The Game of Mah Jongg

The Game of Mah Jongg

The Game of Mah Jongg

Author and art historian Gregg Swain will talk about the game of Mah Jongg and give tips about the National Mah Jongg League card at the Laumeister Art Center, 44 Gypsy Lane, Bennington, on Saturday and Sunday, April 14 and 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Copies of Swain’s book, ‘Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game,’ will be available for purchase, with proceeds to benefit Southern Vermont College (SVC). Some of her Mah Jongg sets will be on display, and guests may also bring their personal sets and share stories about them. Many of Swain’s Mah Jongg boxes are currently on display at the Bennington Museum.

Attendees will get new insights into this fascinating game and its place in the history of China. Swain will provide some cultural and historical explanations associated with the images on the tiles. Chinese craftsmen began carving Mah Jongg tiles a little over 150 years ago, and many were free to choose the images and the messages included on the game pieces. Some carvers included important aspects of Chinese life, culture and history on the tiles; during wartime, propaganda messages were featured.

Admission to the Laumeister Art Center, which includes this event, is $10 or $5 for seniors and children under 12. Reservations are requested at mahjongggregg@gmail.com or 802-442-7158. The Laumeister Art Center,  formerly the Bennington Center for the Arts, houses the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum. Other works on display at the Art Center are extraordinary bird carvings by Floyd Scholz and paintings by Eric Sloane.

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