Contrary to contemporary thought, these kitschy puppy prints were not sold as nursery items. Adverting for this very set reads, “To bring new decorating dash to the walls of your home, or to spice up a children’s room or den, place these lovable puppies with their all-loo-human expressions where everyone can see and admire them. …Portraiture of animals is the latest rage.”
Yup, you read that right; this was actually grown-up decor. (And don’t worry about pink being to feminine for dad’s den; tough cowboys wore pink too.)
Sold by Colonial Studios as “4 Lovable Wide-eyed Puppies in Full Color for Your Home”, this is one set of Mid-Century Modern dog prints! While not as sad as the big-eye art of Margaret Keane, these pups certainly are of the same exaggerated-cute style.
These vintage dog prints were the work of an artist simply known as Coby. According to the scant literature, Coby was a man referred to in the sales literature as “one of America’s most perceptive painters of animals” who “seems to known exactly the right touch to make these irresistible paintings spring to lite. Painted with love, each of the characters will capture a special place in your heart.”
While all the emphasis is on the pieces being painted, you’ll quickly note the mod 3-D effect of added touches of ribbon, felt, and other fabrics was likely added from photos. Combined with the pastel critters it creates the instantly recognizable look of a kitschy style which ran rampant throughout the the late 1960s and early 1970s.
PS The large pink rubber poodle squeaky toy (from Sun Rubber, 1963) can be found here.