About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Thursday, May 25, 2017

"the private lives of primate companions"

Today I'm going to send you over to a recent post at Hyperallergic in which photographer Robin Schwartz's work is featured.  Her rarely-seen series, "Like Us: Primate Portraits" examines a world of apes and monkeys living among humans in a human world.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

wordless vintage wednesday

thanks ampersand. i own this

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

dog of state, germany 19th c

Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=129560
In which we learn of the great German stateman Otto von Bismarck's series of loyal, forbidding sidekicks, all named Tyras. . . 
As far back as Alcibiades, four-footed and other animals have played a conspicuous part in the world, and deserve their popularity, having done on the whole less harm, and shown more sterling qualities than the celebrities with whom they were associated; on that plea alone, dumb creatures have a right to a place in contemporary reminiscences.The more modern prototypes of historical quadrupeds have thrown into the shade their ancient predecessors: the horse of Caligula; the dogs of Charlemagne sitting at his council; the greyhounds of Charles IX.; the falcons of Louis XIII.; the lapdog Fortune, which the Empress Josephine would have in her bed, to the intense displeasure of Napoleon; and the famous Moustache, the favourite of the Imperial Grenadiers of the Guard, who at Marengo slept in the Emperor's tent; and even Nero, who in a spirit of emulation was raised by Napoleon III. to the rank of first favourite at Compiegne, where he was petted and caressed as such by the ladies of the Court. Their claims to notoriety pale before the importance of Tyras, the now historical hound of Prince Bismarck, who has been called "a dog of State;" he is a power and a character, fully imbued with his mission and fulfilling it conscientiously. Lying at length in the Chancellor's study in the Wilhelmstrasse, he follows, with the fierce look of his unflinching eyes, every movement, every gesture of his master's visitors; he is ever prepared to fight Socialists or Anarchists, and to make his teeth meet in the flesh of any suspicious individual approaching too near for what he considers the Prince's safety. Tyras has his own personal attendant, his special menu, and any number of courtiers, whom he treats with insolent contempt. Tyras has been known to die several times already, the press has given a pathetic account of the suppressed grief of the Chancellor at his loss; but the next day another huge mastiff from Ulm, as forbidding, ferocious, faithful, pampered and feared, the exact counterpart of his predecessor, is at his post, and the new Tyras is equally attached, equally beloved, and equally indispensable.

-- from Velde, M. S. van de. (1889). Cosmopolitan recollections (Vol. 2). London: Ward and Downey. 221-3.

Monday, May 22, 2017

balcony bookends

Spotted in Vancouver, WA 

Saturday, May 20, 2017

"the spirit of the house" 1910

thanks http://www.the-athenaeum.org. PD
"Hello.  I notice you are looking at the table.  I think you should look at me. Hi. Right here."
Here we see the German artist August Macke (German, 1887-1914) in the tail end of his Post-Impressionist / Fauvist period, right before he becomes one of the powers within the great Expressionist Group "The Blue Rider (Die Blaue Reiter)."  Longtime Museum friends know of my love for his fellow Blue Rider, Franz Marc.
What's Post-Impressionist here?  It's the mix of naturalistic form with color that's realistic but pushed to the limit.  You look at this and say, Yes, the ceramicware and the cat look just like that.  But do they really?  Does your pitcher glow with such a purplish shine?  Are the orange patches on your cat that vibrant?  This piece is alive and full of spirit, with the color itself serving to say for Macke: "I had a good day in the studio today, I enjoyed myself, and my cat was very insistent and funny."

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

the puppy

found on pinterest, please advise if not pd
Henry Herbert La Thangue (English 1859-1929) was a Royal Academician and spent some time studying in Paris under the famous French painter Jean-Leon Gerome.  With such a background you'd imagine he could paint all manner of expensive society portraits, but his preferred genre was rustic naturalism.  He loved the English countryside and loved to paint its people and their lives, using strong brushwork and sundrenched color.  That approach is striking in this undated portrait, known only as "Girl with a Puppy" or "The Puppy." Snapshot immediate, it grabs a moment when a girl in a garden laughs off the wriggling scamp in her lap.  "I can't hold him," you can hear her say.
Here's a short article on La Thangue from Victorian Web; look for the story of how his death may have been hastened when two of his paintings were supposedly lost at sea.

Monday, May 15, 2017

wealth rat

Katsukawa Shunzan [Public domain, Public domain or CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Here we see Daikoku. the Japanese god of wealth, with his magic hammer (the round-headed yellow item in his fist) and his white rat.  Rats are considered industrious creatures in Japanese lore, and industry brings reward - what better sidekick for a god of wealth?  This jolly image for a back-to-work Monday is by the artist Katsukawa Shunzan (active 1782-98).  Best known for portraits of actors, he took the time to make this lucky charm of a woodcut, and I hope it brings you all good fortune this week.