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Dog Days at Crystal Bridges

The “dog days” of summer refer to the time period in late July when Sirius, the “dog star,” appears above the eastern horizon just before sunrise. Sirius serves as the nose of the constellation Canis Major, long considered Orion’s hunting dog.  In ancient times, the days when Canis Major poked his nose up just before sunrise were considered a time of ill-fortune, when wars and disasters were likely to occur.   Today we  tend to think of the “dog days” as being the hottest part of the summer, when dogs laze around because it’s too hot to do anything outdoors.

These are, of course, perfect days for indoor explorations of Crystal Bridges’ galleries!  And our education team has created a couple of fun gallery guides that look at nature in the art collection.  Each of these brand-new Nature & Landscape and Animals & Creatures family guides feature a set of interactive cards featuring works from the collection, along with thoughtful questions, activities, and information about the artists that will engage everyone in your family. Pick one up at the Guest Services desk in the museum lobby!

 

 

 

To celebrate the Dog Days of Summer, I’ve brought together a few dogs from works our permanent collection.  Come visit the museum soon and see if you can Spot them yourself!

 

This early American dog appears to have been Girl’s Best Friend

Attributed to Susan Catherine Waters, 1823 – 1900
Portrait of a Girl and Her Dog in a Grape Arbor, (detail) ca. 1855-1860
Oil on Canvas
Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

Francis Guy’s Winter Scene in Brooklyn is chock full of dogs!

Francis Guy (1760 – 1820), Winter Scene in Brooklyn (detail), 1820, Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

Francis Guy (1760 – 1820), Winter Scene in Brooklyn (detail), 1820, Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

Francis Guy (1760 – 1820), Winter Scene in Brooklyn (detail), 1820, Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

This dog in Jasper Francis Cropsey’s The Backwoods of America looks a little nervous about going out hunting with his human.

Jasper Francis Cropsey, 1823 – 1900, The Backwoods of America (detail), 1858. Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

But not as anxious as this dog, who is traveling with the Union Refugees in George W. Pettit’s 1865 painting.

George W. Pettit, 1839 – 1910, Union Refugees (detail) 1865. Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

Here are a couple of dogs who are misbehaving while their owners talk politics in John L. Krimmel’s The Village Politicians

John L. Krimmel (1786 – 1821), The Village Politicians (detail), ca. 1819. Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

And a pensive artist’s dog gazing out the window of his owner’s studio, hoping for a walk.

John Koch, 1909 – 1978, Studio–End of Day (detail), 1961. Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

These sled dogs are having a good time despite the cold in Rockwell Kent’s Greenland Landscape.

Rockwell Kent (1882 – 1971), Greenland Landscape (detail), ca. 1932-1933. Oil on canvas Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

 

But not quite as much fun as these Greyhounds!

William Hunt Diederich, 1884 – 1953, Greyhounds, 1913, Bronze Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas

 

If you like animals in art, don’t miss the current Collection Focus exhibition, Animal Meet Human, featuring 16 works of art from our permanent collection that explore the intersections of the animal and human worlds!  And be sure to pick up  the interactive exhibition guide for Animal Meet Human, too, which features more family friendly activities and ideas for engaging with the art!

 

 

Linda DeBerry
Senior Copy Editor / Publications Manager

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