Dogs Playing Poker

Canine Culture



We’ve all seen the painting of dogs playing poker but do you know the artist? His name was Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, an American who lived early in the last century. He had no formal training but began his artistic career drawing cartoons for a newspaper.

the artist

While working for an advertising firm, (Brown & Bigelow), then primarily a producer of advertising calendars, Coolidge created sixteen oil paintings, all of which featured anthropomorphic dogs, including nine scenes of dogs playing poker, a motif Coolidge is credited with inventing.

On February 15, 2005, two Coolidge paintings, A Bold Bluff & Waterloo, which may have been the original paintings used by Brown & Bigelow, went on the auction block at Doyle New York. Expected to fetch between $30,000 and $50,000, the pair sold for $590,400. His 1894 Poker Game realized $658,000 at a Sotheby’s New York sale on 18 November 2015.



Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

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