George E. Muehleck, Jr.
Gallery of International Chess Sets
A 1957 exhibit curated by the museum’s director Clifford Dolph led to the creation of this permanent exhibit of chess sets. Today there are about 100 sets of these sculptures in miniature, representing the many countries, cultures and periods in which chess has been played.
This exhibition features a global historical overview of chess, anecdotes and stories of chess, and over 80 of the museum’s unique chess sets and chess-related works of art. Wall-mounted cases hold complete boards and sets, and the height of the displays enable easy viewing by people of all sizes, especially young people.
George E. Muehleck Jr. (1920–2011) was a native of New York City and graduated from the School of Medicine at Tulane University in 1944. After completing a medical residency at St. Vincent Hospital in Portland,Oregon, he went into private practice in nearby St. Helens. Dr. Muehleck was along-time admirer of Maryhill Museum’s chess set collection. A fervent player himself, he played with anyone who was willing to challenge him. He enjoyed playing multiple matches simultaneously with other enthusiasts from around the world—sending and receiving moves through the mail. One such game was followed by a trip to the Soviet Union where he visited a one-time opponent whom he had befriended. This gallery is dedicated in his memory.