Dogs are the best. These furry creatures are wonderful to be around and make for great photo subjects—and have since the earliest days of photography. An exhibition that opens this week at The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog demonstrates just how long photographers have made man’s best friend their muse.
Photos, Please Do Not Bend: The Catherine Johnson Collection showcases approximately 200 images that span decades from Catherine Johnson’s collection of amateur and vernacular photography (photographs that take everyday life and common things as subjects) featuring dogs. Johnson is one of the world’s top collectors of canine photography, and released a book on the subject titled Dogs back in 2007.
“Photography has always been the most instant and powerful form of communication for me,” says Johnson. “When selecting these images, I looked for something in them in which you can see the affection and connection that the amateur felt for the dogs, the people in the photographs and their wish to preserve these elusive moments in time.”
Many of the photographs on view have a dash of humor to them. A long-haired dachshund dons a festive hat at a holiday party. A golden retriever gives its elderly owner a smooch. A tiny chihuahua looks attentive as its owner lounges in a hammock. The photos will be on view at the museum through December 29.