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 !

Friday, October 09, 2015

two blue bunnies

image copyright and by kindest permission of the artist, ande hall
I do enjoy a lovely pastel work.  Mix in a couple of fat bunnies and my favorite complementary colors of orange and blue, and - well, you've made my Friday.  Kansas artist Ande Hall has a feel for pastels that mixes bright, delightful color with excellent form and control.  The results are not only rich in pigment and feel, but fun, as you can see when you skim through her gallery.  (Did you see the scarlet tanager, or the warbler on the nest, or any of those excellent chickens?)  This particular work grabbed me because the treatment of the lines mixed with that deep color reminded me of what I liked best about Fauvism (Matisse, for example).
Hall was a full-time veterinarian for 25 years, and still keeps her hand in part-time.   She also continues to serve animals through her Etsy shop - where 5% of her proceeds are donated to IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature- the world's oldest and largest wildlife conservation organization).

Thursday, October 08, 2015

for national poetry day (uk) - my favorite pet poem

a rerun. caspar von reth, Hundeportrat, 1893. PD
At last deep in the stairwell I hear a tread,
it is him, my leader, my love.
I run to the door and listen to his approach.

Today is National Poetry Day in the United Kingdom, and I'm happy to jump on the bandwagon by revisiting my favorite pet poem (so far).  By happy accident, it's by Thom Gunn, the Anglo-American poet.  "Yoko," written from his dog's viewpoint, surrenders us to an immediate, wholehearted world revolving round good smells and the beloved human.  I have to send you elsewhere to read it whole, but please do.   It's here - 

A postscript - Over at The Guardian you can see all kinds of people reading all kinds of poems, many for their pets.  Go here to enjoy.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

wordless vintage wednesday

found at seattle antique company

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

skate free lil hedgie

image copyright and by kindest courtesy of Shirley Harvey Art
Montreal artist Shirley Harvey has created a colorful miniature world in which domestic and wild collide.  Anything can happen in her bright little watercolors, and does, as you see above in  Hedgehog on a Skateboard.  She writes, "I love life to intrigue, surprise, delight, make me chuckle and be beautiful. I believe wholeheartedly art should do the same."  Visit her Etsy shop, ShirleyHarveyArt, and she'll make that happen for you.  Will it be the frog on a hopper toy? (Do they make those for grownups?  I really miss those.)  The Segway rat?  The karaoke hamster (he's so soulful!)?  What does freedom and pleasure look like for these little beings?  Shirley Harvey makes you realize that it may or may not be a tiny skateboard, but you wish them to have that joy, whatever it may be.

Monday, October 05, 2015

a prisoner befriends the mice - and the spiders

Though I've heard of prisoners befriending the mice and rats who might visit their lonely cells, this is the first time I've heard of spiders joining in. . . 
An officer confined to the Bastille, at Paris, begged to be allowed to play on his lute, to soften his confinement by its harmonies. Shortly afterwards, when playing on the instrument, he was much astonished to see a number of mice come frisking out of their holes, and many spiders descending from their webs, and congregating round him while he continued the music. Whenever he ceased, they dispersed; whenever he played again, they reappeared. He soon had a numerous audience, amounting to about a hundred mice and spiders.
-- from Goodrich, S. G. 1793-1860. (1849). Illustrative anecdotes of the animal kingdom. Boston: Rand and Mann. 173.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

oliver herford gives as good as he gets

From a book of reminisces by Joseph Cummings Chase:  perennial Museum favorite Oliver Herford gets teased about his humble subject matter, but unsurprisingly has a witty turnaround. . .
A few years ago, while Oliver's "The Rubaiyat of a Persian Kitten" was being widely read, Childe Hassam attempted to tease him—a dangerous experiment at best. Hassam was considered somewhat of a modernist in his painting. And when he inquired of Oliver, "Why do you always draw kittens—nothing but kittens, kittens, kittens?"  Oliver came back with, "Certainly I draw kittens, but I don't call them landscapes."
 -- Chase, J. Cummings. (1933). My friends look good to me. New York: Sears publishing company. 66.

Friday, October 02, 2015

lady in a blue green dress, and dog on that dress

thanks wikimedia commons (PD:US / and life of author plus 100)
I wish I knew what hand created this 18th-century portrait of a "Dame in blau-grĂ¼nem Kleid mit Bortenstickerei und Spitzenkragen, mit Facher und Hundchen" (translated from German that's Lady in blue-green dress with ribbon embroidery and lace collar, with fan and small dog).  What seized me was its prime example of how dogs and their people look alike after awhile.  I know it's hard to see up above, so I tried to get a little closer in:

Bonus!  This portrait came with the husband version, complete with Hund - want to look?  Here.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

wordless vintage wednesday

thanks seattle antique co