Playing with Art — Through Board Games

I love board games of all sorts, but my absolute favorite is Masterpiece. I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned it here in the blog before, but I’m fortunate to have an old edition of the game which I keep carefully tucked away in our closet. No one can touch it or play without me there to watch over it. It’s that precious to me.

It’s all about art and includes “paintings” from many of my favorite famous artists. Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks is there. I always try to buy that painting when it comes up for auction in the game. Masterpiece is all about buying and selling art — just watch out that you don’t spend beaucoup dollars for a forgery! It’s fun. I love the game. Everyone in the family loves it. Even the younger grandsons have started playing. They love it, too.

The game first came out back in 1970, and was re-released in 1976 and again in 1996. The edition I currently own is from 1976, although I’d love to find an original 1970 game. I had it once, but somewhere during a move at some point in my life, it was misplaced. One of our grand-daughters was lucky enough to find an original Masterpiece game on EBay at a reasonable price. Most of the time, if you find one, the price is anything but reasonable.

Fortunately, that’s not the only art-themed board game around, so when you’re shopping for Christmas gifts for artists you know and love, you might want to take a look at some of these:

Bob Ross – The Art of Chill

  • Finish one of Bob Ross’s masterpieces before he does to win “chill” status
  • Earn “chill points” by painting landscape features like Happy Little Trees and Almighty Mountains using colors and brushes from your hand of cards
  • Keep your eye on what other players are doing and be strategic about the sequence in which you complete the features
  • Features 30 Bob Ross paintings
  • For 2-4 players. 30 minute playing time

Master’s Gallery Art Game

  • Fun game for those who love classic art and fast, smart games
  • Great for introducing children and teens to art appreciation
  • A medium strategy game with wide appeal
  • For 3-5 players ages 10 years and up
  • 30-45 minutes playing time

Bruxelles 1893 and Bruxelles 1897

I don’t have a lot of information on these separate versions of the game, except that the 1893 version, much like the original Masterpiece, seems to be only available at very outrageous prices. The 1897 game, presumably a later edition, is more reasonable.

“The year is 1897. Art Nouveau is taking over the streets of Brussels as the World’s Fair opens its doors. The time has come to cement your name in the History of Art. In order to establish your reputation, you will exhibit and sell your works of art, construct architectural masterpieces, and expand your social circle.”

  • 2-4 players
  • Ages 10+
  • 45-60 minute play time
  • Contents: 1 Game Board 17 Wooden Tokens 120 Cards 1 Rulebook

Modern Art

  • For 3-5 players
  • Alternating auctions – there are five different types of auctions in the game. Each one requires a unique strategy if player hopes to get the best bargain.
  • Market value – the value of an artist’s work is determined by how many of their paintings sell. The more popular they are, the more money their work can be sold for.
  • Real beauty – modern art features the work of some of he most talented artists in the world. Each piece that goes up for auction is breathtaking to behold.

In addition to these, there are a number of other art-themed board games that you can find online through various publishers, through sites like Ebay, or which are available through different art galleries. I found this list which, while a bit old (June 2018) might give you a few additional suggestions with a bit of information on where to purchase.

28 Art-Themed Board Games

Although I’ll probably never find another board game I love as much as Masterpiece, I’m definitely interested in checking out a few of these. Art games are not only fun, they’re also education, and any time we can make learning fun, I’m all in!


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