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Animals Dressed As Humans Art 

Animals Dressed
As Humans Art 

Why is it so popular? In a word: Anthropomorphism!

We all have a tendency to anthropomorphize our pets. We naturally assume our pets get upset in the same way we do because we see that they do experience anger, sadness, happiness and joy.

Do they have a wide range of emotions though? Are they shy and vulnerable? Can a rabbit be proud? The fact is, we all anthropomorphize our pets and I think that’s why  animals dressed as humans art has become such a huge phenomenon, because deep down we believe our beloved pets are just like us. 

We may not be that crazy though. The book ‘When Elephants Weep, by Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson and Susan MCarthy was a huge bestseller because it drew from an abundance of scientific journals and personal encounters. Researching the wide range of emotions that animals feel, such as spiteful killer whales, bashful gorillas and even squirrels that dance with joy.

So maybe we are not completely crazy after all.


Animals dressed as humans


cats dressed as humans


Animals dressed as humans art is not a new phenomenon by any means. Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) was one of the first people photographing cats dressed as humans. A lot of his photographs were taken of cats dressed as people in everyday situations, such as cooking, cleaning and eating birthday cake. His pictures are ingenious for their time. He must have taken a lot of snaps to get the right angles and expressions. We forget how easy it is today, with our terabytes of data, red eye correctors and blur enhancers. Photographing animals back then must have been hard enough, but having them pose while also being dressed up too! It makes my head hurt just thinking about it. 


The most well known art of animals dressed as humans has got to be Dogs Playing Poker, by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. It’s another great and iconic example of art showing animals as gamblers. The series included eighteen paintings and was commissioned by Brown and Bigalow in 1910 to sell cigars. Many paintings from this series are now very famous, or infamous depending on your taste, and are often displayed in homes in a kitsch and tongue-in-cheek way.




Mr Whittier Frees may have been the first man to photograph his pets as humans in the 19th century, but the phenomenon is much older still.

We have been anthropomorphising our pets for thousands of years, and a lot of our animal stereotypes are routed to traditions that go back to Aesop’s fables. Passed down through generations the fables of Aesop have been taught in classrooms and sung about in songs. You may not realise it, but everyone knows a famous fable, they include the ‘Tortoise and the Hare’ teaching us to never give up and 'The boy who cried wolf' a stark warning about fibbing and where it will get you. We have all been taught these fables because at the heart of them is the simple but profound message, be kind, determined, honest and selfless.

Perhaps that is why we love this idea of animals dressed as human's art. It’s a nice reminder to see the good in people and have a piece of art that genuinely makes you happy every time you look at it. So next time you see a Zebra wearing a Stetson and smoking a cigar, think back to the 1000s of years of traditions that it’s built upon and then smile.

Browse our collection Quirky collection of  
animals dressed as humans.

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racoon dressed as human wall art Raccoon
Canvas Print
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deer dressed as human wall artDeer
Canvas Print
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elephant dressed as human wall artElephant
Canvas Print
From $58.00