Black History Month Part II: Black Art Puzzles

Got Lemons? Make Lemonade by Annie Lee from SunsOut. 500 pieces. 15″ x 29″.

We have a small but lovely selection of African American Art at Puzzle Warehouse, and here we show case some of those puzzles by Black artists Annie Lee (see earlier artist profile), Keith Mallett  and some art in the Tingatinga style.

Keith Mallett attended Hunter College in NY and worked as the in-house artist for Frontline Art Publishers. In 1997, 50 years after Jackie Robinson made his breakthrough into Major League Baseball, Mallett was asked to design the official limited edition print to commemorate the occasion. Mallett is a great artist that we can showcase for Black History month as his art has been instrumental in some movements to celebrate African American experiences — for instance, he also created the art for the first book about African American experiences in the Chicken Soup series.

Tingatinga art was established by Edward Tingatinga in 1968. It is now the name of art and handicrafts produced in the Tinga Tinga Cooperative in Tanzania. These paintings are characterized by their bright colors painted in enamel and highly decorative patterns. They also commonly feature images of animals. Made popular by Disney television, the vivid art style is a wonderful way to appreciate African culture.

Without further ado, enjoy some the best loved puzzles from this theme:

Baptism by Annie Lee from SunsOut. 1000 pieces. 20″ x 27″.

family tree puzzle

Tree of Life by Keith Mallett from SunsOut. 1000 pieces. 20″ x 27″.

duke ellington puzzles, jazz, apollo club

Apollo Fantasy by Keith Mallett from SunsOut. 500 pieces. 13″ x 19″.

african american puzzles

Sisters of the Sun by Keith Mallett from SunsOut. 1000 pieces. 19″ x 30″.

tinga tinga art, crane puzzles, birds

Cranes by Tinga Tinga from Heye. 1000 pieces. 19″ x 27″.

Storks by Tinga Tinga from Heye. 1000 pieces. 13″ x 37″.

elephant puzzles, africa puzzles

Elephant Family by Tinga Tinga from Heye. 1000 pieces. 19″ x 27″.

New Releases: 2013 Master Pieces Jigsaw Puzzles

At the beginning of every year, each puzzle manufacturer releases anywhere from a handful to hundreds of new jigsaw puzzle designs and we’ve been busy busy working away adding them to our collection on our website and in our retail stores. You can see all of our new releases in one place right here, but I wanted to share some particularly fun ones with you today from Master Pieces.

Master Pieces does most of their puzzles in series, so if you like one puzzle from them, chances are there are a few others that are very similar from the same artist or with the same type of artwork. That makes it super fun because it’s something to look forward to when you finish one that was really fun.

Candy Brands & Colorize!  –  1000 Piece Jigsaw Puzzles
(click slide to be taken to puzzle listing)


Presidents Day: Facts and Puzzles

Monday is Presidents Day, a day originally created to celebrate the birth of American’s first President George Washington, who won the presidency by a unanimous electoral vote. As you know, puzzles are a great way to learn, relearn, and revisit some things you used to know but have maybe since forgotten. Our presidential puzzles feature paintings and artistry of the great men who have led our country and our beautiful capitol, Washington D.C.

We know that when you puzzle, your brain produces dopamine, a chemical that is responsible for learning and memory. While your work on puzzles, this increase of dopamine helps to sharpen our memory. Connecting an artistic puzzle with some facts for you to learn about our country can only be fun and beneficial!

Presidents of the USA (Floor) by Melissa and Doug. 100 pieces. Want to challenge your brain even more while you puzzle? Try to memorize the presidents in order! Learn about some presidential mnemonic tricks here.

 

Dowdle – Washington DC by Dowdle Folk Art. 500 pieces. Did you know that there was a dividing controversy about where the national capital should be located? Before DC was selected by Washington himself, Congress met in Philadelphia, New York City, Annapolis, and Princeton.

Gettysburg Address by Buffalo Games. 1000 pieces. Did you know that Lincoln wasn’t actually an abolitionist? To learn more about the more controversial side of Lincoln, go here.

Callin’ the Red by SunsOut. 1000 pieces. The Donkey that represents the Democratic party was appropriated by Jackson when his opponents referred to him as a “jack*ss” for his populist views.

 

Grand Ol’ Gang by SunsOut. 500 pieces. The same artist who first cartooned the donkey for Dems drew an elephant and labeled it “The Republican vote.” The association stuck and Republicans have had an elephant mascot ever since.

George Washington by Ravensburger. 300 pieces. Presidents Day was shifted from Washington’s real birthday, February 22, to the third Monday in February because of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act which moved several holidays to Mondays to increase 3-day weekends for federal employees.

 

Washington DC 4D Cityscape by 4D Cityscape Inc. 1100+ pieces.

February: Black History Month Jigsaw Puzzles

Activist Martin Luther King Jr., abolitionist Union spy Harriet Tubman, the first black MLB player Jackie Robinson, and abolitionist social reformer Frederick Douglass all appear in the 500pc puzzle.

Today, we wanted to share with you a few of our more specific Black History Jigsaw Puzzles. We’ve talked a lot in the past about how puzzles are a great learning tool and as always, really good for brain development in general. It’s also awesome how they can play a role in the cultural development and teaching, remembering or just enjoying some of the most historical moments and figures of our time. What makes puzzles even better? Most will last a lifetime, being put together and taken back apart over and over for new friends and new family to enjoy again and again.

What is Black History Month? It all began in the early 1900’s when when Dr. Carter G. Woodson and Rev. Jesse E. Moorland created an associations in order to raised awareness of the role that black people played in the shaping of America and the world—a role that had often been ignored or downplayed. Woodson also hoped that there would be a sense of pride instilled in the black community while he taught about their cultural background and heritage. In 1920, he helped a fraternity Omega Psi Phi create “Negro History Week” that took place during the month of February as a way to celebrate the birth of two men who helped carve out the future of Black Americans – Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglas.

The Civil War lasted 4 years from 1861 to 1865. Marking 150 years later is this commemorative puzzle.

The intent of this month – and other history months like Women’s History Month and LGBT History Month – of course, is to raise awareness, spread educations and, perhaps above all, take a moment to recognize the incredible journey and challenges that minorities have overcome in this country (and others!). To learn more about black history, go here.

And here’s a great list of Black History Little Known Facts. Did you know that “Due to his acclaimed “Banana Boat” song, most people assume Harry Belafonte was born in the Caribbean; in fact, the internationally renowned entertainment icon and human rights activist was born in Harlem, New York.”

Coming up next week: Black Artist Jigsaw Puzzles… a look at some of the best works of art – and most popular puzzle images around – from well-known Black artists.

And of course, how could we not mention two of the most influential black people in music and popular culture? Happy puzzling everyone!

Bob Marley is credited with spreading Rastafarian and Jamaican music to a worldwide audience.

Michael Jackson has earned a place in musical history that not many have achieved, with several chart-topping songs and major influence in today’s pop music as well.

Puzzles for Fitzgerald Aficionados

If you are anything like me, you can’t wait for Baz Luhrmann’s adaptation of The Great Gatsby coming out this May, even though historically they have failed. The Great Gatsby has a double charm—it’s an American classic, but it’s also adored by the average reader. It’s going to be a challenge to turn the introspective book into a successful movie, but let’s keep our fingers crossed and our hopes up. Here are some puzzles that I think Fitzgerald might like to do during breaks from writing if he were alive today. Here’s hoping he’ll also like the new take on his novel.

Martini Rossi Vermouth Bianco by Euro Graphics. $15.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 19.25” x 26.5”.

Afternoon Stroll by Clementoni. $15.99. 1000 Pieces. Finished size: 26.5″ x 18.75″.

Beautiful Peacock Garden – House Beautiful by New York Puzzle Co. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Beary Patch Park by Buffalo Games. $14.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 20” x 27”.

Spirits of the World by Piatnik. $16.99. 1000 pieces. Finished size: 26.5” x 17.4”

Classics – Sammy’s Playground by Master Pieces. $10.99. 500 pieces. Finished size: 14″ x 19″.

 

And a product that our girl golfer, Jordan Baker, from Gatsby might have liked: some ladies’ golf bridge cards:

Ladies Golf Bridge Set. $16.99. Features two decks of bridge size playing cards and come in sturdy, beautifully made boxes.