The Foundation for the Preservation and Advancement of Bridge (FPAB) was pleased last week to receive Grand Slam, a sculpture by artist George Gach (1909-1996). The nine inch bronze sculpture was donated by Gach's daughter, Ann Christine Gach Peelle. It was the suggestion of Gach's widow, Eva, a member of the American Contract Bridge League (ACBL) and bridge player, to donate the piece.
Dated 1975 and signed by the artist on the base, the sculpture depicts two couples enjoying a game of bridge. As declarer calls out cards, a member of the defense puffs on a pipe as he thoughtfully examines his hand. The piece received a 1988 award from the Nassau Art League of Long Island.
Tracey Yarbro, archivist for the ACBL, said, "Because of the disposable nature of most bridge memorabilia, this piece is a rarity. It is a beautifully sculpted work that depicts people doing the thing that we love the most - playing bridge. I think it is a wonderful addition to our collection and I am excited about including it in our upcoming bridge museum."
Born in Hungary, Gach created over 1,400 sculptures and nearly a thousand paintings between 1952 and 1996. His works in bronze have been described as "rhythmical" and "filled with humor and spontaneous presence," qualities that are evident in Grand Slam. A pilot during World War II, Gach managed to escape from prisoner of war camps twice. During his career, he sculpted busts of presidents, prime ministers, governors, corporate leaders and sports stars.