Acclaimed fine art photographer Nancy Baron has turned her lens on the precious four-legged residents of Palm Springs, documenting pet dogs against the backdrop of their mid-century modern homes.
Now available in a new book, Palm Springs: Modern Dogs at Home, the series explores the beautiful Californian climate, wide-open spaces, and clean décor that make the perfect home for these pooches which are as lovingly groomed and cared-for as their surroundings. From Chihuahuas to Wolfhounds, purebreds, and rescues, the pups follow her around and wander into her camera frame, adding warmth and life to the image as they do to their homes.
But Nancy doesn’t just feature any property; we’re talking buildings that have been designed by leading architects of the 1950s and ’60s such as William Krisel and Donald Wexler.
And it’s not the first time Nancy has picked up her camera in Palm Springs, a city she considers a second home; she has spent many years capturing the “endlessly intriguing” lifestyle of its residents whose beautiful homes are the perfect odes to mid-century modern American design.
In his essay in the book, journalist Bob Merlis, who splits his time between Los Angeles and Palm Springs explains: “For the most part, our fellow residents don’t really care where you went to school, your station in life, or how much money you have but, rather, if you live life with a sense of style that can be shared with and appreciated by others. In this context, dogs provide a common focus verging on obsession. The palatial Palm Springs Animal Shelter is testimony to the town’s priority to make dogs and all pets.”
The photo captions in the book include the names and breeds of the dogs, as well as the names of the architects who designed the homes. These basic facts are followed by a short narrative related to the dogs and their homes. The following was written about Winston and Peanut: “We’ve always had a pair of dogs in the house. We enjoy watching them interact with each other and the way they express their individual personalities. They’ve always been lovable and loyal. We love the way the sun comes into the house throughout the year. Our favourite thing is opening every window and door, letting the sun and breeze carry through every room.”
Jimmy, Jack Russell / Shih Tzu Mix Rescue. Architect: Donald Wexler, 1960 © Nancy Baron
Ella, English Shepherd, Architects, Donald Wexler / Richard Harrison, 1959 © Nancy Baron
Cooper, Bassett Hound, Home Built in 1946, Extensively Modeled 2013-2016 © Nancy Baron
Rocky, Jack Russell Terrier, Architect: Richard Harrison 1966 © Nancy Baron
Winston and Peanut (under the table), Smooth Fox Terrier, Border Terrier, Rescues, Architect: Donald Wexler, 1965 © Nancy Baron
Lillian (L) and Rena, Australian Cattle Dog, Black Labrador Retriever, Rescues, Architect: Jack Meiselman, 1957, Car: 1963 Corvair © Nancy Baron
Tippi, Boxer / Bulldog Mix. Architect: William Krisel, 1956 © Nancy Baron
Brick, Boston Terrier. Architect: William Krisel, 1956 © Nancy Baron
Mingus Shpall, Australian Shepherd / Catahoula Leopard Rescue. Architects: Albert Frey and Robson Chambers, 1964 © Nancy Baron
Arthur, Miniature Dachshund. Architect: Donald Wexler, 1960 © Nancy Baron
Abbey, English Setter. Developer: Paul Trousdale, 1948 © Nancy Baron