Asian Games: The Art of Contest

February 26, 2005 – May 15, 2005

Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
1050 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC

Pavilion, Sublevel 1 Floor Plan

This exhibition explores the role of games as social and cultural activities in the diverse societies of pre-modern Asia through games, paintings, prints, and decorative art. On view are 166 works of art, including game sets dating from the 12th to 19th centuries, Persian and Indian court paintings and illuminated manuscripts of the 16th to 18th centuries, and Chinese and Japanese scroll paintings, screens, ceramic, and decorative arts. It also highlights Asia as the world's oldest and richest source of many games -- chess, backgammon, Parcheesi, Ludo, Chutes and Ladders, and playing cards -- as well as such sports as polo and field hockey. In addition, there is a Hands-on Play Zone where some examples of the games on view can be played.