Rosenberg LibraryRoenberg Library
2310 Sealy Street, Galveston, TX 77550-2220
(409) 763-8854
fax (409) 763-0275
Rosenberg Library Announces Museum Book Club Winter 2015 - 16 Selection

Cover image of Katherine C. Grier's Pets in America: A History

Cover image of Pets in America: A History by Katherine C. Grier.

Rosenberg Library is pleased to announce that Pets in America: A History by Katherine C. Grier is the selection for its Winter 2015 - 16 Museum Book Club Series. Both informative and entertaining, the book explores the complex relationships between Americans and their household pets.

The first meeting of the Winter Museum Book Club will take place on Wednesday, December 16 from 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. A second session will be held on Thursday, February 18 from 12 noon – 1:00 p.m. The Museum Book Club will meet in the McCullough Room located on the library's 2nd floor. Light refreshments are provided at all sessions.

More than half of U.S. households include pets, and many Americans consider these pets to be members of their families. Grier focuses her study on the period between 1840 and 1940, the time when contemporary practices in pet keeping were established in America. Included are stories related to the ways people relate to their pets — as companions, children, or status symbols. The book is filled with warm and humorous anecdotes from historic newspapers, letters, and other materials.

At the time of its publication, the book accompanied a museum exhibit, "Pets in America," which travelled between five US cities from 2006 to 2008 after its official opening at the McKissick Museum in Columbia, South Carolina.

Cover image of Katherine C. Grier's Pets in America: A History

El Greco, the Cat. Texas artist Grace Spaulding John
painted this colorful portrait of her cat in 1966
(gift of Patricia John Keightley).
Katherine C. Grier is a professor of history as well as the director of the museum studies program at the University of Delaware. She holds a B.A. from Princeton University and an M.A. from the Cooperstown Graduate Program in Historical Museum Studies. She earned a Ph.D. at the University of Delaware and is a specialist in material culture studies. Her research is focused on the history of everyday life in America, especially household routines, domestic interiors, and food preparation. In addition to Pets in America, Grier is the author of Culture and Comfort: Parlor Making and Middle-Class Identity, 1850 - 1930.

Rosenberg Library’s historical collections include a variety paintings and photographs depicting domesticated animals. During the Museum Book Club program, library staff will share original items from the Special Collections including fine art featuring dogs and cats as well charming vintage photos of Galvestonians with their beloved pets.

Rosenberg Library’s Museum Book Club offers participants the chance to experience art and literature in a more interactive way. Members have the opportunity to view rarely exhibited art and historical artifacts from the library’s permanent collection as they discuss related books.

Registration is required for all Museum Book Club meetings. Established book clubs are encouraged to participate. Groups of over 10 people are asked to call the Reference Desk in advance to arrange accommodations.

Print copies of Pets in America are available at Rosenberg Library. Visit or call 409-763-8854 ext. 115 for additional information or to register.