6.7/ LIM: ‘The Dog Days of Summer’ Exhibit — Aug 11 / Dec 31

William Sidney Mount, Esqimaux Dog, 1859

The Dog Days of Summer

Stony Brook exhibition highlights man’s best friend
On Friday, August 11, the Long Island Museum will herald in the dog days of summer with Dog Days: Portraits of Man’s Best Friend, a new exhibition including oils, watercolors and photographs of dog’s by various artists. The exhibition is on display in the Art Museum through December 31 and the museum has several public programs planned to accompany it.
Americans love dogs. Whether in the nineteenth century or today, anyone observing the daily activity in our streets, sidewalks, yards, and neighborhoods will find dogs and their human companions. They guard homes from pests and strangers, accompany hunters and farmers as they work, participate in sports and competitions, and serve as beloved family pets.
Their constant presence in our lives has made them natural subjects for artists, companies selling consumer goods, and photographers. The Long Island Museum’s collections reflect two centuries of these interactions between people and their pooches.
Perhaps the most famous activity involving dogs on Long Island was foxhunting. The Meadow Brook Hounds, Smithtown Hunt, and Suffolk Hounds were among the clubs operating in Nassau and Suffolk counties from the late nineteenth through the late twentieth centuries. These clubs organized riders, horses, and packs of hounds to chase either a fox or a trail of anise scent dragged across the landscape prior to the hunt.
Artists such as William Sidney Mount, William Moore Davis, and Alexander Kruse were careful observers of daily life on Long Island in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and captured dogs as they relaxed, played and accompanied their owners everywhere. With a few exceptions, dogs were rarely the main focus of these works of art, but nonetheless were a ubiquitous part of the local landscape. Dogs gained greater prominence in the early twentieth century with the growth of personal photography. Family snapshots and studio portraits capture dogs as beloved pets with lives of leisure, as Long Island shifted from rural to suburban living.
Summer Thursday, August 17

In conjunction with the Dog Days exhibition, the museum will host Summer Thursday on August 17 when families are invited to pack a cooler and enjoy a picnic on the lawn with music by the Cuomo Family Band. The exhibition is open after hours and admission is free from 6 to 8 p.m. Visitors will meet four-legged guests from the Middle Country Public Library’s Mutt Club and children are invited to bring their favorite stuffed pooches for a “dog gone” good time! For more dog related events schedule for the fall, visit longislandmuseum.org.


Located at 1200 Route 25A in Stony Brook, the Long Island Museum is a Smithsonian Affiliate dedicated to enhancing the lives of adults and children with an understanding of Long Island’s rich history and diverse cultures.  Regular museum admission is $10 for adults, $7 for seniors 62 and older, and $5 for students ages six to17.  Hours are Thursday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.  For more information, call 631.751.0066 or visit the museum web site at www.longislandmuseum.org.


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