Apples to Apples, But for Art? A New Card Game Asks Players to Find Connections Within Agnes Gund’s Storied Collection

The game features 150 works from Gund's collection.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.
Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Among art world cognoscenti, Agnes Gund is legendary as an art collector and philanthropist. Now, Gund—and her illustrious art collection—is also the subject of a card game.

Titled Words of Art, the game is the brainchild of the collector’s daughter Catherine Gund, who last year directed a documentary film, Aggie, about her mother’s lifelong support of the arts in New York City. Catherine and her children devised the card game years ago, as a present for the collector.

“Aggie loves games. She’s super competitive,” the younger Gund told Artnet News. “We’ve been playing Words of Art for 10 years now, first with our homemade laminated version and now with the published game. We’ve played with many of the artists featured in the game, including Julie Mehretu, Glenn Ligon, and Jasper Johns.”

Agnes Gund’s collection features giants of 20th-century art history such as Romare Bearden, Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, and Louise Bourgeois, as well as contemporary stars including Sarah Sze, Nick Cave, Teresita Fernandez, and Cecily Brown. The game, published this month by Penguin Random House, features 150 of those works—more than half by women and a third by artists of color—and costs $37.50.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

For each round, one player is the storyteller and offers a prompt, which can be anything from a simple noun or verb to a song title or phrase. The game comes with a list of suggestions, or players can come up with their own ideas.

Each other player then chooses the card in their hand that they believe best reflects the prompt, and you get a point if the storyteller picks your card as their favorite.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

The game is educational, thanks to an accompanying booklet that offers biographical information about each of the artists, the materials used in their work, and where the piece is today.

“Words of Art, as much as it is about imagination and play, is also about developing critical thinking skills through collaborative discussions of images,” Catherine Gund said. “Playing with young people always results in a lot of hilarious prompts.”

See more photos of the game below.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.

Words of Art, a card game based on the art collection of Agnes Gund. Photo courtesy of Catherine Gund.


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