Maryland Renaissance Festival

22octAll Day23Maryland Renaissance Festival

Event Details

Celebration of Mind 2021

honoring Martin Gardner
October 23-24, 2021,
at Ye Olde Gamery
Maryland Renaissance Festival

Martin Gardner was one of the most beloved personalities in the areas of recreational mathematics, magic, and puzzles. The influence of his work is immeasurable.

He was the author of more than 65 books and countless articles, ranging over the fields of science, mathematics, philosophy, literature, and conjuring. His best-selling book was The Annotated Alice, an analysis of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, followed by a sequel, More Annotated Alice. He wrote two novels—The Flight of Peter Fromm and Visitors from Oz. His Scientific American columns are collected in fifteen volumes. No-Sided Professors is a collection of his short fiction.

Martin inspired and enlightened three generations of readers with the delights of mathematical recreations, the amazing phenomena of numbers, magic, and puzzles, the play of ideas. It was Martin’s article on pentominoes in 1957 that popularized this set of shapes and led, through an amazing series of events, to the founding of Kadon Enterprises, Inc. We hold him and his life’s work in a very special place of reverence.

We were honored when Martin offered us the opportunity to design and produce the two games he had created—The Game of Solomon and Lewis Carroll’s Chess Wordgame, the latter based on a note in Lewis Carroll’s diaries.

Martin Gardner was born October 21, 1914, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the son of a geologist and oil producer. He graduated at the University of Chicago in 1936 with a major in philosophy. He lived and wrote for many years in New York. He and his wife, Charlotte, eventually moved to the western mountains of North Carolina, where Kate had the honor and pleasure of visiting them. Martin returned to Norman, Oklahoma, in 2004, his 90th year. He continued to write until his death on May 22, 2010, at the age of 95. There is an excellent entry about Martin on the Wikiverse website, part of Wikipedia.

A biennial celebration of Martin Gardner’s life and work has been held in Atlanta, Georgia, since 1994, founded by Tom Rodgers, a businessman and puzzle collector. Martin himself attended the first gathering. Since then, the Gathering for Gardner (G4G) continues to be an invitation-only get-together for mathematicians, magicians, and puzzlers who enjoy sharing their work and play inspired by Martin’s writings.

Tom Rodgers, before his untimely death, established the Gathering for Gardner Foundation ( as a central organization for continuing these biennial events and for the annual Celebration of Mind ( birthday tributes for Martin held every October 21 in dozens of countries. Martin’s memory and inspiration live on.

We continue to commemorate his life and his achievements with annual Celebration of Mind themes of our own at Ye Olde Gamery, our pavilion at the Maryland Renaissance Festival. The Festival runs for nine weekends, and its final weekend is on or around Martin’s birthday.

For more information about our connection with Martin Gardner, see:

©2022 Kadon Enterprises, Inc.

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