Best in Books: Kennel Club releases historic canine photograph collection

Man’s Best Friend – The hidden treasures of The Kennel Club Collection is on sale now

The Kennel Club, organiser of the world’s greatest celebration of dogs, Crufts, has today, 15 February, published a special photograph book, Man’s Best Friend, celebrating our four-legged friends throughout history.

To delight the canine curious, art lovers and historians alike, this carefully curated collection of 130 unique photographs and illustrations – including some never published to the public before – follows the development of dogs becoming an increasingly integral part of human society through the centuries. From traditional working dogs herding cattle, to historic Crufts competitors and up to the loyal lifelong companions millions of UK households have in their family today, all are showcased. 

Having recently celebrated a milestone 150-year anniversary, The Kennel Club hosts one of the largest and unparalleled collections of canine art in the world. With historic moments in dog history dating back to 1859, when a Setter named Dandy won the first dog show in the world held in Newcastle Upon Tyne, Kennel Club historians and photography specialists have dug through the archives and condensed a rich history of dogs’ journey to becoming man’s best friend into a hardback book. 

Best in Books: Kennel Club releases historic canine photograph collection

Clare Balding CBE, and longtime Crufts presenter and dog lover, commented: “This book is a unique visual celebration of the many ways in which dogs enhance our lives. The photos show us with crystal clarity the deep bond between humans and their dogs.”

Heidi Hudson, The Kennel Club’s curator of photographic collections, commented: “With The Kennel Club’s 150 years of history, it has been incredibly important to preserve and nurture our dog photographic history which form part of our historical records for pedigree dogs.

“It has been a joy to travel through our image archives and curate a small sampling of the remarkable dog images we have in our collections - we ensured to pick a selection that really tells a story through history.

“I would welcome any art, photography or canine enthusiasts reading the book to come and further explore beyond the pages by visiting us in The Kennel Club Art and Library Collections!”

Man’s Best Friend – The hidden treasures of The Kennel Club Collection is published by Headline and is on sale in hardback for £16.99 on The Kennel Club website and all major book retailers.

The Gallery is open generally to the public for free at The Kennel Club Art Gallery at 10 Clarges Street, Mayfair, W1J 8AB, Monday to Friday 9:30am to 4:30pm by appointment.

To book your visit, please email The Kennel Club Art Gallery or call 020 7518 1064.    

To find out more about The Kennel Club Art Gallery, visit our website here or follow the Gallery’s Instagram   

More information on The Kennel Club’s history and 150-year anniversary, including a video about the organisation and its impact, from its beginnings to today, and plans for the future, is available on our website.