Park Avenue is going to the dogs. This Friday, February 8th, the American Kennel Club will host the grand opening of the brand new Museum of the Dog inside the Kalikow Building at 101 Park Avenue, just steps away from Grand Central Terminal, and yes, there will be real live dogs in attendance! Friday’s opening marks the MoD’s return to New York City after more than thirty years in West St. Louis County. The museum’s first exhibit, For the Love of All Things Dog, combines famous pieces by dog artists like Sir Edwin Landseer and Maud Earl from the AKC’s collection of over 200 works of art featuring man’s best friend (one of the largest in the world), and the collection of paintings, sculptures, and objects that the museum has been amassing since it was founded in 1982. Untapped Cities got a preview of the brand new, hi-tech museum with Alan Fausel, the Executive Director of the AKC Museum of the Dog, and picked out some of the most intriguing items to share!

The museum will be open starting at 11:00am on Friday, February 8th. You can purchase tickets for admission online here.

1. The Skeleton of Belgrave Joe

The Museum of the Dog Library has an unconventional mascot, the skeleton of a smooth fox terrier called Belgrave Joe. Joe lived in the 1880s and had a long life of almost twenty years. He was a foundational sire credited with establishing a variety of fox terrier breeds. Joe’s DNA was passed down through multiple generations and led to championship winning dogs. His remains were originally cared for by the Royal Veterinary College in England, but he made his way to the AKC Library in the 1930s and has remained a beloved fixture in the organization ever since. He can now be found in the Museum of the Dog’s library where 4,000 of the AKC’s 15,000 volume collection of books are available for visitors to peruse. There are also interactive digital displays in the library where visitors can learn more about the work of AKC, get information on the organization’s breeders and breeding standards, and find out more of the history of Belgrave Joe. As the museum gets up the running, the library will host public programming such as educational workshops, lectures and presentations.