The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog at 101 Park Avenue
When I was walking the neighborhood of Murray Hill for my blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com, I came across on one of the side streets tucked into a new office building on Park Avenue, The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog at 101 Park Avenue. This unique little museum is two floors of art dedicated to the story of the dog.
The first floor features small fossils that show the early domestication of dogs during prehistoric times with humans. They may have used them for hunting and companionship. You could see this in the burials and in the wall paintings found all over the world that they partnered with early man and helped shape their world.
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog collection
Most of the paintings were from the Victorian Age (post Civil War to WWI) where the romanticized view of nature and of pet companions was emphasized. One both the first and second floor there were all sorts of paintings of various breeds of dog in all sorts of playful and working environments. There were dogs for hunting and sport, dogs as pets and dogs in playful position reacting with their masters and each other.
The Victorian approach to pets
The was also porcelain figurines of dogs, statuary and trophies from various Canine Clubs all over the country. It shows the history of the dog as show with breeding and disposition counting of the way the animal was raised and trained.
The second floor had another series of paintings, a lot from the same time period and some contemporary artist’s take on modern dog owners and their relationship with their pets.
Canine Porcelains line the staircase
Also on the second floor was exhibition on ‘Presidential Dogs”, with the first families relationship with their dogs (and cats too) and the role that they played in White House politics. Truthfully outside of “Socks”, the Clinton’s cat, I never knew of any of the White House pets. I knew the both the Roosevelts and Kennedy’s had lots of pets in the White House, I never heard of their names or seen their pictures. So that was an eye opener.
White House pets tell their own story
Also in a special case was small fancy dog houses and dog holders for travel which was interesting to see how small dogs could travel with their masters and the expense to create a way for them to travel. These were very elaborate. I thought of some of the items I used to see at Bergdorf-Goodman when I worked there with the Ralph Lauren tote bags and fur lined sweaters and thinking this was a little much.
The museum also has a small gift shop on the first floor near the entrance that you should check out. There is all sorts of books and art work to look through and knick-knacks to buy with a dog them. The staff is also very nice and very welcoming.
The entrance to the museum and gift shop has a nice contemporary feel to it
History of the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog:
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog preserves, interprets and celebrates the role of the dogs in society and educates the public about the human-canine bond through its collection of art and exhibits that inspire engagement with dogs.
The Museum logo
Founded in 1982, the AKC Museum of the Dog was originally located in the New York Life Building at 51 Madison Avenue as a part of the AKC headquarters. In 1987, the Museum of the Dog was moved to a new location in Queeny Park, West St. Louis County, Missouri. After over 30 great years at Queeny Park, the decision was made to bring the Museum back to its original home and reunite it with the AKC headquarters and collection.
Combining fine art with high-tech interpretive displays, the Museum of the Dog’s new home at 101 Park Avenue hopes to capture the hearts and minds of visitors. Located in the iconic Kalikow Building, the Museum will offer rotating exhibits featuring objects from its 1,700 piece collection and 4,000 volume library.
I was on Long Beach Island for the afternoon and had wanted to visit the Barnegat Light Museum on my last trip to the island but it was closed for the afternoon. When I checked the site to see if it was open this weekend, I found that it was and since I had to be in Beach Haven that afternoon I made it my first trip.
The museum is now open ‘by appointment only’ in the off season, so I called the number provided and the President of the Museum Board opened the museum up for me and gave me a personal tour. What an interesting little museum packed with information and artifacts.
The Barnegat Light Museum at 501 Central Avenue
The museum is a former one room school house that was built in 1903 and used by island school children until 1954. The building still houses the original heating unit, a coal burning furnace and books of the children’s notes from school that had been handwritten (now typed) of current events and school notes.
The main attraction is the original light, a 1052 prism lens, for the Barnegat Lighthouse on display since 1927. The glass panels and sheer size and beauty of light shows how it was once the beacon for ships along the New Jersey coast. It had been brought to museum after moving around to various places over the years.
The original Barnegat Light for the Lighthouse
Along the walls are all sorts of local artifacts such as dinosaur bones that had been found in the bay and donated to the museum (the president of the museum said today there are certain laws on this), local housewares from families that lived on the island and various types of fishing equipment.
Display cases filled with local artifacts
There is even a mini display of ‘Pound Fishing”, which is a series of poles and nets are used to catch the fisherman’s prey. This small display shows how it is constructed and used to catch the fish.
There is an extensive display of Duck decoys, showing the island’s past and present as a hunting ground for water fowl. The displays come in all colors and types of ducks.
There is an extensive history of the resort hotels that used to be on this part of the island that had been effected by the changing tides of the island. Like the old lighthouse and lighthouse keepers home, one of the hotels just gave way to erosion. This part of the island just keeps shifting.
Hotels disappeared because of shifting tides
There is a picture display of “Sinbad”, stowaway dog during WWII that became famous from stories written about him.
One beautiful benefit of the museum is the beautiful gardens that surround the museum. The pathways of flowers and decorative bushes are maintained by the Long Beach Island Garden Club. These wondering paths surround the property and especially elegant looking in the back of the building.
The gardens that surround the museum are maintained by the Long Beach Island Garden Club.
In the off season, you can visit the museum by calling ahead and you can schedule an appointment with the staff of volunteers that work at the museum.
I arranged a trip at the last minute and the president of the museum gave me a personal tour and history of the museum that was so interesting. It was nice to see the museum on a one on one basis.
It is such an interesting piece of Jersey Shore history.
When visiting the National Baseball Hall of Fame be prepared to spend over two hours in the museum because there is so much to see. When I visited the museum recently they had just inducted Derek Jeter as one of its newer members so a lot of Yankee fans were swarming around the picture and the display.
Derek “The Captain” Jeter being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame
The museum can be overwhelming if you don’t break it down to the part of the visit. I wanted to see the Hall of Fame plaques so I started there. All the players of the past were memorialized by the pictures on plaques with a small blurb about their careers and what team they wanted to be remembered by when they were inducted in. I was looking for Reggie Jackson, because I remember when “Mr. October” entered he said with pride that he was coming in as a Yankee.
The Hall of Fame Plaque Wall
The second floor is loaded with all sorts of baseball memorabilia from Hank Aaron’s uniforms, pictures and stats to a complete display of all of Babe Ruth’s career history from uniforms, stats, recordings, pictures and even his locker.
Each display case represented the history of baseball and how it has progressed over the years. From the early Egyptians playing a similar sport with a bat and ball to the progression of cricket in the British Territories to modern day stickball in the cities, baseball keeps morphing and changing to modern times.
The lockers of famous players
Many famous players have donated their entire collections to the museum so it was interesting to see their progression from the time they were young to the time of their retirement.
There are also collections of baseball cards, recordings and films, modern day artworks and even Hollywood’s take on baseball with posters like the “Field of Dreams” and “The Bad News Bears”. I was surprised how the lines between reality and the truth begin to blur in a museum like this.
What I was grateful to was the amount of items donated by the fans, wanting to part with something so valuable to them to share it with other fans.
I have to say that the museum can be a little overwhelming at time since there is so much to see so plan on spending at least over two hours and break the visit into two days to really experience the museum especially if you are a true baseball fan at heart.
It is an amazing experience.
History of the National Baseball Hall of Fame:
The Village is pure Americana, a one-stoplight town nestled between the Adirondacks and the Catskills in Central New York. It drew from the family of James Fenimore Cooper, whose father, William, founded the village, whose works of literature have become American standards.
And yet Cooperstown has become a synonym for “baseball”, thanks to a story about a Civil War general and the country’s love for a timeless game. By the last half of the 19th Century, baseball had become the National Pastime. The United States was a little more than 100 years old and baseball had evolved with the country. But there was no definitive answer as to the birth of the game.
Enter the Spalding Commission, a board created by sporting goods magnate and former player A. G. Spalding to establish the genesis of baseball. And after a few years of searching, they found their answer.
A plaque commemorating Major General Abner Doubleday was installed prior to the Hall of Fame’s opening on June 12th, 1939.(Homer Osterhoudt/National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum).
Abner Graves, a mining engineer, proclaimed that Abner Doubleday, a decorated Union Army officer who fired the first shot of defense of Fort Sumter at the start of the Civil War and later served at the Battle of Gettysburg, invented baseball in 1839 in Cooperstown. That was good enough for the Spalding Commission, which came to its conclusion in 1907.
Three decades later, Cooperstown philanthropist Stephen C. Clark, seeking a way to celebrate and protect the National Pastime as well as an economic engine for Cooperstown, asked National League president Ford C. Frick if he would support the establishment of a Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. The idea was welcomed and in 1936 the inaugural Hall of Fame class of Ty Cobb, Walter Johnson, Christy Mathewson, Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner was elected.
Three years later, the Hall of Fame building officially opened in Cooperstown as all of baseball paused to honor what was called “Baseball’s Centennial” and as the first four Hall of Fame classes were inducted.
To mark the occasion, Time Magazine wrote: “The world will little note nor long remember what (Doubleday) did at Gettysburg but it can never forget what he did at Cooperstown.”
In the years since, The Doubleday Myth has been refuted. Doubleday himself was at West Point in 1839. Yet the Myth has become strong enough that the facts alone do not deter the spirit of Cooperstown.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum surely the most well-known sports shrine in the world, continues to thrive in the town where baseball’s pulse beats the strongest.
But in the following the opening of the Hall of Fame on June 12th, 1939, the Museum has become much more than just home to baseball’s biggest stars. The Hall of Fame is the keeper of the game.
The Hall of Fame’s collections contain more than 40,000 three demensional artifacts, such as bats, balls, gloves and uniforms donated by players and fans who want to see history preserved. The museum’s curators use the artifacts, whose number grows by about 400 a year, to tell the story of the National Pastime through exhibits.
The Museum itself is a melding of five buildings sewn together via several renovation and expansion programs. Today, the Museum easily accommodates more than 3000 visitors per day during the peak season.
The artifact collection is housed in climate-controlled rooms to protect the delicate, fabric and wood materials used in baseball. The Museum promises, in exchange for the donation of an artifact, to care for an item in perpetuity, which means the effects of temperature and humidity must be constantly regulated. The Museum’s first accessioned item was the “Doubleday Baseball”, which was discovered in a farmhouse in nearby Fly Creek, NY in 1935 and dates to the 19th Century.
Then in 1937, Cy Young, elected to the Hall of Fame that year in the second year of voting, generously donated several artifacts, including the 1908 ball from his 500th win and the 1911 uniform he wore with the Boston Braves. Young’s donations generated new offers from other players as well as fans.
Thousands of fans attended the opening of the Hall of Fame on June 12th, 1939 and that same year another Cooperstown tradition was started with the launch of the annual Hall of Fame game. For 70 years, the Hall of Fame game became an annual celebration of the game as two Major League Baseball teams played an annual exhibition contest at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown. Though the game was discontinued in 2008, the legends live on with the advent of the Hall of Fame Classic, an annual event over Memorial Day Weekend featuring Hall of Famers and former major leaguers at historic Doubleday Field.
The field itself dates back to 1920 and the first grandstand was built in 1924. Thanks to Works Progress Administration money during the Great Depression, Doubleday Field was expanded again in 1934. Today, the field is occupied non-stop during the spring, summer and fall as high school athletes, collegiate summer league stars and recreational players savor the chance to play on hallowed ground.
The A. Bartlett Giamatti research Center is also part of the Museum experience and the Center’s Library contains more than three million documents on the history of baseball, ranging from reference books to the “Green Light Letter” sent by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis in January of 1942, urging Landis to keep baseball going during World War II. The National Baseball Hall of Fame Library also contains more than 250,00 baseball photographs and images.
As an educational institution, the Museum offers outreach programs for audiences of all ages. Through virtual classroom technology, Cooperstown is transported to school across the country with video-conference lessons featuring any one of 16 learning modules.
Mission of the Museum:
Preserving History, Honoring Excellence and Connecting Generations.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is an independent, non-profit educational institution dedicated to fostering an appreciation of the historical development of baseball and its impact on our culture by collecting, preserving, exhibiting and interpreting its collection for a global audience as well as honoring those who have made outstanding contributions to our national pastime.
The Hall of Fame’s mission is to preserve the sport’s history, honor excellence within the game and make a connection between the generations of people who enjoy baseball. Likewise the institution functions as three entities under one roof with a museum, the actual Hall of Fame and a research library. With these parts working together, the Museum is committed to fulfilling its mission by:
Collecting, through donations, baseball artifacts, works of art, literature, photgraphs, memorabilia and related materials which focus on the history of the game over time, its players and those elected to the Hall of Fame.
Preserving the collections by adhering to professional museum standards with respect to conservation and maintaining a permanent record of holdings through documentation, study, research, cataloging and publication.
Exhibiting material in permanent gallery space, organizing on-site changing exhibitions on various themes, with works from the Hall of Fame collectins or other sources, working with other individuals or organizations to exhibit loaned material of significance to baseball and providing related research facilities.
Interpreting artifacts its exhibition and education programs to enhance awareness, understanding and appreciation of the game fora diverse audience.
Honoring, by enshrinement, those individuals who had exceptional careers and recognizing others for their significant achievements.
When I was visiting Kingston, NY again for my blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com”, I came across the Trolley Museum that was down the road from the NY Maritime Museum and the harbor for the ‘Hudson River Cruises”. This unique museum has a lot of interactive things for a family to do including riding a trolley through the harbor of the Kingston Roundout to Kingston Point Park right on the Hudson River. On a beautiful sunny day there is nothing like it.
The first part of the trip took us to the Kingston Roundout
I just made the first trip on the trolley. You start at the front of the museum and then you take a short trip to the downtown and we picked up other passengers. It was then off for a short trolley trip following the river up to Kingston Point Park and the picnic grounds there.
The Trolley arriving at Kingston Point Park
The foliage was amazing at the park with hues of gold and red and the trees were just coming into their peak. We only had about a half hour to stay at the park and look around but it was a real delight of colors and the views of the river just shined in the sun. It was very picturesque especially with sailboats passing by.
The Trolley stops at Kingston Point Park
On our way back to the museum, you could see the lighthouse from its perch at the mouth of the inlet. People were starting to take the Hudson River Cruise in the distance which I had made two weeks earlier.
When I got back to the museum, I toured all the buses, subway cars and the Path train that they had in the parking lot. I could see this live in Manhattan so I went to visit the museum.
You can tour old subway cars, buses and an old Path Train
There were small exhibits on the history of the trolley cars in cities, the development of the cars as a mode of transportation starting with horses to the electrical age.
There was also a small display on glass fixtures used in the electrical lines before the new cabling systems came in and another hats and uniforms used on the trolley cars over the years. There are also displays of signs and posters for the different lines.
It is a small museum but for families, there is a lot to climb through and tour around and just taking the trolley up to the park is worth the price of the ticket.
History of The Trolley Museum of New York:
The Trolley Museum of New York is a non-profit educational museum founded in 1955. The goals of the museum are to offer rides to the public, exhibits and educational programs sharing the rich history of rail transportation and the role it played in the development of the Hudson Valley region. In addition to static displays of trolley, subway and rapid transit cars from the United States and Europe, a trolley ride runs 1 1/2 miles from Gallo Park at the foot of Broadway in downtown Kingston, NY to Kingston Point Park on the shore of the Hudson River, using a renovated 1925 trolley. Along the way, we stop at the Museum grounds.
The Museum is on the original site of the Ulster and Delaware Railroad yards at Milepost 1. Our shop building is built on the foundation of the U & D engine building house which existed at the turn of the century. The upper level includes a Visitor’s Center featuring seasonal and permanent displays, a video viewing area and large windows overlooking the restoration shop. Visitors can see up to eight trolleys being housed and restored below.
One of the cars in the restoration shop is our 1897 wooden trolley car from Olso, Norway. This car is one of four cars that we have on display that are 100 plus years old.
All of the Museum staff are volunteers. There are many projects, both large and small, all of which require funding to complete. Chief among these are the installation of overhead electric wire, trolley restoration and the expansion and rehabilitation of track. Your donations will help to provide vital support for these projects and others.
(This information comes from The Trolley Museum of New York’s pamphlet and I give them full credit for it).