Leisure-class ladies playing a floating game of mah jongg, 1924
Courtesy of Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division
Project Mah Jongg
On view now through September 2, 2012
- Included with Museum admission:
- $10 General
- $7 Seniors and Full-Time Students
- $5 Children 2–12
- FREE to Members and Children under 2
- FREE to all on Thursdays
ABOUT THE EXHIBITION
Since the 1920s, mah jongg has ignited the popular imagination with its beautiful tiles, mythical origins, and spirit of camaraderie. Come learn the history and meanings of what has become an American Jewish tradition passed down from generation to generation—from grandmothers to hipsters, from baby boomers to bohemians.
Organized by the Museum of Jewish Heritage, New York City, Project Mah Jongg highlights cross-cultural relationships between American Jews and Chinese Americans and explores the influence of mah jongg on cultural identity, fashion, and style. The game is a true cultural hybrid: its ancient roots are in China; it captivated American audiences in the 1920s; and it became integral to the social life and philanthropy of American Jewish women beginning in the 1930s.
On view are twentieth-century objects, including mah jongg sets, tiles, rule books, newspaper clippings, and vintage photography, as well as mah jongg–inspired contemporary works by Isaac Mizrahi, Bruce McCall, and Maira Kalman.
Game tables across the Skirball campus encourage visitors to play a game of mah jongg and take part in a continuing tradition. To learn more about on-site game play, click here.
PROJECT MAH JONGG WAS CURATED AND IS CIRCULATED BY THE MUSEUM OF JEWISH HERITAGE—A LIVING MEMORIAL TO THE HOLOCAUST, NEW YORK. IT IS MADE POSSIBLE THROUGH THE GENEROSITY OF THE NATIONAL MAH JONGG LEAGUE. ADDITIONAL SUPPORT IS PROVIDED BY SYLVIA HASSENFELD AND 2WICE ARTS FOUNDATION. EXHIBIT DESIGN BY ABBOTT MILLER, PENTAGRAM.
Project Mah Jongg
April 30, 2012