We don’t know if Fidèle bit, but the millionaire’s dog, back when they were both alive, did write some pretty biting letters.
The art uprooting happened last year when, against his will (the written kind), the Barnes Foundation toted the eccentric collector’s masterpieces from suburban Merion to downtown Philadelphia — 181 Renoirs, 69 Cézannes, 59 Matisses and 46 Picassos included.
The dissing of Fidèle — a mid-sized black and white dog — just occured.
An exhibit at the new museum containing Fidèle’s dog bed, and several letters that the dog “wrote,” has been closed to make room for a showing of sculpture by Ellsworth Kelly, Bloomberg reports.
As the Bloomberg reporter sees it, the change — while maybe not anyone’s intention — further removes Barnes from the impressive array of art he collected:
“Less than a year after Albert Barnes’s art, uprooted from its original home in Merion, Pennsylvania, occupied new quarters, the collector himself has been removed from the Philadelphia museum that now houses his treasures.”
Last May, after years of lawsuits and heated opposition, and in a saga far too intricate to fully cover here, the Barnes Foundation, which oversees the collection, moved the art to a modern building in downtown Philadelphia, where it was thought it would be more accessible to the public.
That ran counter to what Barnes specified in the will he had written before his death in 1951, in which he expressly forbade moving the pictures from Merion.
The foundation – to show some respect to the man they were disobeying — opened the new downtown museum with a special show in tribute to him, entitled, “Ensemble: Albert C. Barnes and the Experiment in Education.”
It depicted the history of the collection, and the man behind it — a doctor, chemist and the developer of Argyrol, an antiseptic useful for the treatment of gonorrhea.
Fidèle once wrote Winston Churchill to congratulate him on the liberation of France (where she was from). More commonly, she wrote to express her owner’s anger over something, or to art critics who had requested to view his master’s collection. Generally, she would reject the requests, sometimes in a rude and sassy manner that reflected Barnes’s distaste with the art establishment.
“While the Barnes tribute was never described as permanent, its removal struck some as a further slight to the man and his legacy,” Bloomberg reported.
The new exhibit, “Ellsworth Kelly: Sculpture on the Wall,” opens May 4. A spokesperson for the foundation said that, despite the old exhibit closing, continued efforts are underway to ensure Barnes keeps a high profile.
Fidèle’s profile appears to be less of a concern.
Maybe she should write a letter.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 26th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: albert barnes, animals, art, barnes foundation, bed, cezanne, collection, collector, dog, dogs, exhibit, fidele, last wishes, letters, matisse, merion, moved, museum, pets, philadelphia, picasso, removed, renoir, replaced, will
Spiked collars, break sticks and Michael Vick’s indictment papers are among items on display at a new exhibit at the Crime Museum in downtown D.C.
The dogfighting exhibit, put together by the ASPCA, is scheduled to run through September.
“We want the public to see that dogs used in dogfighting are the victims of the crime, not instruments of the crime,” said Dr. Randall Lockwood, senior vice president of ASPCA Forensic Sciences and Anti-Cruelty Projects. “We want people to realize the brutality of dog fighting and see that it’s the greatest violation of the human-animal bond.”
Janine Vaccarello, chief operating officer at the Crime Museum, told WTOP the exhibit seeks to expose the public to the brutality of dogfighting, but that attempts were made to keep it rated “PG.”
The exhibit features artifacts and evidence seized by the ASPCA during dog fighting raids, including the largest dogfighting raid in U.S. history, carried out in 2009.
The exhibit, “Dog Fighting: The Voiceless Victims,” also looks at the work of ASPCA veterinary forensic experts in investigating such crimes.
Among the artifacts in the exhibit is the indictment naming Michael Vick, the NFL quarterback who served time for his participation in dogfighting and has since worked to speak out against it and rehabilitate his image.
“Personally, I have difficulty in forgiving him, but if he can be helpful in the fight against dog fighting, we welcome whatever help we can get,” Lockwood said.
Also on display are a treadmill used to condition dogs for fighting; a “rape” stand used to immobilize female dogs for breeding purposes; breaking sticks used to force a dog’s release on another dog; a spring pole used to strengthen a dog’s bite, neck, and leg muscles as he pulls or hangs from the end, a handmade nailed collar used to antagonize fighting dogs; an electrocution device used to kill dogs who lost a fight or failed to show sufficient aggression; and a pit bull skull excavated from a dogfighting crime scene.
Lockwood says pit bulls have suffered most from dog fighting.
“Too often, pit bulls in general are demonized as the weapons of dog fighting, but from our perspective they are the victims of dog fighting,” he said.
The exhibit does have some upbeat notes, including the story of Dragon, a dog rescued from a Virginia dogfighting ring who has since been adopted into a new home.
Posted by jwoestendiek January 31st, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animal welfare, aspca, break sticks, crime museum, dc, devices, displays, dog fighting, dogfighting, exhibit, forensics, indictment, investigations, michael vick, mueseums, photos, pit bulls, pitbulls, randall lockwood, spiked collars, tools, torture, washington
For two years, Yun-Fei Tou has been photographing dogs heading to meet their deaths at the Taoyuan Animal Shelter in Taiwan, providing in the process some last-minute affection to the animals and a message to all: There has got to be a better way.
“I believe something should not be told but should be felt,” says Tou, 37, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. “And I hope these images will arouse the viewers to contemplate and feel for these unfortunate lives, and understand the inhumanity we the society are putting them through.”
He has captured the images of some 400 dogs, most of which were pets abandoned by their owners, sometimes hours before they are euthanized, sometimes just minutes, according to an Associated Press story.
And once in a while, according to a recent piece in the Washington Post, he is at their side when the lethal injection takes place.
“You treat them like your own dog or daughter or son. And then you play with them, as if they are your friend … You just make sure that when they are facing euthanasia, they are in peace,” Tou said.
A selection of some of the 40,000 dog pictures Tou has taken are scheduled to be exhibited in August in his first full-scale show, at the Fine Arts Museum in the southern Taiwanese city of Kaohsiung.
A few others are on display at Taoyuan city hall, aimed at heightening citizen awareness of the responsibilities that come with raising a pet.
Tou first became interested in photography in 1991 as a student at The American School in Switzerland. In 1998, he graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a major in photography.
His softly lit photographs reflect the dignity of the soon-to-be-killed dogs, who, despite often being mangy and emaciated, seem to have a grace about them.
Shelters in Taiwan will euthanize 80,000 dogs this year. In the U.S., between 3 and 4 million dogs are euthanized a year.
You can find more of Tou’s photos here.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 27th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, art, death, death row, dignity, dogs, euthanasia, exhibit, grace, memento mori, pets, photographer, photography, photos, shame, shelters, taiwan, taoyuan animal shelter, yun-fei tou
Not everybody knows that, when the ship went down 100 years ago Saturday, it threatened to cut short at least 12 more, of the inter-species variety.
As Amy Worden reports in the Philadelphia Inquirer, that’s how many dogs boarded the Titanic for its fateful voyage in 1912. Three of them survived the tragedy.
One of them was Lily, a Pomeranian whose owner, Margaret Hays, 24 at the time, grabbed her from the cabin and wrapped her in a blanket before boarding a lifeboat.
Other, less lucky dogs were an Airedale named Kitty, who belonged to financier John Jacob Astor, and a fox terrier named Dog, owned by William Dulles, a Philadelphia attorney.
The dogs of Titanic are featured in an exhibit, RMS Titanic: 100 Years, that opened this week at the Widener Art Gallery at Widener University in Chester.
“Not a whole lot is known about the dogs,” said exhibit curator J. Joseph Edgette, a Titanic scholar and professor emeritus of education and folklore at Widener. “All belonged to first class passengers. When the rich and famous traveled they took their dogs with them.”
Since dogs were considered cargo there was no official list of those on board.
But Edgette, based on his research into the personal papers of passengers, created his own “pet manifest” listing the dogs, their names, breeds and owners.
All of the objects in the exhibit, which runs through May 12, come from Edgette’s collection, including the photograph (above) of a group of Titanic dogs on the deck.
Edgette says one popular Titanic dog story turns out not to be true.
Capt. Edward Smith’s dog, Ben, did not go down the with ship. Ben spent the night before on the ship, but was taken to Smith’s home before it sailed from Southampton.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 16th, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 12 dogs, aboard, airedale, animals, dog, dogs, exhibit, fox terrier, john jacob astor, kitty, lily, love story, margaret hays, passengers, passengers dogs, pets, pomeranian, rms titanic, ship, sunk, survivors, titanic, travel, widener art gallery, widener university, william dulles
The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has announced the winner of the Owney Look-Alike Contest.
Bentley (above), a terrier mix from California, was chosen as the dog who best reflected the looks and spirit of Owney, a scruffy mutt who became a fixture at the Albany, N.Y., post office in 1888 and rode with the mailbags on train cars across the country.
His fame was renewed this year when the Post Office came out with a new stamp bearing his likeness.
More than 70 pet owners from across the country entered the nationwide contest, sending in photos of their dogs lounging on mailbags, dressed up in letter-carrier uniforms and posed by mailboxes.
The contest was sponsored by the Washington Humane Society and the National Postal Museum, where Owney’s original form is preserved and on display.
Bentley, like Owney, was once a stray. Coming in at a close second was Jordy, a former shelter dog from Virginia. The third place winner, also a rescue, was Murphy from Ohio.
The top prize was an iPad2, but all three top vote getters will receive prizes and have their photos displayed for two weeks in the museum next to the real Owney, who was given taxidermic makeover in connection with the release of the stamp and the opening of the exhibit.
“This has been an exciting year for Owney and his fans,” said Nancy Pope, historian and curator. “We presented Owney, fresh from his ‘makeover’ in a new exhibit that allows visitors to learn even more about their favorite mail dog. Owney’s online friends can browse through his entire tag collection and learn more about his life and travels via the museum’s Owney web page.”
Owney will also be the subject of a new interactive e-book, “Tails from the Rails,” being released by the museum later this fall.
The National Postal Museum is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 22nd, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: albany, animals, bentley, contest, dog, dogs, exhibit, form, jordan, lookalike, mail, mail dog, mailbags, mount, murphy, museum, national postal museum, owney, pets, postal service, smithsonian, stamp, stamps, tails from the rails, winner, winners
Owney, a stray dog who became an unofficial postal service mascot during the years he rode the mail trains in the 1800s, is being honored by the postal service — appropriately, in his case, with a forever stamp.
Because Owney’s still around.
Although he died 114 years ago, Owney’s form has lingered — a bit misshapen and straggly as a result of 19th century taxidermy techniques and the passage of more than a century. He has spent most of that time at the Smithsonian Institution.
When the Smithsonian heard the dog was to be honored with a stamp, they decided to refurbish his stuffed likeness as well.
The new and improved Owney, with added fur, a new nose, shiny new eyes and more, will debut this week.
Owney wandered into the Albany, N.Y., post office one day in 1888, spending the night on a pile of mailbags. Cared for by mail clerks, he started riding along with the mailbags on the Railway Post Office, traveling across the United States on the trains while guarding the mail.
He died in Toledo in 1897 when, after attacking a mail clerk, he was shot by the town marshal.
Owney’s benefactors deciced to have him preserved by a taxidermist. He was originally displayed at the Post Office Department’s headquarters in Washington, then moved in 1911 to the Smithsonian.
“When my son first saw Owney when he was a kid, he had nightmares afterward,” Linda Edquist, a conservator at the National Postal Museum and the force behind Owney’s restoration, told the Washington Post. “The first thing you saw was his belly with this big suture mark running up it, so no wonder.”
Word that Owney was to be honored with a stamp — it’s scheduled to be released tomorrow — prompted Edquist to get Owney the repairs he needed.
“We saw it as the perfect opportunity to carry out the restoration that we had been talking about doing all along,” she said.
The museum used a $10,300 Smithsonian preservation fund grant and donations to pay for Owney’s makeover.
The Smithsonian collection also includes more than 470 medals and trinkets Owney has received from admirers. Those items are also being restored as part of a newly designed exhibit.
Owney was reconditioned at the Point of Rocks, Md., studio of retired Smithsonian taxidermist Paul Rhymer.
Owney’s facial reconstruction included hand-sculpting a new snout — his old nose had shriveled — using a cast coyote nose. He got a new set of eyes. His claws were replaced as well. A coyote pelt was used to patch up some bald spots.
(You can find a fantastic slide show documenting the restoration at the Washington Post.)
In Owney’s honor, the Smithsonian is hosting a four-day family festival, beginning Wednesday and continuing with museum activities through July 30, coinciding with the release of the forever stamp.
The museum has also created an “augmented reality” program so that when the forever stamp is held up to a computer Webcam, Owney comes to life, barking and trotting.
Posted by jwoestendiek July 26th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, dog, dogs, exhibit, forever stamp, likeness, mail, makeover, mascot, mounted, owney, paul rhymer, pets, post office, postal service, railroad, refurbished, smithsonian, smithsonian institution, stamp, stuffed, taxidermist, taxidermy, train
Maybe any monkey can’t be a photographer, but any dog can.
At least when its collar is equipped with a camera that’s programmed to snap photos at regular intervals.
The photos from just such experiment are the subject of a new exhibition in New York called “Dogtography: A Dog’s Eye View of New York.”
The idea was dreamed up by McCann Erickson, a public relations agency that was trying to gain some attention for a pro bono client – Mighty Mutts, an animal shelter and adoption service.
The company outfitted dogs with “collar-cams,” small digital cameras that can be mounted on canine collars.
The resulting photos show the world from a dog’s point of view — a lot of “feet and fire hydrants,” Sean Bryan, a group creative director at McCann Erickson told the New York Times blog “Media Decoder.”
The exhibit opens today, with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Hendershot Gallery at 195 Chrystie Street in Manhattan. Proceeds from the sale of the photos will go to Mighty Mutts. The exhibition is being sponsored by Mighty Mutts along with Biscuits and Bath, a chain of dog-grooming facilities in New York.
Each photo has a title, and the dogs who wore the collar cams get photo credits.
Dogs are invited to the event.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 10th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: cameras, collar cams, dog, dogs, dogs eye view, dogtography, exhibit, fundraiser, fundraising, herndershot gallery, manhattan, mccann erickson, might mutts, new york, photography, photos, photos by dogs, programmed, public relations
“Hey that’s My Dog,” a photo exhibit of South Baltimore dogs that has raised more than $1,000 for Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS), concludes tonight at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue.
Starting with about 200 photos of neighborhood dogs — all hung on clotheslines (the photos, not the dogs) — the exhibit is now about half that size, but lots of dogs, maybe even your’s, remain.
The prints have been selling for $25, but tonight I’ll be willing to accept any reasonable offer — even if it’s just a promise to donate to BARCS in the future. In other words, if you haven’t yet, come get your dog.
The exhibit opened May 3 to a huge crowd, and a musical performance by Sierra the Singing Dog (though she wasn’t in the mood to sing.) It was scheduled to run for a week, but after our closing night ceremony, featuring the accordion stylings of Don Plehn, the good folks at Captain Larry’s agreed to leave it up an extra week.
That allowed us to make, after expenses, more than $1,000 for BARCS, a non-profit organization that, given cuts in its city funding, can use some donations right now.
(BARCS is where I adopted my dog, Ace, five years ago.)
On Tuesday, I’ll be taking the photos down, and those not claimed will be going into the storage unit that will be home to my stuff when Ace and I, and ohmidog!, hit the road next week on our destination-less journey of an undetermined duration.
If your rescue organization or shelter is interested in sponsoring a similar fundraising photo exhibit of dogs in your town or neighborhood, get in touch. Maybe, during my upcoming travels, we can work something out.
Thanks to everyone who supported the exhibit, especially the management of Captain Larry’s, fellow sponsors K-9 Kraving and Lucky Lucy’s Canine Cafe, and David Israel and the South Baltimore Hootenanny for providing the music for the video version of the exhibit (above).
Posted by jwoestendiek May 17th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: balitmore animal rescue & care shelter, baltimore, barcs, captain larry's, closing, dogs, exhibit, federal hill, fundraiser, hey that's my dog, john woestendiek, locust point, ohmidog!, photo, photography, riverside, south baltimore
The exhibit benefits Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).
In its first week, about 70 of the exhibit’s 200 photos sold, raising nearly $1,000 for BARCS.
To see if your dog, or one you know, is in the mix, check out the video, or drop by Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Ave.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 11th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, baltimore, captain larry's, encore, engagement, exhibit, extended, held over, hey that's my dog, john woestendiek, ohmidog!, pets, photo, photography, south baltmore, your dog
Today is the last day of “Hey That’s MY Dog!” — a photo exhibit featuring more than 150 South Baltimore canines.
The exhibit, at Captain Larry’s, 601 E. Fort Avenue, will be open through tonight.
Sales of the prints ($25 each) benefit Baltimore Animal Rescue & Care Shelter (BARCS).
The photos were taken over the last year and a half by ohmidog’s vice president of visual communications (aka me).
To see if your dog is in the mix, watch the following video presentation of the exhibit — but don’t blink or you might miss him.
Posted by jwoestendiek May 10th, 2010 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: art, baltimore animal rescue & care shelter, barcs, captain larry's, dogs, exhibit, hey that's my dog, john woestendiek, ohmidog!, photo, photographs, photography, south baltimore, video