Ruler, Enchantress, Sage: They’re All Queens Within

about three-dimensional chess: the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis is
venturing way off the board with an exhibition exploring the artistic and
philosophical meaning of the queen.

curator Sofia Hedman has pulled together a range of queenly art and fashion
exploring nine archetypes: sage, mother, magician, enchantress, explorer,
ruler, Mother Earth, heroine, and orphan.

though the exhibition’s venue is a natural fit for the theme, don’t expect the
show to be all about chess.

The Skinny:

  • Fun Fact:
    St. Louis is home to the largest collection of pieces by renowned designer
    Alexander McQueen.
  • “A Queen
  • Oct. 19 – April 18
  • World Chess Hall of Fame
  • 4652
    St Louis, MO 63108
  • 314-367-9243


“The queen in chess can be seen not only as the most powerful piece, but also the most unpredictable one,” Hedman told Blouin Artinfo.  “The pieces in this exhibition are not inspired
directly by chess, but transcend all archetypes of the queen. We wanted to
explore the complex nature of the queen, and present the different characters
and personalities.”

more than 30 featured designers include Alexander
, Gucci,
Jean Paul Galtier
and Gianfranco
Ferré. McQueen plays a starring role, with many pieces drawn from the world’s
largest collection of his work, housed in St. Louis.
 The show also features photographs from “Love
Looks Not With the Eye,” a collection of more than 400 Anne Deniau
photos of McQueen at work. 

good designers tell stories with their work, Hedman said, and the exhibition
draws on Jungian archetypes and folk tales to explore feminine roles in
literature, film, fashion and photography.

the Chess Hall of Fame notes: a queen, both in chess and as an archetype,
embodies tradition, yet possesses the creative freedom to redefine the rules
established by a patriarchal system.

exhibition breaks a lot of rules. Sounds like our kind of show. Here’s a look: