SEPTEMBER CHAIRMAN’S REPORT
At the American Kennel Club, our love of dogs knows no bounds, and our educational mission compels us to share our passion as broadly as possible. Reimagining the AKC Museum of the Dog in its original home in New York City is an exciting opportunity for us to introduce the wonders of the purebred dog to more people than ever before.
In 2018, work will begin on a new headquarters for the American Kennel Club at 101 Park Avenue opposite Grand Central Station, a prime location for tourists, visitors and commuters traveling to and from all parts of New York City and beyond. The AKC Museum of the Dog will occupy the first two levels of this imposing class-A building, including the ground floor, and will be a beacon that welcomes the world to America’s greatest resource for and about dogs.
Building upon thirty wonderful years in the beautiful Jarville House in Queeny Park near St. Louis, the Museum’s mission will remain a guiding light, even in its future home: the collection, preservation, exhibition and interpretation of the art, artifacts and literature of the dog for purposes of education, historical perspective, aesthetic enjoyment and enhancement of the human-canine relationship.
In this next phase of the Museum’s growth, a new vision will shape its objectives and activities. The AKC Museum of the Dog will celebrate dogs and their inspiring bond with mankind through its collections, dynamic exhibits and interactive content. The incredible response to events like AKC Meet the Breeds has shown us the value of and public demand for “edutainment” experiences. The new space aims to meet that need while showcasing the treasures of our fancy’s heritage. Certainly the Museum will feature AKC’s collections of fine art, artifacts and books – broadly recognized as one of the most important resources of its kind. Dog fanciers and clubs will be pleased to find the AKC Library and Archives situated within the Museum as an important vehicle for research and learning. Displays will strike a balance by including both classic and contemporary works to align with interpretive themes. Our objective is that this new learning center will transcend the typical “time capsule” effect of many museums by featuring a vast range of captivating and interactive topics relating to dogs and AKC.
Our research has also confirmed that the Museum must serve a broad audience well beyond our core. A central location in one of the world’s leading cultural capitals will allow us to do just that. The Museum will follow a mandate to welcome and serve everyone with an interest in dogs, educate as many people as possible about the joys of the human-canine bond and responsible pet ownership, and promote the AKC’s history and mission. With this fresh approach, the Museum will become the destination for people from all over the world to appreciate and gain a deeper understanding of purebred dogs. A member of our planning committee summarized the goal: “Everyone should come away fascinated and saying ‘I love dogs.’”
With a lease recently signed, initial plans for the build-out of the Museum and AKC’s offices are now underway. There will be many opportunities to support the new AKC Museum of the Dog in the months ahead. Look for additional updates throughout the year about ways to get involved as a donor, member, volunteer and more.