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C.M. Coolidge (1844-1934)
Greatest Artist of the 19th and 20th Centuries

Coolidge

C.M. Coolidge, according to the Santa Cruz Public Libraries web site: "According to the antique authorities Ralph and Terry Kovel:

Between 1868 and 1872 Cassius Marcellus Coolidge worked as a druggist and sign painter, founded a bank and a newspaper, then moved from Antwerp, New York, to Rochester, where he started painting dogs in human situations. His poker-playing dogs are the most famous, but he also painted dogs on a commuter train and in a ballpark. Coolidge's first customers were cigar companies that printed copies of the paintings for giveaways. Coolidge eventually signed a contract with Brown & Bigelow to turn out hundreds of thousands of copies of his dog paintings for advertising posters, calendars, and prints."

It just goes to show that you can teach an old man new tricks. But forget the man and let's look at the work for a minute. Notice how the fantasy scenarios and absurd juxtapositions that happen in the paintings predate the Surrealists by nearly 50 years. And even though Coolidge's use of light is reminscent of Rembrant and the other great Dutch masters, he combines it with a contemporary social commentary that is a good century ahead of the activist postmodern art of the '80s.

But perhaps most illuminating in perceiving Coolidge's genius is his seminal influence on Pop Art. Here is an excerpt from "Sohodo: Dogs of the 60s Artscene and the Painters who Fed Them," by Tippie Beagle. Beagle notes:

"It was common knowledge among the dogs who regularly frequented the Dumpster Salons of the era that Andy Warhol was heavily influenced by the work of C. M. Coolidge, perhaps to a far greater degree than he was willing to admit. Warhol was the constant companion of a black dachshund named 'Archie' who regularly attended the Salons. Archie would note that Warhol was inspired by Coolidge's conceptual move into the popular culture, blurring the lines between art, advertising and mass marketing. And Warhol always regreted that Coolidge discovered the throw-rug tapestry before he did."

So to honor the genius of Cassius Coolidge, we offer the following portfolio of some of his works. Not only can you experience the brilliance of the artist, but you can actually own a print of one these masterpieces, and help support Blogdogs at the same time, since we get a tiny cut of the action, if you know what I mean.

—Chigger

Buy at Art.com
Waterloo
16x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
Pinched with Four Aces
16x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
Breach of Promise Suit
19x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
Ten Miles to a Garage
19x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
New Years Eve in Dogville
19x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
His Station and Four Aces
25x19 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
A Bachelor's Dog
16x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
A Bold Bluff
24x19 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge
Buy at Art.com
Post Mortem
16x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge

Dogs Playing Poker
36x24 Wall Poster
by C.M. Coolidge

A Friend in Need
36x24 Wall Poster
by C.M. Coolidge

Dogs Playing Pool
36x24 Wall Poster
by C. Coolidge

Poker Sympathy
16x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge

Sitting Up with a Sick Friend
16x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge

One to Tie, Two to Win
19x12 Fine-Art Print
by C.M. Coolidge

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