A guide to art in NYC, with families in mind.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Minds

A lazy summer afternoon is the perfect time to pull out puzzles and games.  The title of this painting  is "Jeux Chinois," 1882, by Louis-Emile Pinel de Grandchamp.  These young Parisian women  are playing with  puzzles made in Canton, probably brought to them by a friend or relative who engaged in trade with China.  This painting is part of an exhibit called "Chinese Puzzles: Games for the Hands and Minds," at the Museum of Chinese in America on Centre street.  The museum began as a community based organization in 1980 called the New York Chinatown History Project.
 In Chinese, the word puzzle translates to "intelligence games,"  and the tradition of making puzzling objects for entertainment is deeply rooted in Chinese culture.  This exhibition of over 100 objects  is part of a large  collection of over 1300  objects including ring puzzles, secret compartment puzzle boxes, tangrams and other  graphic materials, which are owned by  a couple who have been collecting antique Chinese puzzles, from all over the world since 1997.  Visitors are invited to pick up modern reproductions of  ring puzzles  and take a crack at them.   If you need help there are videos to help you. The exhibit has been extended through September 5th, 2011.  On Thursdays admission is free.  The Museum is closed Tuesdays and Wednesday's.  Save the date:   Chinese Puzzles Family Workshop  July 23rd from 1:30 to 2:30
Perfect for most.
The Museum of Chinese in America 215 Centre St