Saturday, March 29, 2008

More Dog Art

In the labyrinths of lives and civilizations long past there were in Mexico and other parts of the Americas some who revered the dog. This first photo is a ceramic dog made perhaps 1900 years ago. I took the photo in a museum in Colima, Mexico in April of 2004. Probably it depicts a kind of hairless dog, known as the Techichi or Escuincle which is believed to be a relative of the Chihuahua and possibly also of the Mexican Hairless also called the Xoloitzcuintle. Apparently these dogs or their ceramic representations were sometimes buried with their masters, to guide on the long trip to another world.

Pre-Hispanic dog in Colima, Mexico

In Xalapa, capital of the state of Veracruz, in Mexico there is a wonderful museum of anthropology. I took the next two photos there in July, 2002. They are also prehispanic representations of dogs -- unfortunately I did not record the civilization or period they came from.

Ancient Mexican Dog

I wish I knew why this poor dog was hunched over and whether it was functional or ceremonial or decorative or what -- but I do not.

The next photo, also from the Museum of Anthropology in Xalapa, proves that the wheel was known in the Americas before Europeans came. Apparently this dog was a child's toy and so far as anyone knows the wheel was not used otherwise.

Prehispanic Mexican toy dog


On the edge of the city of Colima, in the state of Colima, Mexico is a wonderful statue of two dogs dancing. To me they seem to be kissing as well. Here is a photo I took of that statue in April, 2004:

Dancing Dogs -- Colima -- Mexico

These dogs are really quite large, maybe 6 or 8 feet tall, I wish I could remember better. They are modeled, I believe, after a much smaller archaeological find dating back to 150 AD approximately.

Back in August of 2003 I was in St. Louis for my daughter's wedding and had a chance to visit the St. Louis Art Museum. They allowed you to take no-flash-no-tripod photos then and I took a this picture of what I think is a well known painting of two sighthounds:

Two sighthounds. Artist = ???

Unfortunately I didn't write down the artist's name or the date of the painting. Please email me ( jbuddenh at gmail dot com) or comment if you have any information about this painting and I will update this blog entry.


The next image is a photo I took at the Texas Clay Festival in Gruene, Texas back in October, 2005. I don't remember the artist's name. Here it is:

Dog art at Texas Clay Festival, October, 2005
(ceramicist unknown )


By the way, I put 49 photos of the Texas Clay Festival of 2005 out on the internet and they are still there, just photos, no text. To see them click here.

In the year 2004 my wife and I drove across the United States and spent a couple of days in the Silver City, New Mexico area. We heard there would be a festival called "Fiesta de la Olla" in the small mountain town of Pinos Altos near the 7080 ft high continental divide north of Silver City. This festival celebrates (among other things) the wonderfully decorated Mexican pottery made in the village of Mata Ortiz, Chihuahua, Mexico. So we went to see the fiesta and I took some photos including this one which should give you an idea of the Mata Ortiz pottery:

Mata Ortiz pottery

Later we wandered a bit around the town and I came across this wonderful sculpture of a dog in someone's yard:

Folk Art, Pinos Altos, New Mexico (July 17, 2004)


Some of you, like me, may be old enough to remember when the Soviet Union shot off Sputnik 1 on October 4, 1957. This was the first artificial satellite to orbit the earth and it shocked the U.S. out of the complacent feeling that we were the most technologically sophisticated nation on earth. It precipitated changes in the teaching of science and mathematics and was surely one of reasons for John F. Kennedy's 1961 decision to put a man on the moon. You may also remember that Sputnik 1 was unmanned but that shortly thereafter on November 3, 1957, the Soviet Union put the first 'astronaut' into space and that astronaut was a dog named Laika (original name кудрявка). That poor dog met a terrible fate. At least we have this painting (which I snagged from some commercial site, if memory serves) to remember her by:

Laika the Space Dog


My next dog art image is by Irish printmaker Tim Mara(1948-1997) and is one of my favorites. One Tim Mara site said that images can be used 'for educational purposes only', so I hereby declare this an educational blog. Here is the image:

A print of Tim Mara


Last (and in some sense least :)) let me conclude this dog art post with a painting of the well known Colombian artist Fernando Botero (born 1932):

Dog Turning a Corner -- Fernando Botero--1980

This concludes today's posting on dog art. Since my collection has swollen to over 250 images, I reserve the right to someday post again on this topic.

1 comment:

nancy schutt said...

aint Mexico grand? I caint wait to get there again! but my heart saddened at so many starving dogs on the streets- they run away when you try to offer a hotdog.
I'm getting a bit confused with the various blogs, so writing what may be twice on the same subject same blog-
check out Chihuahua dog street sculptures- (from a Chihuahua lover- my own street dog taken up residence with me- Pablo- of course Pablo, after you know who...)