He is credited with creating "comic foregrounds," novelty photographs which combined a portrait of the sitter with a caricatured body, produced by the sitter holding between two sticks a canvas on which Coolidge drew or painted the caricature. The final product was similar to the photographs produced at midways and carnivals when people place their heads into openings in life-size caricatures.
Dogs Playing Poker
Dogs Playing Poker, by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, refers collectively to an 1894 painting, a 1903 series of sixteen oil paintings commissioned by Brown and Bigelow to advertise cigars, and a 1910 painting. All eighteen paintings in the overall series feature anthropomorphized dogs, but the eleven in which dogs are seated around a card table have become well known in the United States as examples of kitsch art in home decoration.Critic Annette Ferrara has described Dogs Playing Poker as "indelibly burned into ... the American collective-schlock subconscious ... through incessant reproduction on all manner of pop ephemera". The first painting, Coolidge's 1894 Poker Game, realized $658,000 at a Sotheby's New York sale on 18 November 2015.