Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Museum by the Sea

Last weekend we ventured to Long Beach, not to soak up the sun or sit by the beach, but to visit the Long Beach Museum of Art. I've driven by this museum numerous times and was always enticed by the quaint craftsman building sitting alongside the shore, but I never found the time to go in. When I learned that the museum was having a dog friendly exhibit on architecture for dogs, I knew I had to get myself to Long Beach to check it out. This adventure truly combined some of my favorite things: craftsman architecture, quirky art, dogs, and the ocean. I know not everyone will find this place or the exhibit as fascinating as I do, but I if you are so inclined read on.

Outside the museum they have replicas of the dog architecture (essentially dog houses) for your pooch to play on.  As you can see some of the structures resemble what you would typically think of when you imagine a dog house:

 And some not so much...

Perhaps you are wondering, why didn't you bring your dog, William to this dog friendly exhibit? Well, William is crazy and dogs aren't allowed inside of the museum unless you can carry them. Technically, I can carry William, but at 50lbs I think that would be rather difficult to manage. Plus I imagine that he would be barking and squirming all over the place too. My guess is that we would be politely or maybe not so politely asked to leave.

Once inside the museum you will see the following sign encouraging you to not only look at the art/dog houses, but to also build your own dog houses by printing out the blueprints to the ones on display. 

Well, I don't think I or my husband will be constructing any of these anytime soon for William. This is primarily due to the fact that even though a rationale was provided for how each of these are "practical" for particular breeds of dogs, none were designed for Springer Spaniels or any dog for that matter weighing over 20lbs. Second, William would probably destroy most of these, so we'll eliminate the headache and disappointment.

Below you will see some of the pictures of the "dog houses." As you are looking at these please note that there was quite a bit of laughter from both me and my husband and the other patrons. One of the things I really like about exhibits like this is that they fully engage the guests in the art, even if that means having a good chuckle at its absurdity. 

Like I said, there was a purpose behind all of the designs. Each had a specific breed in mind too. The above design is supposed to help cool the artist's Spitz (a breed I've never heard of) in the summer. 

The mirror above is designed for a poodle. The description of this piece made me laugh the hardest. Apparently only a few species can recognize themselves in the mirror. For example chimpanzees, dolphins and humans have this capacity. Most scientists believe that dogs do not fall into this category, however, according to the artist, a growing number of poodle owners claim that their poodles can recognize their own image. To top that off, they also claim that poodles care about their appearances. How vain! Speaking of vanity, you can see a glimpse of me and my pineapple skirt in the mirror!

Below you will see some other examples of architecture for dogs. Make of them what you will.

On the second floor of the museum there is a beautiful view of the ocean and the adjacent restaurant. The restaurant is actually in the original craftsman house from 1912. The original house served a variety of purposes since it was first built and became a museum only in the 1950s. In 2000 a second building was completed which now showcases exhibitions, such as the one I've featured here. Below you will see images of the original building in all its craftsman splendor.

That concludes this adventure in Long Beach. If dogs aren't your thing or really crazy architecture for pets, they'll be having a new exhibit soon. The gorgeous views, house and fresh sea air make it worth a visit no matter your taste in art.


  1. This looks so lovely! The building itself is gorgeous!

    1. Yes, the building is what initially attracted me to the museum. After living here in SoCal I can't resist anything craftsman/bungalow-esque!

  2. What a fun exhibit! Too bad they probably didn't actually allow dogs to go in and interact, though they probably would have made some quick work on some of the pieces, hehe.

    1. It really was a fun exhibit and I agree that dogs roaming about would have added to the fun. On that note, my dog would have made it look like a tornado passed through the place... so I think they made the right choice in banning them from the exhibit!


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