Located west of St. Louis in Queeny Park and housed in the historic Jarville House, the American Kennel Club’s Museum of the Dog is the only museum in the city dedicated to canines. The museum has a wide range of artifacts that include paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that trace the connection of man and canine. One of the paintings that’s on permanent display is an oil on canvas painting by Sir Edwin Landseer of a Deerhound and recumbent Foxhound. Apart from the museum, the grounds can be used for a wide range of events from dog-related events, conferences and receptions to rehearsal dinners, private parties and seminars. The museum is open Tuesday thru Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m and is closed on Mondays and on holidays. Admission to the museum is five dollarsfor adults, $2:50 for seniors and one dollar for children ages five to fourteen. The Drury Inn & Suites Fenton and St. Louis Marriott West are the closest hotels to the museum.
The history of the Museum of the Dog dates back to the 1970s. Early that decade, a group of people with a shared interest in canines got together to discuss the possibility of creating a museum that was dog centered. In 1973, the Westminster Kennel Club Foundation conducted a survey in order to gauge the level of support for this kind of museum. Although the Westminster Kennel Club Foundation discovered that there was great interest in a dog museum, it was quickly agreed on that there would need to be a greater circle of support. In response to this, the American Kennel Club Foundation was formed and building of the museum was underway. The location for the museum was the historic Jarville House, a Greek revival house that was built in 1853, and the surrounding grounds. By 1981, the museum was completed and William Secord was installed asits first director. However, it is Frank Sabella that holds the distinction of being the first to contribute art to the museum when he donated several paintings that included one of a long haired terror by famed artist George Earl. From this early donation, the museum grew to a collection of over 700 canine related paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures that are both on permanent and rotating display.
Today, the museum continues on its mission to showcase the history and importance of the canine in human life through both the exhibits and special events. One of these events is “Guest dog of the Week” which takes place March through October. During these events, a particular breed of dog is showcased during regular museum hours and visitors are encouraged to ask questions about the breed to the owners. In the end, the Museum of the Dog is a great place to learn about the connection of man and canine.