We have six paintings of dogs in our house. So yes, I would certainly go to a dog museum, the Museum of Dog, like the one dog lover, entrepreneur and philanthropist David York just opened this past spring in North Adams, Massachusetts.
“I’ve learned that dogs can cross all barriers and bring people from all walks of life together,” David tells Dogster. “We’ve had guests who are crazy about dogs but not about art. The historic old hardware store is a perfect, equalizing environment for everyone to enjoy seeing the collection. When everyone is in the Museum of Dog, they all seem to focus on the dogs they love.”
David revitalized the 8,000-square-foot building, turning it into a beautiful gallery that’s home to hundreds of pieces, which include late 1700s antique dog collars, artwork by William Wegman, a Kathy Ruttenberg sculpture, a Mary Engel button dog and an original McGruff costume.
Although many items in the museum are from David’s personal collection, there are also scheduled special exhibits of artists that have dogs as part of their collection of work.
“I honestly expected a few people to come in and tell me I’ve lost my mind, but the response has been incredible,” David says. “People love seeing it and then sharing it with their friends, families and dogs. We are busy planning an expansion into a larger experience of entertainment for all dog lovers.”
The museum is blocks away from downtown North Adams and the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art (MASS MoCA), so dog lovers can make a day or weekend of it.
“I want the museum to serve as a tribute to dogs and keep the focus on the joy they bring to our lives.” David says about his hope for the museum. “I want it to be a place that makes people happy, and they can share it with their dogs. I love seeing smiles on guests’ faces when they depart.”
Thumbnail: Photography ©Barry Goldstein.
Melissa Kauffman is the executive editor of Catster and Dogster. She and her two fireworks-hating dogs live with her husband and two fireworks-don’t-bother-me parrots in North Carolina.
Editor’s note: This article first appeared in Dogster magazine. Have you seen the new Dogster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting room of your vet’s office? Subscribe now to get Dogster magazine delivered straight to you!