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Petropolis: a social history of urban animal companions

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This essay provides an overview of the argument and scope of an exhibition, "Petropolis: A Social History of Urban Animal Companions" (15 July to 9 November 2003), curated by the authors for the New-York Historical Society. The visual history of pets in New York City from the 18th century to the present reveals a great deal about the changing relationships between humans and animals as the city became increasingly urbanized and industrialized and as the city came to have its dramatic mix of people drawn from many races, ethnicities and social classes. The exhibition shows a remarkable diversity of animals participating in domestic and in public city life, proving that the social history of New York City really cannot be told without including companion animals as actors and objects in that history.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2003-10-01

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