The late Perry Greene of Waldoboro and his Chinook dog breed are the subjects of a new temporary exhibit at the Maine State Museum in Augusta.

The small exhibit, “An American Breed in Maine,” is inspired by the museum’s recently acquired Perry Greene Kennel collection and explores the history and popularity of the Chinook breed in American culture. Arthur Walden of New Hampshire began the breed as sled dogs in the 1920s. By 1947 Greene had acquired the breed from Walden and moved to Waldoboro. Greene’s kennel became the only place in the world that could breed and sell Chinooks.

“Perry Greene’s influence on the Chinook breed is fascinating and significant,” said Curator of Historic Collections Kate McBrien. “Greene modified the breed to create an ideal companion dog, while publicizing Chinooks through sled dog treks and stories in national magazines about his unique kennel.”

The exhibit, which will be on view until May 1, 2010, features many historical photographs as well as kennel and Chinook memorabilia.

The museum will celebrate the Perry Greene Kennel and the Chinook dog breed with a special event Saturday, Feb. 20 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The program will include visits by Chinooks, family activities, and talks by Rick Skoglund, current owner of the Perry Greene Kennel, and Jessica Mauer of GreatMountain Chinooks in Lewiston. Museum admission will be free of charge all day. Visitors are asked to refrain from bringing their own dogs in order to ensure the safety of the Chinooks.

The Maine State Museum is located adjacent to the Statehouse in Augusta and is open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit mainestatemuseum.org or call 287-2301.