December 28, 2021
Why do we immortalize dogs in art? | Dog Edition #45

From the caves to social media, dogs in art have evolved over centuries. But what do these stories tell us about our canine connection and why we immortalize dogs in art?

Dogs have been painted, sculpted, photographed and made into memes and art depicting our furry best friends are celebrated on screens big and small and given pride of place in galleries, museums and homes. So what is behind this fascination that humans have with immortalizing dogs in art?

Why do we immortalize dogs in art?

The earliest depictions of dogs are believed to be 9,000 years ago carved into a cliff in what is now Saudi Arabia. Through the Middle Ages, the Renaissance to the modern day, humans across the globe have immortalized dogs in art across changing mediums and media and in all shapes and sizes.

The hundreds of thousands of pieces that sit in galleries, museums and homes are a testament to our ongoing love and adoration of dogs, but they also tell a story, the evolution of our relationship with them and how that, and they, have changed over the years.

In this episode, we journey through the ages and retrace the paw-steps of dogs of a bygone era. We explore how they have been immortalized, the stories those pieces tell, and their place in art history and in society today as a reminder of the importance humanity places on our best friends.

About Alan Fausel, AKC Museum of the Dog

Alan Fausel is CEO and Executive Director of the AKC Museum of the Dog. He has more than 30 years of art-world experience as a scholar, curator, and appraiser. His curatorial career began at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in the department of European Sculpture and Decorative Art. He was then appointed curator of the Frick Art Museum in Pittsburgh. He has been with the auction houses Butterfields in San Francisco and Doyle and Bonhams in New York since 1990. Mr Fausel has been a regular on the paintings table of Antiques Roadshow since the series' first season in 1997. He taught at New York University in the Graduate School of Arts Education from 1999-2017. He is a frequent lecturer to groups including the Appraiser's Association of America.

AKC Museum of the Dog

Antiques Roadshow


About Erika Bleiberg, pet artist #journalismmatters

Erika Bleiberg is a pet artist who started the #journalismmatters series on Twitter, painting the pets of journalists. She is also a public relations specialist and strategic communications professional with a keen ability to synthesize complex content into a compelling and engaging message. She develops and implements internal and external narrative and branded content with a specialty in social media to effectively deliver messages to target audiences, cultivate engagement and assist organizations in achieving their goals and objectives.