The Dogs Playing Poker Picture: Origin and Relevance

The Dogs Playing Poker Picture: Origin and Relevance

If there is ever a list of artworks that have amassed more popularity than its creator, the Dogs Playing Poker picture would be on such list. This painting has been replicated many times, hanging on the walls of many American homes. It has become a classic piece ingrained in many consciousnesses as they play deuces wild. Today’s casino news will discuss how this painting emerged and became established in American culture.

Brief Description of Dogs Playing Poker Picture

Imagine dogs playing Omaha Poker, Texas Hold ’em, or Deuces Wild. That was precisely what some of the dogs in the picture were doing, The Dogs Playing Poker picture is a modern historical painting by Cassius Coolidge. The painting is not a single picture but a group of 18 pictures, each depicting different breeds of dogs engaging in human activities like smoking cigars and pipes, drinking alcohol, playing casino games, etc.

Eleven of the 18 pictures represent animals gathered around a table as pro poker players. One picture reveals a dog cheating in the game. Another reveals some dogs engaging in illegal gambling. There’s even one that depicts a dog caught up in the hard choices it has to make.

The painting is also full of humor. It shows each dog wearing an expression unique to humans and puts on accessories of different sorts. Below are a few examples of the many depictions in the painting.

  1. A Bachelor’s Dog
  2. A Bold Bluff
  3. A Friend in Need (considered the most popular of the paintings)
  4. Breach of Promise Suit
  5. Higher Education
  6. His Station and Four Aces
  7. Kelly Pool
  8. New Year’s Eve In Dogsville
  9. One To Tie, Two To Win
  10. Pinched With Four Aces
  11. Poker Sympathy
  12. Post Mortem
  13. Riding the Goat
  14. Sitting Up With A Sick Friend
  15. Stranger in Camp
  16. Ten Miles To A Garage
  17. The Poker Game
  18. Waterloo

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Origin and Publicization of Dogs Playing Poker Picture

A man named Cassius Coolidge created the picture of Dogs Playing Poker. Born in New York in 1844, he was a multi-talented man, passionate about painting. Notably, he was the first to start a bank and a newspaper in Antwerp and he also owned a drug store. Coolidge began creating several paintings, including illustrative pictures and comics, following his passion. That was when he made the Dogs Playing Poker picture.

You might have come by his works without knowing it. They are famous in carnivals, TV shows, cultural and tourist centers, galleries, and other art centers. The Dogs Playing Poker picture comprises a painting he made in 1894 (Poker Game), another 16 series of images in 1903, and the picture he made in 1910.

In 1903, Brown & Bigelow, a US-based company specializing in printing and distributing branded merchandise, commissioned the 16 Dog Playing Poker picture series as cigar adverts. That’s about nine years after Coolidge made this famous picture. The company further helped spread the fame of the pictures by printing them on several items, including postcards and calendars. They also published the images on cigarette cards, boxes, and other tobacco products. “A Bold Bluff” and “Waterloo” sold for $590,400 on February 15, 2005. Likewise, “Poker Game” was auctioned for $658,000 in November 2015.

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Legacy and Relevance of the Picture

Many commercials have featured the iconic Dog Playing Poker picture quite several times, ESPN has used it in their TV commercials and several clothing brands reproduce the painting on their products, including shirts, boxers, ties, cufflinks, and other clothing materials. Many TV shows, including “The Simpsons,” have repeatedly referenced the Dogs Playing Poker picture. Numerous miscellaneous items like pillows, plates, ash cans, dog foods, etc, also have the Dogs Playing Poker picture. The painting has also been reproduced on several art channels online and offline.

In addition, various articles, books, and academic papers have spoken about the painting. Art lovers have praised the picture for its humor and being an object that can make one feel nostalgic. Several contemporary artists have cited and influenced the painting, displayed in numerous exhibitions and museums. And, over the years, the value of the picture has increased. The casino industry is not the least. The painting also helped popularize poker. It brings poker to your consciousness; you may think about the Pai Gow Poker Game and many other variants if you see the picture. It portrays poker as a game that demands strategy, deep thinking, and skills.

These illustrations are only a few of the legacies and impact the Dogs Playing Poker picture has on popular culture.

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