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Game of Checkers
Afternoon Checkers

~ Checkers Up At The Farm ~ 1875

Checkers up at the farm sculpture 2

By Afternoon Checkers artist, John Rogers (1829 – 1904).

From Salem, Massachusetts, he was a very successful genre sculptor of mid 19th century America.

  • Rogers developed a strong interest in afternoon checkers art from an early age and continued to take drawing lessons after abandoning his school courses at 16.

  • Also fascinated by inventions and the technology of practical machines and after briefly working for a surveyor, he trained as a machinist and master mechanic; however, the financial panic of 1857 encouraged him to go back to drawing and sculpting in clay.

  • Rogers traveled to Rome and Paris on a brief sojourn but the instruction and academic sculpture introduced to him did not mesh with his own style and philosophy so he returned home and took up modeling while working in Chicago.

  • His sculptural groups depict a solid grasp of anatomy and sharp observation of details as seen in his costumes and accessories and he combined these with a natural ability of compositional organization of his figures.

  • Rogers work also displays an appealing, sympathetic expressiveness in his portrayal of ordinary rural and urban people involved in everyday tasks and leisure activities such as in 'Afternoon Checkers' like the checkers game represented above.

  • Before Checkers Up At The Farm sculpture was fashioned, Rogers had modelled a group in hand-painted clay called Checker Players for a charity fair ca. 1860.

  • This sculpture attracted a lot of attention as it was a rendering of a social subject and patrons found the simplicity of the setting and the expression of joy and concentration shown by the players of the checkers game to be very appealing.

  • This statue was perhaps the starting point of his unusual career.

  • His sculptural groupings depict the moods and emotions felt within the settings of his work and offer the afternoon viewer a clear image of the manners, sports, amusements, social customs, domestic interests, costumes, and even period furnishing styles as depicted in the statuesque scenes of Civil War soldiers, family groups at leisure or work, literary topics, theatre performances and historical figures.

The following two decorative arts figurines are examples of 20th century sculpture that also represents a similar interest in the depiction of common activities within society. Here again, a game of checkers is depicted in simple realism reflecting the joy players can share over the checkerboard.

The setting in the game between father and son clearly depicts a moment in time when the son has perhaps just beaten the other player in a clever checker move and is now rejoicing over his play. The expression of the other character is evident as well in a contemplative semi smile. The postures of the afternoon checker players are well defined and easily understood by the viewer, who could assume the role of onlooker on this game.

Afternoon Checker Players

This modern white porcelain figurine is similar in style to John Rogers and may be a rendition of his early Checker Players. The poses, clothing and setting are certainly reminiscent of the 19th century time period.

Enjoyable game of checkers at the train station

This modular figurine set also depicts a version of a checkers game in a slightly different afternoon checkers setting. Once again the postures and facial expressions reflect a moment during the game, which is emphasized by the conductor looking on with a pensive expression. This porcelain grouping is a very realistic rendering of an enjoyable game of checkers in a railway car or at the train station, which shows that checkers can be played any afternoon, anywhere, anytime, and by anyone.

Main Checkers Afternoon Information









DeerLake Online Store Items

Wonder Mugs Play checkers online, and enjoy drinking from this cool wonder mug.
When adding hot liquid, the colors of the mug will change, checkers cool.

Checkers is a two-player game, where one player is assigned white-chip checkers and the other red. The aim is to play checkers online, capture all of the other player's checkers or make them impossible to move.

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