Best Friends III: the dog as subject in fine art photography

Saturday, July 15, 2023 10:00 AM - Saturday, September 16, 2023 5:00 PM
The Grace Museum
102 Cypress Street Abilene, TX 79601

The relationship we have with man’s best friend is a two-way street.  But in art, our canine companions are usually included as an accessory for their owners or as a symbolic reference. Images of dogs can be found in prehistoric cave art and on ancient Egyptian monuments. Today, dogs are so much a part of our lives that they are often overlooked in master works by artists such as Renoir, Toulouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Manet, Dali, and countless others. Man’s best friend has also inspired prose and poetry through the ages.  James Thurber, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Louis Stevenson, John Steinbeck, Lord Byron, and Woodrow Wilson all memorialized dogs in print. And of course, Snoopy and Hank the Cowdog can speak for themselves. Pairing famous quotes about dogs with individual photographs, a favorite part of the first Best Friends exhibition at The Grace in 2009, returns by popular demand. 

William Wegman, Fay Ray, 1988 silver gelatin print Collection of The Grace Museum, Gift of Bill Wright

Best Friends III: the dog as subject in fine art photography presents individual dogs as primary subjects. Each photograph is an outstanding example of the photographer’s ability to instill an image with much more than just a faithful record of the dogs’ appearance. Many of the photographs could be labeled portraits because of the obvious affection the photographer has for the particular dog in the photograph. Well known twentieth-century photographers William Wegman and Elliot Erwitt have made their reputations on their iconic images of dogs. The photographs selected for this exhibition explore the universal symbiotic relationship between people and their dogs as captured on film by photographers Wegman, Erwitt, Keith Carter, Rufus Lovett, Bruce Davidson, Bill Hogan, Zed Nelson, and many others from the permanent collection of The Grace Museum.

Exhibitions Sponsors