Since the domestication of animals thousands of years ago, mankind’s existence has been impacted by the creatures we keep as pets. We have birds, fish, dogs, cats, horses, roosters, goats, pigs, and so much more. It is no surprise that these animals make their way into our art, as these silent listeners and companions who never judge tell the story of the life we share with expressive eyes and playful poses. Charles Burchfield himself raised a Springer Spaniel named Pal with his family, while Bridgette Robinson documented the cats that entered her life from time to time. Other artists, like Jacqueline Welch and Robert Muffoletto pay homage to dogs that walk this earth. What animals are close to you? Take a moment to get to know some of the animals of the Burchfield Penney collection— and don’t worry, they’re all friendly.

Crazy about cats? Check out White Column’s “The Cat Show” on view now. It’s “the summer’s most hotly anticipated exhibition in New York not devoted to Ken Price, James Turrell, or Paul McCarthy.” 



James C. Litz (1948-2009), Cat, 1992; acrylic on canvas, 20 x 30 inches; Gift of the Johnson-Sellers Families in memory of Richard D. Cornell and Johnson and Charles Sellers, 1995

Bethany Krull (b.1981), Game, 2010; porcelain and wood, variable; Courtesy of the Artist

Jacqueline Welch , Patron Saint of the Little, 2012; watercolor

Bridgette Robinson (1963- ), Cats; Pastel on Crescent pastel paper, 22 x 30 inches (Frame: 29 3/4 x 37 1/4 inches); Gift of Peter A. Vogt in honor of Edna M. Lindemann, 2003

Robert N. Muffoletto , Wild Dog of Heath Street (October), 1975; black and white photograph, Overall: 8 x 10 in. (20.3 x 25.4 cm); Gift of Anthony Bannon, 1991

Charles Cary Rumsey (1879-1922), Old Virginian, 1917; bronze, 16 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 6 1/2 inches; Gift of the Rumsey Family, 1991

Rosario Provenza (1923-1993), Farm Animals, undated; spray paint on tag board, Overall: 28 x 22 1/8 in. (71.1 x 56.2 cm); Gift of the Provenza Family, 1994

Charles E. Burchfield (1893-1967), Untitled/D (Birds on Branch), July 20, 1915; graphite on paper, 11 x 8 1/2 inches (Frame: 18 1/4 x 14 1/4 inches); Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Peter Parisi, 1976