Anyone who loves dachshunds can now visit what is being called the first museum to honor this popular breed. The Dackelmuseum opened in early April in Passau, Germany. It’s a collection of more than 4,500 paintings, books, statues and porcelain wares devoted to Bavaria’s celebrated wiener dog.
Before you roll your eyes at the very thought of such a museum, keep in mind that it is only one of several dog-centric museums that are cropping up. The Museum of Dog opened in March in Massachusetts, and early next year, the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog will open in New York City.
Actually, dogs have long been a part of the art world, from Cairo, where a canine mummy is on display at the Egyptian Museum, to New York, where Jeff Koons’ “Balloon Dog (Orange)” sculpture sold for $58.4 million at Christie’s in 2013. In England, there’s even something for the fashion crowd: Leeds Castle, in Kent, has a collection of dog collars dating to the 15th century.
Here are a few museums devoted exclusively to our canine friends. At this rate, cats may start to wonder what’s up.
• Dackelmuseum, Passau, Germany: The museum’s founders have been collecting dachshund memorabilia for decades.
• American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, St. Louis: Next year this museum is moving from its current home in suburban St. Louis to a gallery in Manhattan. The museum has more than 700 artworks, including paintings, porcelain figurines and sculptures.
• Barryland, Musée et Chiens du Saint-Bernard, Matigny, Switzerland: Where else would one find a museum to honor the St. Bernard? Matigny is situated at the Great St. Bernard Pass in the Pennine Alps. The museum, founded in 2006, is next to an amphitheater that houses portrayals of the breed in literature, art and culture.
• Dog Collar Museum, Leeds Castle, Kent, England: In 1977, Gertrude Hunt donated a collection of more than 60 dog collars to the Leeds Castle Foundation in memory of her husband, John Hunt, an antiques dealer and scholar of Irish history. They became the centerpiece of a collection that now includes more than 130 rare collars from the late 15th to 19th centuries.
• Museum of Dog, North Adams, Mass.: The museum has assembled more than 180 pieces of art, including works by William Wegman, whose photographs of his Weimaraners are in the collections of art museums worldwide. The museum also features work by visiting artists. The first one is Jesse Freidin, a photographer who takes pictures of — what else? — dogs.