10 Awesome Paintings of Old Board Games


Artist Tim Liddy works almost exclusive in oil paintings. But these aren't your typical oil paintings of pastoral scenes or abstract shapes. Based on the illustrated box lids of board games, Liddy's work is social commentary that points out how far we've come over the decades as a society. As Liddy says on his Web site, "in these days of ubiquitous video, computer simulation, and real time on-line fantasy games, the historical markers of board games and their packaging is nearly forgotten. Yet, those moment: of generational specificity is extremely pronounced in the simple kitsch of board game box top graphics. Are we really too surprised to find out that the 1943 stock market game called Speculation only has white males on the cover?"

I love seeing Liddy's attention to detail, recreating not only the boxtop, but the way it's been erroded with time—tape, bruises, stains, we get it all, reminding us of how, in the real world, we live our lives with our board games. They aren't things to be turned off and forgotten. If any of you have any experience with some of the more obscure ones on the list, let us know what they were like! There's dozens more on Liddy's Web site. Update! I reached out to Tim Liddy about the fake games, which I thought were just fun extensions of the real ones. This is what he had to say: "I usually mix my exhibitions with existing games and purely fictional ones. I never tell which are which. But since you wrote such a succinct review I'll give a clue: you could search far and wide for a gay G.I. Joe game circa 1967 and you might come up empty. Not saying that they didn't make one!!"

1. Battleship; ca. 1967

2. Barbie

3. Speculation; ca. 1948

4. G.I. Joe; ca. 1967

5. Assembly Line; ca. 1953

6. Test Driver; ca. 1956

7. Bulls and Bears; ca. 1936

8. Shopping at the Supermarket; ca. 1955

9. Oy Vey; ca. 1970

10. Bird Watcher; ca. 1959