Introducing Rakewell, Apollo’s wandering eye on the art world. Look out for regular posts taking a rakish perspective on art and museum stories.
Your resident newshound reports from Germany, where two former florists have decided to pursue their dream: a museum devoted to dachshunds. Proud dackel owners Seppi Kueblbeck and Oliver Storz have amassed a collection of more than 2,000 dachshund-related objects, which they are putting on public display in Passau, Bavaria – where the long, low-slung hound is a state symbol.
Among the highlights of the collection are handmade puppets, sausage-dog postage stamps and even canine-shaped bread. ‘The world needs a sausage dog museum’, says Kueblbeck. And weird though it sounds, he isn’t necessarily barking up the wrong tree.
The dachshund is officially the dog of the moment. Some 9,000 sausage dogs were registered with the kennel club last year, representing a rise of 40 per cent on 2015. Although originally bred to sniff out badgers, today’s dachshunds are small, clean and (mostly) friendly, making them ideal pets for city dwellers. ‘In London, you can just scoop them up in your arm and sit them on your lap on the tube,’ a Kennel Club representative told The Times.
This will not come as news to artists, however. Many of the biggest names in 20th-century art were sausage-dog mad: Picasso adopted a dachshund called Lump from the photographer David Douglas Duncan, depicting him several times; Andy Warhol owned two sausage dogs named Amos and Archie; and David Hockney was so enamoured of his doxies Stanley and Boodgie that he created an entire series of paintings of them, which were later published in a book.
The artist admitted that the project had been a challenge due to his pets’ inability to sit still and mischievous nature – ‘dogs are not interested in Art’, he told the Telegraph in 1998. Boodgie, legend has it, once relieved himself in Dennis Hopper’s Frank Gehry-designed villa, prompting a furious response from the actor. ‘Oah, it’ll be dry in the morning, luv,’ Hockney told his host. ‘You can just pick it up.’