Pet News

Dogs Playing Poker

Rachel Phelps
Written by Rachel Phelps

I’m a poker playing dog! Hehe (is this a good hand?) I wanted to see if I could be in one of those really cool dog playing poker paintings.  So I reached out to my pals at Poker Junkie to see if they had any connections.  They told me the artist is Cassius Marcellus but he passed away in 1934. They said “So sorry Preston, he can’t paint you.”  I was sad but I wanted to learned more about this artist. He actually painted sixteen paintings us us dogs doing human things such as driving, dancing, and even camping!  However, his poker playing dogs were his claim to fame!

About Cassius Marcellus

poker_dog2Cassius, born in New York, began his art career he was in his twenties— drawing cartoons for local publications. But Cassius had a varied career—as a sign painter, a druggist and even a banker. But his immortality in the world of schlock art was yet to come. When he was hired by the advertising firm of Brown and Bigelow, a producer of advertising calendars, he was asked to make paintings of anthropomorphic dogs—playing poker and engaging in various human activities. Coolidge set to the task and produced sixteen paintings—dogs testifying in court; dogs cheating at poker; dogs winning at poker; dogs playing baseball; dogs camping; dogs dancing, driving cars and traveling. But his most famous paintings, dogs playing poker, are the paintings that were eventually reproduced over and over again

So why do you think our humans are so drawn to his poker playing dog photos?  Personally, I think it is because everyone wants dogs around all the time even on their walls. But mom says she think it is  because the painting has humor but kinda in bad taste. But you have to admit it does make  you chuckle when you see them on someone’s wall.

poker_dog1However, even  bad taste doesn’t have a price. In 2005, two original Cassius Marcellus paintings, A Bold Bluff and Waterloo were auctioned as a pair to an unnamed buyer for $590,400. That’s a lot of money to pay for bad art. But then again, for a story like this—it’s almost fitting to say, “art is in the eye of the beholder.”

So I have to ask are you a proud owner of one of these works of art?  If so post below and tell us where the print is in your house? Your living room, garage, bathroom, etc.

About the author

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps, “America’s Pet Parent,” is an award-winning writer, photographer, and certified dog trainer. She keeps busy managing the career of her Internet celebrity dog Preston from Preston Speaks. Her three Westies — who think they are mini-humans — and three cats rule the house. To learn more about Rachel go to: Rachel Phelps Website

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