17 October 2007

Picture Perfect Dogs

Pictures are instant gratification. It’s no wonder most of us accumulate dozens of photo albums, crammed full of the things – and people – we love. And of course, our pets are always included in these collections of memories and have been for decades.

Photography expert Catherine Johnson has spent years collecting anonymous amateur vintage photographs and has compiled a book featuring old snapshots of man’s canine companion. Published by Phaidon Press, “DOGS” features poignant photographs dating from the turn of the 20th century to the early 1960s. The images capture the ways in which dogs have become a natural part of our lives and range from trips to the beach and candid backyard shots to posed family portraits.

In the book you can also find quotes about dogs from such figures as Robert Louis Stevenson, George Eliot, and Dwight D. Eisenhower. John Steinbeck remarked, “I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are mutts,” and Alexander Pope claimed that “Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends.”

“DOGS” is a beautiful look at the enduring love between humans and canines, a reminder that though times may change, our best friend does not. It brings forgotten vintage photographs of people and their dogs to light.