The World Chess Hall of Fame (WCHOF) continues celebrating its 10-year anniversary in Saint Louis by opening its first-ever, museum-wide exhibition, Mind, Art, Experience: Celebrating 10 Years of Chess & Culture in Saint Louis, on January 27, 2022. The exhibition will be on view through July 17, 2022, with free admission. A virtual tour will also be available on the WCHOF’s website, Facebook, and YouTube channels.
Mind, Art, Experience: 10 Years of Chess & Culture in Saint Louis celebrates the best chess, art, and culture from all 50 exhibitions held at the WCHOF since its 2011 relocation to Saint Louis, Missouri. The three-floor show features more than 120 artworks and artifacts, including pieces related to legendary World Champions Bobby Fischer, Anatoly Karpov, Garry Kasparov, and Boris Spassky; works by renowned photojournalist Harry Benson CBE and internationally acclaimed artists M.C. Escher, Tom Friedman, Barbara Kruger and Yoko Ono; chess-inspired pieces by Saint Louis-based creatives Michael Drummond, Peter Manion and Audra Danielle Noyes; and loans from notable collectors and institutions, including Jon Crumiller, Dr. George and Vivian Dean, the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, Luhring Augustine Gallery and David Zwirner Gallery.
“This show is a celebration of what our staff has accomplished together over the past 10 years, thanks to the unique vision of Dr. Jeanne Cairns Sinquefield and Rex Sinquefield,” says Shannon Bailey, WCHOF Chief Curator. “By mixing all 50 of our past exhibitions, our audience will truly see the heart of our mission—to show the rich history of chess not only through the lives of legendary grandmasters but also the unifying impact this timeless game has on all aspects of culture.”
Highlights of the exhibitions include native Saint Louisan Tom Friedman’s Untitled, a chess set assemblage of found objects and meticulously crafted items of which no two pieces are alike; Barbara Kruger’s Untitled (Do You Feel Comfortable Losing?), a chess set, which plays one of over one hundred possible statements when a piece is moved; Yoko Ono’s Play It By Trust, an all-white chess set inspired by the Cold War, nuclear arms race, military conflict in Vietnam, and the struggle for civil rights in the United States; Rachel Whiteread’s Modern Chess Set, which has pieces inspired by the dollhouses she collects and chess pieces used in Game 3 of the storied 1972 World Chess Championship between Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky. Financial assistance for this exhibition has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.
“From insightful artwork that takes inspiration from chess and artifacts related to the sport’s greatest players, Mind, Art, Experience includes something for everyone,” says WCHOF Curator Emily Allred. “We are excited to share these pieces of our history with visitors and hope it will inspire them to learn more about the game or think about how it has had an impact on their own lives.”