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, October 19, 2017

ever wonder why they're called "milk-bones"? here's why

thanks pixabay (CC0 creative commons). no clue on the backstory
Milk-Bones.  They've been a handy dog-treat staple for seemingly forever, but did you ever ask yourself why they're called "milk" bones instead of "meat" bones?  The answer involves the year 1907, an organic chemist, a great deal of milk (from a slaughterhouse, sadly), and the chemist's discerning dog.  Atlas Obscura has the story here.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

wordless vintage wednesday redux

another from the museum collection, purchased in eureka ca 2012

Monday, October 16, 2017

a spiffy guardian for your purse

Raymond and Frances Bushell Collection (AC1998.249.94) www.lacma.org
Who's a good boy?  This boy is, and by the look of him he knows it.  This ivory netsuke is only 2.25" tall, but full of himself.  You can thank the 18th-c netsuke master Gechu for that (at least, that's who gets the credit for him in current scholarship). 
Do any of my readers remember Sister Wendy Beckett's art history series on PBS?  Even if you don't, you'll enjoy and benefit from her essay on another of Gechu's netsukes, here.

Friday, October 13, 2017

white mice have fun c. 1816

H. O. Havemeyer Collection, Bequest of Mrs. H. O. Havemeyer, 1929
In this happy surimono (color woodblock print), Kubo Shunman shows us "White Mice Playing." Shunman was a novelist and poet as well as an artist; I bet that's a poem written to the right, but alas, I cannot read it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

wordless vintage wednesday redux

from the museum collection, first posted 2012

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


CC BY 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0), via Wikimedia Commons
Somewhere in the files of the Wellcome Library you'll find "A Sleeping Cat," a Japanese work in gouache dating to the 19th century.

Monday, October 09, 2017

grey spots, a blue sky

Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
"A Grey Spotted Hound" stands at proud attention with his prey, a bird draped open-beaked at his feet (ah, poor thing). This oil on panel portrait was created in 1738 by John Wootton (British, 1682-1764), in his time considered one of the best painters of sporting life.  In the 1720's he studied in Rome as Baroque art was entering its final years.  To me that explains the deep, warm color of the background, its long scope, and the clarity of this piece's details, and how this splendidly-coated fellow stands with such presence. 

Saturday, October 07, 2017

a chipmunk does a hat

By Gilles Gonthier from Canada
[CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In which Anna Botsford Comstock relates the tale of a pet chipmunk with a taste for nuts and fashion, in that order...
Miss Irene Hardy, of Palo Alto, Cal., has had marked success in making pets of the little chipmunks of the Sierras. One called Chipsy was especially interesting. He was allowed the freedom of her room, and after she had filled the dish on the table with English walnuts, he would keep himself busy for a long time stealing and hiding them. His originality in finding hiding places was remarkable. Once he managed to get his nuts and himself into a covered bandbox on the closet shelf and stored his precious walnuts in the velvet bows of a bonnet. His unsuspecting mistress wore the bonnet thus decorated to church and did not discover the work of her new milliner until after she returned.

-- Anna Botsford Comstock, The Pet Book (Ithaca NY: The Comstock Publishing Company, 2nd ed., 1915) p. 84.