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Canberra's artworld goes to the dogs in January

The National Portrait Gallery and National Gallery of Australia are really going to the dogs in January.

The hallowed institutions will be welcoming pet lovers - and their pets - to celebrate all things animal in a shared day of events on January 21.

It coincides with the new exhibition at the Portrait Gallery - The Popular Pet Show featuring portraits of famous and obscure Australians and their pet - which continues until March 13.

Events on January 21 will be at the National Gallery from 9am to 11.30am; then you can amble over for more fun at the Portrait Gallery from 11am to 3pm.

Most activities are free although if you do want to paint your pet's portrait with artist Darren McDonald, there is a fee and bookings are essential via the Portrait Gallery. 

The National Gallery is linking its doggy day out with its Versailles: Treasures from the Palace blockbuster exhibition.

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Down at the Sculpture Garden, there will be an outdoor photo booth where your dog can be dressed as - yes, really -  Louis XIV or Marie-Antoinette for a snap on the golden throne.

At 9:45am and 10:45am, there will be picnic curator talks when you can hear tales on dogs and their status symbol at the Palace of Versailles.

There will be a parade of pets and a best-dressed competition for the pooch best pimped in Versailles style.

There will also be "paw painting" and kids' art activities.

Then over at the Portrait Gallery, for its PAWSome Day there will be activities until 3pm including drawing to live music, a chance to grab a selfie with your pet in the photobooth and more creative  activities in the family space. 

Some cute canines from the Australian Federal Police will also be making an appearance. A variety of pet-friendly stalls will also be on hand.

Pet minders will be on hand to look after your pooch outside while you venture inside to take a look at The Popular Pet Show. Exhibition tickets are  $10/$8 members and concessions.