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Harry Giglio, Pray for Peace 1996
Harry Giglio, Pray for Peace 1996 | Image courtesy of the artist and Taschen

In 400 Photographs, a New Book Captures the Joys of Canine Companionship

Picture of Rachel Gould
Art & Design Editor
Updated: 1 May 2018
Taschen’s latest tome exemplifies how dogs have long been our sincerest companions—and they certainly know how to work it for the camera.

Collector, museum trustee, and photography patron Raymond Merritt’s compilation of over 400 photographs from 1839 to the present day is both a rare examination of the dog as a photographic subject, and a monumental tribute to the history of a timeless pairing.

Unknown photographer, ‘John F. Kennedy,’ 1949
Unknown photographer, ‘John F. Kennedy,’ 1949 | Courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library, MA and Taschen.

The Dog in Photography explores but a sample of the innumerable relationships humans have had with their dogs over the last two centuries, with a stunning showcase of snapshots by world-famous photographers including Man Ray, Eric Fischl, Wolfgang Tillmans, and, of course, William Wegman. In turn, Queen Victoria, John F. Kennedy, Audrey Hepburn, and Elizabeth Taylor are among the iconic figures exhibited with their loving hounds in front of the lens.

Accompanying the photographs are poems by the likes of Walt Whitman, Edith Wharton, and Rudyard Kipling. Corresponding essays explore the relationships formed between dogs and their human caretakers, as well as the history of dogs in photography.

Bruce Davidson, ‘East 100th Street, Harlem, New York,’ 1966
Bruce Davidson, ‘East 100th Street, Harlem, New York,’ 1966 | Courtesy of Magnum Photos and Taschen.

In 1839, Louis-Jacques Mandé and Joseph Nicéphore Niépce—both French, the first an artist, the latter, a chemist—popularized photography in its primal format: the daguerreotype, “a process by which light-induced images were fixed permanently on a plate,” according to a chapter