Meet Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, an American artist known for his series of paintings Dogs Playing Poker

Cassius “Cash” Marcellus Coolidge was born to Quakers parents on September 18, 1844 in upstate New York, and died at the age of 89 on January 24, 1934. He is best known by poker players for his world famous series of poker themed paintings that depict “dogs playing poker.”

In 2005, ‘Dogs Playing Poker’ and "A Bold Bluff", two of Coolidge’s paintings sold for $1.2 million at Doyle New York – one of the world’s largest auctioneers of fine art.
During his early years he studied and worked in banking, bookkeeping, commercial law, and as a writer.

In 1909, at the age of 64,  Cassius married twenty-nine year-old art student Gertrude Kimmell.

Eventually, after working in various fields and traveling around the globe, Cassius would return to the United States, settling down in Rochester, New York, where his career as an established painter began.

Very little is known about Coolidge’s formal art education, but as a child he often sketched portraits and scenes of his home with crayons. Most of his artistic skill seems to have originated from practice and natural talent.

Below are C.M. Coolidge’s most well known poker paintings.

A Bold Bluff.
Painted in 1909, Coolidge originally titled this painting Judge St. Bernard Stands Pat on Nothing, but Brown & Bigelow — a leading distributor of promotional products for over 100+ years — renamed the painting to its current form.

A Friend In Need.
The most famous of Coolidge’s paintings, it depicts seven dogs sitting around a table playing poker.

Pinched With Four Aces.
Four police dogs interrupt a card game!

Poker Sympathy.


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