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Talk on Game of Mah Jongg

Gregg SwainAuthor and Art Historian Gregg Swain will talk about the game of Mah Jongg and give tips about the 2018 National Mah Jongg League card at the Laumeister Art Center, 44 Gypsy Lane, in Bennington Saturday, April 14, and Sunday, April 15, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. Coffee and conversation will begin at 10 a.m., and the talk will start at 10:45 a.m.

Swain will sell and sign copies of her book, “Mah Jongg: The Art of the Game” with proceeds to benefit Southern Vermont College (SVC). Some of her Mah Jongg sets will be on display both days at the Art Center. Guests may bring their personal sets and share stories about them, and Swain will provide some cultural and historical explanations associated with the images on the tiles. Many of Swain’s Mah Jongg boxes, including a prized set from her collection, are currently on display at the Bennington Museum.

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, and during wartime, propaganda messages were featured. Attendees will get new insights into this fascinating game and its place in the history of China.

A graduate of Smith College with a degree in Art History, Swain earned a Doctorate in Clinical
Psychology from Baylor University. She has served on numerous boards and committees, and currently is a member of SVC’s Board of Trustees.

General admission to the Laumeister Art Center, which includes this event, is $10, $5 for seniors and children under 12. Reservations are requested by contacting Swain at MahJonggGregg@gmail.com or Nina Lentzner at nlentzner@svc.edu or 802-442-7158.

The Laumeister Art Center also 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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