and educational material about breeding, dogs with jobs and more accessed on giant screens.
There’s even a digital Labrador puppy, Molly, you can pet, feed and throw a ball to by using your voice and movements in front of a big screen.
It really is the place to be for dog lovers.