Cassius Marcellus Coolidge was an American artist who is best known for his paintings in the "dogs playing poker" series. Coolidge had no formal training as an artist but his natural aptitude for drawing led him to create cartoons for his local newspaper when in his twenties.
In 1903 Coolidge was contracted by an advertising company, Brown & Bigelow, to create 16 paintings featuring anthropomorphized dogs engaging in various human activities. Nine of these feature dogs playing poker for which he became most famous.
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