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 !

Monday, April 16, 2007

let us now talk of non cat things

Nobody knows what my girl had, except that it was a Fever of Unknown Origin. I didn't know that was an actual cat diagnosis. It is.

Let us move to art that is inspired by dogs. I have been leafing with delight through Best In Show: The Dog in Art from the Renaissance to Today (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, in association with The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Bruce Museum, Greenwich, 2006). The show upon which this fine book is based uses varying portrayals of the dog over time as a mirror of social and cultural concerns in the West. I think we'll look at a few this week. The only caveat I have is that I will have to send you often to outside links for the images, as I have no wish to be a sloppy curator and steal my exhibits.

So, today a peek at Philip Reinagle's 1805 Portrait of an Extraordinary Musical Dog. Robert Rosenblum has this to say about this elegant yet funny look at a brown spaniel playing a patriotic tune on the piano:
Seated on a piano stool before a window that frames an expansive landscape and
sky, the spaniel stares us down with the intense eyes of another Beethoven, a
Romantic genius immersed in his music-making. . . The score is apparently a
florid variation on the tune "God Save the King,"of a sort that might have
delighted a concert audience; but more to the point, the furry pianist is
intended as a joke on the succession of human child prodigies who awed the
public, beginning with Mozart's performances in 1764-65 and continuing with
another infant pianist, William Crotch, who in 1777, at the age of two, could
play "God Save the King," and two years later performed for the king and
queen. (p. 56)


Radcliff, Allie, Luna & Ozzie said...

Well, 'a Fever of Unknown Origin' sounds better than 'Beats the Heck Out of Me'. :-)

curator said...

Yeah, even though you know that's what it means! Thanks for coming by so often to give good wishes while I was so worried. That meant a lot to have museum friends visit.