Texas museum lets the dogs out, and in, for new canine exhibition

Edwin Arnfield (English, 1840-1875), ‘Trapped.’ Image courtesy of DFW Elite Toy Museum

FORT WORTH, Texas – When was the last time you took your dog to a museum? Actually, was there ever a time you were able to take your dog to a museum? The answer to that question, for the majority of Dallas/Fort Worth residents, was most likely “never” — until toy collector and dog-lover Ron Sturgeon came into the picture.

Dogs, and their owners, are always welcome at Sturgeon’s DFW Elite Toy Museum, whose current exhibition is “It’s A Dog’s Life.” The exhibition, which runs through the end of September, features dog-related art, sculptures, toys, antiques and collectibles. The museum is located in Haltom City, Texas, in the mid-cities area between Dallas and Fort Worth. Admission is always free.

Image courtesy of DFW Elite Toy Museum

“This is what happens when a hobby takes on a life of its own,” said Sturgeon. “This collection simply became too big for my house, so we opened up the museum, and now we are sharing two of my loves with the public. I sure hope you will enjoy looking at the exhibits as much as I have enjoyed them over the years.”

See the Victorian Period Collage, delight at the vintage and antique toy display, marvel at the 1930s Store Window Tapper, and smile at the Lap of Luxury Display. Do all of this while enjoying some of the most iconic and beautiful artwork depicting dogs in all their glory, painted by some of the most famous animal artists dating back hundreds of years.

Very little is known about Edwin Armfield, the artist who painted one of the featured artworks, titled “Trapped.” He was a British artist who lived a short life, 1840-1875. Most of his subjects were terriers in various stages of hunting. Armfield is known mostly for his exquisite work and attention to detail. “Trapped” is a perfect example of a master technician at the top of his game, the tension exploding from the canvas.

Besides “Trapped,” the exhibit features many other fine canine paintings, with a few of the highlights including:

• “The Wounded Hound” by Richard Ansdell
• “After Dinner Guests” by Louis Eugene Lambert
• “First Point” by George Armfield
• “Lunch Time” by Edward Charles Barnes
• “Study of a Pekingese” by Edwin Alfred Debenham
• “Two Pekes” by Kate Rashleigh

“This is a display the entire family will enjoy,” Sturgeon said. “Bring the kids, bring the dogs, plan on spending a few hours, and enjoy. That’s what this is all about . . . enjoyment.”

Image courtesy of DFW Elite Toy Museum

About DFW Elite Toy Museum

The DFW Elite Toy Museum began as a hobby for owner Ron Sturgeon, but Sturgeon soon realized that collectibles are meant to be shared with others. Thus, began the museum, which originally was designed as a toy car museum but soon branched out to include other collectible and antique toy displays. The museum is free to the public and, to reflect Ron’s love of dogs, furry friends are always welcomed with open arms. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is always free. Address: 5940 Eden, Haltom City, Texas 76117. Tel. 817-834-3625

Click to visit the museum’s website.

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