This work explored the feasibility of using Magnetic Resonance Elastography (MRE) technology to enable <i>in vitro</i> quantification of dynamic mechanical behavior of cartilage through its thickness. A customized system for MRE of cartilage was designed to include components for adequate generation and detection of high frequency mechanical shear waves within small and stiff materials. The system included components for mechanical excitation, motion encoding, and imaging of small samples. Limitations in sensitivity to motion encoding of high frequency propagating mechanical waves using a whole body coil (i.e. G<sub>max</sub> = 2.2 G/cm) required the design of a local gradient coil system to achieve a gain in gradient strength of at least 5 times. The performance of the new system was tested using various cartilage-mimicking phantom materials. MRE of a stiff 5% agar gelatin phantom demonstrated gains in sensitivity to motion encoding of high frequency mechanical waves in cartilage like materials. MRE of fetal bovine cartilage samples yielded a distribution of shear stiffness within the thickness of the cartilage similar to values found in the literature, hence, suggesting the feasibility of using MRE to non-invasively and directly assess the dynamic mechanical properties of cartilage.