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Zimmerli Exhibit Asks: Which Do You Prefer, Cats or Dogs?

Free Exhibit Features Illustrations for Children’s Literature
Exhibit Books
Mouse Chase and Puppies -- books featuring illustrations from the exhibit -- will also be available for visitors to read. Barbara Shi

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Rutgers University's Zimmerli Art Museum opened their newest exhibition, "Cats vs. Dogs: Illustrations for Children’s Literature," on July 1 in the Duvoisin Gallery.

The series depicts cats and dogs alongside each other in many adventures that display their most notable characteristics: the calm and curious behavior of cats, as well as the playful and excited behavior of dogs.

The exhibit aims to teach “about the importance of patience, courage, and unconditional love” to younger visitors through these illustrations.

“Cats and dogs are beloved companions in our everyday lives,” said Nicole Simpson, the Zimmerli’s Assistant Curator of Prints and Drawings. “Stories of their journeys and adventures have entertained and educated children and their families for generations.”

Visitors may vote on which animal they prefer in a voting booth within the exhibit. The Cats vs. Dogs exhibit will only be open on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

Many of the works displayed show moments from books, but visitors can enjoy Vivian Sathre's entire story of "Mouse Chase" with illustrations by Ward Schumaker.

That story follows a cat pursuing a mouse across land and through water, before the mouse finally escapes for good. 

Two other stories introduce readers to various dog breeds. Art Seiden's 1962 book "Puppies" delves into the unique personalities of breeds like poodles, dachshunds, beagles, and collies.

Nine of Seiden's detailed watercolor drawings are on display in the exhibit.

The exhibit features original illustrations of cats and dogs from artists Frank Asch, Mary Chalmers, Roger Duvoisin, Tony Chen, Shari Halpern, and Lois Lenski.

The Zimmerli Art Museum is located at the corner of Hamilton and George Streets in New Brunswick.  It will be closed in August.

Visit the museum's website for more information on current and upcoming exhibits.