Dog Cat Mouse at the National Museum of Animals and Society - Whimsical and Fun

Heather Mattoon and fancy cats

Three artists, Erika Carter, Heather Mattoon, and Virginia McCracken depict common household animals with delight and originality as the National Museum of Animals and Society’s newest exhibit, curated by Rafael Perea.


cute mice

Perea wanted to give a flavor of the “simple joy we receive from our animal friends.”  And in this the exhibit is a big success. I overheard one attendee state that just looking at the silly little paper mache’ mice lightened his mood.

Chris white, volunteer, and Rafael Perea, curator

This is also a welcome reprieve from the normally “heavier” material explored at the Museum which depicts many aspects of the animal welfare movement in this country. (see previous article about exhibit We, Animals), and comes as a prelude the next big exhibit in the fall about elephants. 


distinguished cat

Mattoon’s big personality kitties are amazing and fun.  They are head and chest portraits of kitties wearing human clothes.  They are actually hilarious because each cat looks right at you and each one is so very individual and different.  Many are reminiscent of human counterparts, of businessman, punker, fashion plate, school kid and others. 


Erika Carter and her pup

Carter’s dogs with flower hats are full of style and personality. Her Boston terrier looking like Frieda Khalo pictures are must-sees.  I’m sure many dog “parents” can relate to seeing their doggies as glamour queens!


Virginia McCracken with her miniature mice

And McCracken, who has always had a fascination with pixies and “ all miniature things from childhood and it has influenced her work has created a whole miniature world of tiny creatures in tiny boxes. The little mouse in the library is especially intricate and fascinating with all its tiny books on the shelves.


mouse in the library

This is a lovely and worthwhile show for everyone. A percentage of all artwork sales will benefit SPCALA.  In conjunction with this exhibit, Carolyn Merino Mullins, director of the Museum has told me they will on August 16 have a “Mouse in the House” adoption fair for mice. On Aug. 22-23 there will be an animal film festival at the museum.  On three Saturday mornings starting August 16, there will be art workshops for kids and kids-at-heart created by David Walega of Arts for Animals Sake.


Georja Umano is and actress and animal activist.


National Museum of Animals and Society

4302 Melrose Ave

Los Angeles 90020


Free -Open To The Public through September 7

Museum hours: Thurs thru Sun 11 am to 6 pm


Sat. Aug. 16, 12 - 4 pm


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