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Brazos Valley museum opens new board game exhibit

Deborah Cowman, Executive Director of the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, said exhibit is something everyone can relate to.

BRYAN, Texas — On Friday, the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History opened the doors to its new exhibit entitled, “Checkered Past: The Story of Board Games.”

The exhibit will be on display starting on June 24 through Oct. 29.

Deborah Cowman, the executive director of the Brazos Valley Museum of Natural History, said that she wanted to make the exhibit as interactive as possible. In the exhibit, she included a life-size chess display that people can play as they walk through and take part in other games as well.

“We have the lawn chess you know set up. We have a backgammon in a Turkish style where you can feel you’re at a café in Istanbul,” said Cowman.

Cowman said she was inspired to do the exhibit from personal experiences having played board games as a child. Her first memories of board games were when she played known staples like Candyland and Monopoly.

“My first board game that I ever played, was probably Candyland. I mean so many kids, you know that Candyland board game has been around forever,” said Cowman.

The display features many board games, some familiar to most, and some that are lesser known. On display include board games like Chess, Risk, Scrabble, Sorry, among others. Cowman said they even have an Egyptian Senet Game, which is one of the oldest board games on record, in their exhibit. 

Regardless of which game a person has played, Cowman said she wanted to make an exhibit that had something for everyone.

“Everyone can really relate to this exhibit. There’s a lot of games that people will recognize that they played from their childhood, but there are games that people will recognize today,” said Cowman.

The exhibit even features some of the more widely known board games, including Monopoly, which Cowman said will include a video presentation on the game’s history.

“A lot of people, when they think of board games, they think of Monopoly, and so we do have a small, a short video that talks about the history of Monopoly,” said Cowman.

Cowman said after their opening, she hopes the exhibit she helped create will bring people together.

“Especially, you know, having gone through a pandemic, you know board games are something that families can do. I think it brings families together,” said Cowman.

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