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Isamu Noguchi | 10 Strikingly Different Chess Sets

Artist: Isamu Noguchi

Date: 1944

Materials: Plastic for the chess pieces, which are replicas; ebonized ash plywood, aluminum, acrylic inlays, and brass and steel for the table.

Isamu Noguchi was among the artists invited by New York gallerist Julien Levy to contribute to his 1944 to 1945 exhibit, The Imagery of Chess. When Noguchi’s namesake museum acquired one of the nine surviving chess tables in 2002, it celebrated with The Imagery of Chess Revisited, an homage to Levy’s wartime exhibit. A different Noguchi chess table (sans pieces) sold for $233,000 in November 2016 at the Wright auction house in Chicago.

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