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Chess Set

Designed by Man Ray, American, 1890 - 1976

Made in United States, North and Central America

Designed 1944; made 1945

Natural and ebonized birch

King: 3 1/2 inches (8.9 cm) Queen: 3 3/8 inches (8.6 cm) Bishop: 2 5/8 inches (6.7 cm) Knight: 2 3/16 inches (5.6 cm) Rook: 2 1/4 inches (5.7 cm) Pawn: 1 7/8 inches (4.8 cm)

© Man Ray Trust / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris

Curatorial Department:
European Decorative Arts and Sculpture

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of John F. Harbeson, 1964

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This chess set is a modified version of one that Philadelphia-born artist Man Ray designed between about 1920 and 1924. He altered the set for the 1944–45 exhibition The Imagery of Chess at the Julien Levy Gallery in New York, where he displayed the newly designed pieces in silver plate and oxidized silver-plated brass. After the exhibition, the set was issued in a limited edition of six, each made of wood and signed and dated by Man Ray.