The American Dog at Home
The Dog Portraits of Christine Merrill
By William Secord

 “It is perfect in every detail.  Only Christine Merrill can capture a pet so astonishingly…”
Best-selling author, Barbara Taylor Bradford

         Whether highly bred canines or loveable mutts, America has fallen in love with the dog, and who is better than Christine Merrill, America’s premier pet portraitist, to chronicle this long term relationship.          
         While grounded in the traditions of 18th and 19th century England, the artist Christine Merrill has over the past 20 years created a body of work which depicts the American dog in its own especially American environment. Author William Secord spent twelve months traveling from coast to coast to visit thirty-three of Christine Merrill’s clients, interviewing them and photographing them, their collections and their dogs. Collectors include conductor Leon Fleisher, interior designer Bruce Bierman and best selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford.  Each of the thirty-three essays in this book features an American dog owner who has commissioned Christine Merrill to capture their dog in oils. Each answers the “who, what, where and why” of each collector’s story, and how they came to seek out Merrill to portray their dogs - members of the family whose portraits often supplant the portraits of their human relatives. Each essay is lavishly illustrated, not only with Merrill’s paintings, but with color photographs of the pet owner with their “American Dog at Home.”

         Merrill’s paintings, executed in the centuries old style of the great English masters of animal painting, are timeless testaments to our love for the dog. Americans all over the country have chosen her to create portraits of their beloved pets. Christine Merrill counts movie stars, authors, socialites and captains of industry among her clients, each with one thing in common: their love for their pets.  This book opens a door onto these worlds, but more importantly something which each of the 40 million dog owners in America can identify with: their pet’s unconditional love. Over 30 different dog breeds are represented, from fifteen different states.  To view the complete collectors list please click here: A biographical essay on Christine Merrill as well as a visual overview with over 60 of the artist’s paintings is included.


William Secord is the recognized expert on nineteenth and twentieth century dog paintings.  The first director of what is now known as The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, he is the author of the best-selling “Dog Painting, 1840-1940, a Social History of The Dog in Art” (1992), as well as three other books on nineteenth century dog paintings. He is the owner of the William Secord Gallery in New York City, which specializes in nineteenth century dog paintings, as well as the work of selected contemporary artists.

For more information please contact William Secord Gallery, Inc 212.249.0075

The American Dog at Home, The Dog Paintings of Christine Merrill
By William Secord
ACC Editions
Hardback, 11 1/2 x 9 1/2 inches
260 pages
333 color illustrations
$55.00 Available September 2010


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