Bad pug! Stick on 17!!
March 13, 2003 9:26 AM   Subscribe

They're dogs... and they're playing POKER!! They've been hailed as some of the most important works of American art ever painted, they've been featured on television from The Simpsons to ESPN commercials to Cheers, but how much do we really know about the works of Cassius Marcellus Coolidge? For everyone that ever looked at the dogs playing poker and wanted to know more, here is the ultimate resource, including, of course, a gallery. Please excuse the cornea damagingly horrific site design.
posted by jonson (8 comments total)
In my case, the works of Coolidge inspired me to teach my pug Lola to play blackjack.
posted by jonson at 9:28 AM on March 13, 2003

Uhhhhhhhhhhhh... not sure how to put this, but...

the hell is goin' on in this picture?
posted by soyjoy at 9:50 AM on March 13, 2003

I had no idea who to blame the art on - now I know! Thanks, jonson. Cool post, great title, as usual.
posted by iconomy at 10:01 AM on March 13, 2003

From the bio page:

One lasting idea Coolidge had, besides the poker dogs, was an invention he called Comic Foregrounds. These foregrounds are the familiar life-sized portraits with holes located where the head should be. The patrons stick their head through the hole and are transformed into a strong man, beautiful woman, or immersed in a fantasy scene.

Heh. Single-handedly responsible for so much tacky weirdness in the world.

I like this one for the look of head-cocking confusion on the face of the dog behind the bench. (No, not that one, the other one. Without the crown.) The scene before him is so strange that he can hardly keep smoking his cigar.
posted by tyro urge at 10:16 AM on March 13, 2003

Thanks, Iconomy! As you probably know, you are tangentially responsible for this post.
posted by jonson at 10:17 AM on March 13, 2003

I have a soft spot for paintings of dogs playing poker. I've always assumed they were done by an anonymous artist when it was Coolidge all along. Nor did I know there was a whole series of them. Thanks for the post, jonson. I recently came across a painting titled 'Laying Down the Law' by Sir Edwin Landseer from 1840. While the dogs in this painting are not wearing clothes, they are portrayed as human. Anyone know of anything earlier?
posted by snez at 10:49 AM on March 13, 2003

I seem to remember an artist whos claim to fame was painting an otherwise normal prortait... or landscape... and then putting a hidious looking blue cartoon dog somewhere in it.

Weird for the sake of weird... I guess... Purplemonkey Dishwasher.
posted by LoopSouth at 11:25 AM on March 13, 2003

Some prior discussion on this topic
posted by mss at 11:25 AM on March 13, 2003

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