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Art / Dogs Playing Poker

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A Friend in Need, 1903

Dogs Playing Poker refers collectively to a series of oil paintings created by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. All eighteen paintings in the overall series feature anthropomorphized dogs, but the eleven in which dogs are seated around a card table have become well known in the United States as examples of kitsch art in home decoration.

To see the eighteen paintings, look at the Image Links page.

For Art Imitates Art examples, see Canines Gambling in a Card Game.


Dogs Playing Poker provides examples of:

  • Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: While some of the paintings depict the dogs without clothes, some of them like His Station and Four Aces and Sitting up with a Sick Friend do.
  • Civilized Animal: As the name implies, the dogs are playing poker, with many of the dogs dressed in the fashion of the era. Not Beast Men, but actual dogs. One wonders how they can hold the cards without thumbs.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: So much so that A Waterloo is the image to the trope's page. The portfolio is called "Dogs Playing Poker" and all of the paintings are about dogs playing poker (or gambling and socializing in a manner where you could technically call it "gambling").
  • What Were They Selling Again?: All but two of the paintings (the first and last) were commissioned to sell cigars, a fact that most people don't know.