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Pocket Chess Set

Marcel Duchamp, American (born France), 1887 - 1968

Date:
1943

Medium:
Leather, celluloid, and pins

Dimensions:
6 5/16 x 4 1/8 inches (16 x 10.5 cm)

Copyright:
© Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Succession Marcel Duchamp

Curatorial Department:
Prints, Drawings, and Photographs

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:
1950-134-949

Credit Line:
The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950

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Label:
Duchamp created this pocket chess set in 1943, shortly after he fled from wartorn France to New York. Planning to produce and market hundreds of them to chess enthusiasts with the guarantee that the pinned pieces would remain in place during travel, he exhibited it as a work of art at The Imagery of Chess, an exhibition he coorganized in December 1944. After his nomadic expedition, sailing from southern France to New York and living with friends before finding his own studio, Duchamp was keenly aware of wartime and developed this reliable travel chess set as a solution for such exile.