Runs April 26-Aug. 31, $10.50, James A. Michener Art Museum, 138 S. Pine St., Doylestown, 215-340-9800, michenermuseum.org
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Dogs would make the perfect humans — minus the fur, the steadily dripping tongue and the cold, wet nose. They often boast many of the characteristics we value in people; they can be loyal, patient, confident, strong-willed and hilarious. And, according to photographer Elliott Erwitt, they're also much less vain about their appearance. He's been shooting them for years and says, "They never ask for courtesy prints."
Starting this Saturday, James A. Michener Art Museum will be showing these prints in an exhibit called "Dog Dogs," based on Erwitt's book of the same name, which will include more than 60 black-and-white photos of dogs from around the world, taken over the course of his 50-year career as a photojournalist. A wide range of breeds and their accompanying personalities radiate through each image. One shows a young Jack Russell terrier bouncing in mid-air, with a surprised expression as if he, too, is caught off-guard by this feat. Another features a Chihuahua looking convincingly fierce into the camera, his truly tiny stature revealed only by a woman's giant-looking feet planted next to him.
Despite the impressive array of dogs, Erwitt did not go looking for his subjects, but instead took most of the pictures during chance encounters. "I usually carry my camera and snap away at what interests me at the moment," he says. More difficult was getting his four-legged friends to pose. "On the positive side, they are more natural. On the negative side, they are less predictable."