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, November 27, 2014

something for the kids' table. or yours

thanks thegraphicsfairy.com
Keep the kids busy while you're finishing your after-dinner adult beverage!  Or put out paper placemats and keep your head down doodling while the relatives argue!  Whatever!  In any case here's a little present of cat-drawing instructions  - you can find the link to a big printable version at the original TheGraphicsFairy post, here.

I'm grateful for each and every one of you, Museum friends and readers.  Give your feathered, finned and furred family members love from their friend the Curator.  Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

vintage wordless wednesday

snapshot from germany. from the museum collection

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

naps: good even millenia ago

Figure of a Reclining Dog, ca. 1938-1700 B.C.E. Faience, glazed, 13/16 x 1 15/16 x 1 1/2 in. (2 x 4.9 x 3.8 cm).
Brooklyn Museum, Museum Collection Fund, 14.659. Creative Commons-BY
This little guy is about 4000 years old.  He's a simple portrait of a dog; not a fancy dog, but that doesn't matter.  He's here to be your eternal sidekick, another of the figures the Egyptians placed in tombs to take on their role in the great beyond.  (There are some other photos of him here.  By the way, if you like Egyptian art and are ever in Brooklyn, walk, don't run to the Brooklyn Museum.)  Curious as to what Egyptian dogs were named?  The Brooklyn link has a few names, and in this 2012 post I have a few more.

Monday, November 24, 2014

on the nature of dog poop. 1806

From some observations on the domestic dog:

. . . When oppressed with sickness, to which he is very subject, especially in the beginning of summer, and before ill weather, in order to procure a puke, he eats the leaves of the quicken grass, the bearded wheat grass, or the rough cock's foot grass, which gives him immediate relief. His excrements are generally hard scybals (balls of excrement - curator), which, especially after eating bones, are white, and once went by the absurd name of album graecum. This album græcum was for a long time in great repute as a drug; but it is now justly disregarded. He does not throw out his excrements promiscuously upon every thing that happens to be in the way (he doesn't? would someone tell my dog?- curator), but upon stones, trunks of trees, or barren places. This is a wise institution of nature ; for the excrements of a dog destroy almost every vegetable or animal substance. They are of such an acrid nature, that if a man's shoe touches them when recently expelled, that particular part will rot in a few days. He observes the same method in making his urine, which he throws out at a side. . .

from The New and Complete American Encyclopedia (New York: John Low, 1806), p. 305.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

selling guinea pigs, c. 1789

How curious we would find it today to have pets arrive by traveling salesman.  Yet that's what's happening here in this gentle oil painting by George Morland (1763-1804), Selling Guinea Pigs.  The vendor has carried them to the door in his straw-filled basket, and letting them stretch their legs as the family contemplates them.  I love most the blonde toddler hunkered down rapt in watching - here's a detail:

George Morland came from a family full of accomplished artists, and was gifted to the point of becoming an honorary exhibitor at the Royal Society by the age of ten.  It's said that his father shut him away from a normal child's fun and friends in order to keep him creating sellable work.  I wonder if this didn't point him a little toward his life of getting taken by dealers and unsavory friends, for it's said he was cheerful and generous by nature, and a lonely child might grow up to be a man unable to tell a true friend from a user.  His was a rumbunctious and short life, but  he was able to paint animals in a tender, well-observed fashion: notice how sharp and detailed they are next to the palely washed people.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

sweet sleep(ing cats)

Your friendly Curator is catching up on her sleep this weekend.
So imagine my glee when I dropped by a place I haven't visited in awhile - the wonderful The Idler website - to be presented with their running feature of Sleeping Cats.  Like Oliver from Tasmania.
What a good idea.  I'm going back to bed.

Friday, November 21, 2014

punky dunk...gets dunked

found at felineaddiction.com.  (PD)
Oh Punky Dunk! Sure the fishies are fascinating...but no good can come of them.  This darling 1912 book can be found in its entirety complete with illustrations here.  Though I cannot find an attribution for the illustrator, whomever it is, they have done a very fine job of creating a memorable kitten. And the sassy fish are a bonus.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

vintage wordless wednesday

from the museum collection