Gone to the dogs

By | Category: Travel news
Hans Verhagen der Stomme, "Wasserhund" © Jörg P Anders

Hans Verhagen der Stomme, “Wasserhund” © Jörg P Anders

Few exhibitions open during the summer months, the reason being that people are holidaying and the publicity may not be great. If you do, then you have to do something different. Like inviting dogs to attend.

That is what the Print Museum (Kupferstichkabinett) has done in Berlin. To attract visitors it generated a lot of publicity by saying that owners could bring their own dogs inside the gallery to view their summer exhibition, Gone to the Dogs.

The exhibition started at the end of June and runs until September so there is still plenty of time for those taking a short break in Berlin to pop by and see prints by famed painters such as Durer, Rembrandt and Otto Dix. But would we know about it but for the publicity that the museum has garnered by allowing dogs in? Without a blockbuster such as the Summer Show of the British Academy, then museums have to be inventive and this is precisely what the Kupferstichkabinett has been

There are 100 drawings, prints, oil sketches, and watercolours from the museum’s vast collection on display showing how artists have viewed man’s best friend through the ages. Dogs were presented alongside Adam and Eve, in depictions of the first imagined humans in Paradise. The works on display show how, since then, the dog has served people in a variety of roles, as watchdogs, sheepdogs, hunting dogs, (probably the first depiction of dogs in art,) and companion dogs and have been an integral feature of street scenes in cities for centuries. Many of visiting Pompeii in Italy, for example, come back with the memory of a dog in the throes of death as the toxic gases of the volcanic eruption affected it.

Don’t think that you can take your dog regularly into the Kupferstichkabinett. This is a one-off. But what will they do next year to encourage people to visit their summer exhibition? And when will some of our museums and galleries be as inventive in attracting us?





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