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It’s Your Move: Chess Sets from the Collection

May 18–July 21, 2002

The museum explores the art of chess with It’s Your Move, an installation from the museum’s collection that brings together chess sets from across many centuries and cultures. The chess sets on view originate from France, Italy, Germany, Poland, Russia, China, Burma (now Myanmar), India, and the United States. They are made in a wide range of materials including amber, ivory, metal, glass, porcelain, wood, and plastic.

Among the highlights of the installation are a pocket chess set designed by the painter and sculptor Marcel Duchamp; a fanciful porcelain set designed in 1923 in which all the figures are undersea creatures; an ivory set representing the war fought between France and Austria in 1805, with the kings depicting Napoleon and Francis I; 14th-century Scandinavian pieces made of ivory; eighteenth- and nineteenth-century pieces from China; and a brightly-colored rubber set designed in 2000 by Karim Rashid.

Main Building


Donna Corbin, Assistant Curator of European Decorative Arts

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