Dog Days of Summer
June 25 – October 2, 2011
Museum Galleries and Outdoor Galleries
Laumeier Sculpture Park presents an exhibition that examines the complex intersection between our human behavior and that of our domesticated partners. Dog Days of Summer, which opens June 25, features the work of ten artists spanning nearly three centuries in both the indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces at Laumeier. The show explores the relationship between humans and canines as depicted in visual art, from an 18th century drawing to a 21st century site specific installation. The mutual impact humans and dogs have had on each other over time is a particular focus.
“Dog Days of Summer continues Laumeier Sculpture Park’s on-going investigation of the ‘archaeology of place’,” said Marilu Knode, the exhibition co-curator and Laumeier’s Executive Director and the Aronson Endowed Professor of Modern and Contemporary Art at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “As one of only two accredited museums in the United States that allows dogs, Laumeier is an ideal museum to produce a show that is both playful and serious.” Research for the show began in 2009. The results of visitor studies, which showed that more than 20 percent of Laumeier’s visitors come with their dog, were highly influential in the development of the exhibition.
“All the breeds I see at Laumeier, from Teacup Poodles to Great Danes, are descended from a common ancestor—the wolf,” said Kim Humphries, the exhibition co-curator and Laumeier's former Director of Exhibitions and Collections. “Millennia of evolution have domesticated the dog which has become so deeply intertwined in our lives it is only natural that they have found their way into our artwork.”
The centerpiece of the exhibition will be a commissioned dog trail by Finnish artist Tea Mäkipää, who has worked with a range of experts from St. Louis and elsewhere to create a multi-sensory experience for both canine and human visitors along Laumeier’s Nature Trail. Mäkipää’s six interactive “stations” will highlight the ways in which our four-legged friends “read,” and experience, the outdoors. The exhibition includes contemporary artists Robert Chambers (USA), Jeff Koons (USA), Maria Lindberg (Sweden) and William Wegman (USA), as well as historic works by Richard Cosway, Edwin Megargee and others on loan from the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog. Concurrently, videos by William Wegman will also be screened Sunday-Friday evenings between June 26 and August 31, 2011 at Citygarden in downtown St. Louis.
Exhibition Opening: June 25, 2011
4–5 PM Member Preview Reception and Artist Lecture [free for members]
5–7 PM Public Reception and Gallery Talk [free]
Thursdays: June 23, July 28, August 25 and September 22, 5-8 PM
Yappy Hour!, a series of free informative and entertaining cocktail parties, will welcome two and four-legged friends to Laumeier. The series begins with an event kick-off sponsored by Kingsbury Animal Hospital on Thursday, June 23, from 5:00–8:00 p.m. with a special performance from Circus Flora’s Olate Dogs at 5:30 PM. The series continues for three additional Thursdays in the summer: July 28 (community-style dog show for all canines), August 25 and September 22. In addition to entertainment, vendors and animal rescue groups will offer information and adoption opportunities. A cash bar and snacks will also be available.
Download an event flyer (PDF, 753K) for more information.
Wednesday, July 13 and Saturday, August 27, 9 AM
Free Docent-led Tours for Dogs and their Humans will be offered at 9:00 a.m. (outdoor tour) and 10:00 a.m. (indoor tour with dog sitters from the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc. available).
Saturday, August 13, 1 PM
A Curator's Talk will explore the exhibition’s content and context on a tour of the show's artworks in the Museum Galleries.
Saturday, September 17, 1 PM
A panel discussion exploring the relationship between dogs and humans will take place in the Museum Galleries featuring Adrienne D. Davis, Dr. Stephen A. Brammeier and Marilu Knode.
Museum hours are: Tuesday-Friday 10:00 AM-5:00 PM and Saturday-Sunday 12:00 PM-5:00 PM (Free)
The exhibition can also be visited during extended hours on July 28, August 25 and September 22 from 5-8:00 p.m. with dog sitters from the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc. available.
Dog Days of Summer is made possible by operating support from St. Louis County Parks, the Missouri Arts Council, the Regional Arts Commission, the Arts and Education Council of St. Louis, the University of Missouri – St. Louis and Purina. Additional support for Dog Days of Summer has been provided by the Greater St. Louis Training Club, Inc., Humane Society of Missouri, Kingsbury Animal Hospital, Lucy Bailey of Dogs Unleashed, LLC, the Mark Twain Laumeier Endowment Fund and the St. Louis Pet Lover Coalition.
Visit Laumeier's Museum Shop to purchase the newspaper-themed Dog Days of Summer exhibition catalog that contains insightful essays, photographs, commentary and fun amuzements such as doggie horoscopes and a canine crossword puzzle.
Download the answers to the Canine Crossword from the Dog Days of Summer exhibition catalog.