Best-Kept Secret - 2011
American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog
At any other museum, a painting by that masterful Victorian, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, would hang in an echoing gallery, complete with a low, backless bench, a clot of tourists blocking its view and a glowering guard. At the AKC Museum of the Dog, located in the antebellum Jarville House in Queeny Park, all the artwork features dogs, whether painting, drawing, sculpture or decorative arts, and Landseer's Deer and Recumbent Foxhound hangs in the parlor. Instead of a bench, there's a flowery loveseat that looks like it was plucked from the lobby of your mother-in-law's condominium, and instead of the requisite glowering guard, the assistant at the front desk will offer your dog a biscuit. Dogs, in fact, are welcome at the dog museum. Try that at any other gallery with a Landseer.