Bulldog lovers and Yalies will swoon over the bronze sculpture standing watch in the vestibule of Mobilia Gallery in Cambridge. Painstakingly hand-fabricated by Japanese artist Tomomi Maruyama, the one-of-a-kind piece is made of hammered bronze using the repoussé process, and finished with the traditional Japanese urushi lacquer finish. The dog’s studded collar is of copper and brass. Continue reading “Bulldog Brawn in Bronze”
One of the great pleasures of living in Cambridge is the palpable sense of the past. Scratch the surface, and there’s a story waiting to be sniffed out on virtually any corner in the city. In this post, I nose into the pedigree of a large dog statue that has sat watch in a private garden near Harvard Square for more than a century.
I first got wind of this antique canine curiosity while perusing an essay on the history of the Ash Street neighborhood. Entitled “Windmill Lane to Ash Street,” the essay was presented to the Cambridge Historical Society by its author, Roger Gilman, in 1945. At the end, Mr. Gilman digresses from his historical research to muse about the provenance of a dog statue that had become a neighborhood landmark:
“He sits on a lawn at the corner, as he has for forty years, since he was brought here from the Sands marble works. He is an artistic enigma. We know only that he was one of a pair, made about 100 years ago. Yet he is on a plane above the books of stock designs. Is he a forgotten work of some well-known sculptor? Is he a copy of some late Italian piece – like those Molossian dogs that guard the entrance to the Uffizi in Florence? However he came about, at whatever moment he was intended to mourn, by some base mistake he was sold down the river to our corner….now he is merely a despised Victorian, wasting his grief on an unheeding populace as its waits for the trolley on Ash Street.” Continue reading “The Ash Street Dog: An Unsolved Mystery”
Mount Auburn Cemetery is one of my favorite places to walk in Cambridge. As the seasons change, a stroll amid century-old specimen trees past the graves of generations of notable Cantabrigians (and others) evokes a strong sense of time and timelessness. Unfortunately, but not unreasonably, dogs (both living and deceased) are prohibited on the historic cemetery’s 175 acres, so I don’t visit as often as I’d like. But on a recent solo walk, I found consolation by communing with several distinguished stone dogs guarding their late owners’ graves. Continue reading “The Dogs of Mount Auburn Cemetery”