If you’re a dog lover and your summer travels take you to Missouri, Texas, Tennessee or Alaska, you might want to check out the following museums dedicated to our canine companions. These woof-worthy dog museums feature original art, books, videos, historical information, dog collectibles, dog toys and a whole lot more.
American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog
The AKC’s Museum of the Dog claims to be “Home to the world’s finest collection of art devoted to the dog.” Now, I have not traveled the world in search of dog art nor have I been to this museum in person. However, if what they showcase on their website is indicative of the quality of dog art found in the museum, I’d have to agree. It looks doggone impressive!
Located in St. Louis, Missouri, the Museum of the Dog displays more than 700 original paintings, drawings, prints, sculptures, bronzes and porcelain figurines as well as decorative art depicting man’s best friend through the ages. The All-Star Dogs Hall of Fame features colorful wall murals painted by the American artist Stephen Hubbell, and story boards created by the international design firm Hellmuth Obata Kassabaum. Also on permanent display is a Dogs of War exhibit with historical photographs, limited edition prints and memorabilia on the famous WWII Yorkshire Terrier mascot named Smoky.
More than 3,000 books and dog-related publications are available in the museum’s library. In the gift shop, you’ll find a host of pawsome souvenirs for you as well as for your canine friend, including magnets, t-shirts, jewelry, books, tapestry pillows and dog dishes, as well as items exclusive to the museum. The museum, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization funded mainly by private and corporate gift donations, is open year-round (closed Monday, Tuesday, and holidays).
World’s Largest Dog Collectibles Museum
A few miles north of Waco, Texas is where you will find the Antiquibles Antique Mall, a portion of which is devoted to over 7,000 dog-related collectibles, toys, figurines, and historic curiosities. Most of the items belong to Barbara and David Hays, who began collecting dog artifacts in the late 60s while traveling. The museum also includes the collection of Julia Speegle Hall, the aunt of film director Ron Howard. In addition to the collectibles, you’ll find examples of dogs in advertising and dogs in pop culture. The museum is free. If you want to start your own collection of dog memorabilia (or just want a fun souvenir) be sure to check out the individual booths in the antiques mall.
National Bird Dog Museum/National Retriever Museum
Located in Grand Junction, Tennessee, the National Bird Dog Museum is a repository of art, photography and memorabilia dedicated to pointing dogs and retriever breeds, hunting, field trial activities and shooting sports. The museum showcases more than forty breeds of bird dogs, including pointing, flushing and retrieving breeds. History’s most famous bird dogs are featured among the many portraits and exhibits, along with the works of notable sporting dog artists and sculptors. Visitors can also learn of the rich and colorful history of field trialing.
The National Retriever Museum, also in Grand Junction, was built in 2004 to showcase the rich and fascinating history of the Retrieving dog breed. The Retriever Field Trial Hall of Fame features dogs and people dating back to the 1930s.
Wasilla, Alaska is home to the Iditarod Headquarters, where you’ll find a quaint log cabin museum and a gift shop. Here you’ll discover the history of the Iditarod, which began as a mail and supply route for the mining communities and later became a famous race of endurance and strength. You can check out the museum’s historic photos and trophies, and watch videos of actual footage along the 1,150 mile Iditarod trail. Then, go meet some sled dogs and perhaps even take a ride with them.
Nearby on the Iditarod Trail, the Knik Museum includes the Sled Dog Musher’s Hall of Fame on its second floor. Now a ghost town, Knik was often referred to as the “Dog Mushing Center of the World” and remains a checkpoint on the Iditarod Trail today.
Top photo by theilr
Middle photo Svadilfari
Bottom photo by Jeffrey Beall
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