Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Checkmate! Medieval People at Play – Manuscript Exhibition Examines Aspects of Play in Medieval Society

We are all familiar with praying monks, but playing monks? A Book of Hours from Flanders finds them deep in a game of “Blind Man’s Bluff,” while on the opposite page peasant boys enjoy a rigorous game of hockey. Such delightful images of play are unexpectedly ubiquitous in medieval manuscripts. Neither stodgy nor perpetually pious, medieval people found time for amusement in the margins of their lives and their manuscripts.

This is the theme for a new exhibition at The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. Checkmate! Medieval People at Play looks at many different aspects of medieval play, including board games, sports, free play, visual ciphers and even games of love.

Click here to read the news article on Medievalists.net