Previously, the largest jigsaw puzzle in recorded history was made by Educa, called LIFE: The Greatest Puzzle with 24,000 pieces. The puzzle came in four packets, breaking the puzzle art up into four slightly easier to manage sections, which all connect together to create a giant puzzle that is 14 feet long and 5 feet tall. A TRUE puzzle challenge, and certainly not for the faint of heart.
But the folks at Ravensburger wanted to take things up a notch and create a puzzle even larger than LIFE! They have passed up Educa and made Double Retrospect, now the biggest puzzle ever, with 32,256 pieces. This mammoth of a jigsaw puzzle measures an incredible 17 feet x 6 feet!
The art for Ravensburger’s Double Retrospect was created by American Artist Keith Haring (1958-1990). Each of the 32 different images show one of Haring’s quirky illustrations, inspired by the cartooning skills he learned from his father, according to Ravensburger’s website. The puzzle is very colorful and vibrant and each scene will make you smile or chuckle. The limited color palate also makes the puzzle even more challenging because it will be harder to separate the pieces that go in one scene from another.
The puzzle pieces arrive in 8 separate bags inside of a box, and a trolley is also supplied so that you can transport the giant puzzle home. When you open the box, each bag will contain 4,032 pieces – each a sure-fire challenge on their own.
The makers of the puzzle, and those that have finished it have a few suggestions. First, make sure you have a HUGE area to complete the puzzle in – if you do the entire puzzle in sections, each will measure about 3 feet x 2 feet – and can be stored on top of each other with cardboard in between. But once you are ready to attach the 8 sections into one giant puzzles – you’ll want a large, clean floor space. Second, get help! This puzzle is more than one person can handle – a great long term family or school project for sure. Third, don’t give up! It’s not impossible – we promise! And lastly, be very careful not to misplace any of the pieces. Of course, if you do, just use our guide to missing puzzle pieces.
There are tons of YouTube videos of people putting this puzzle together – a fun way to watch it all come to life.
More About the Artist
Keith Haring developed a love for drawing at a very early age, learning basic cartoon skills from his father and from popular culture like Dr. Seuss and Walt Disney. In the late 1970’s, after dropping out of commercial arts school, he began to work on his own art exhibitions at the Pittsburgh Arts and Crafts Center. In the 1980’s, Haring’s work acheived international recognition and he completed numerous public projects. Throughout his career, he devoted much of his time to public works, often carrying social messages. He created art for charities, hospitals, day care centers and orphanages. The famous Crack is Wack mural, created in 1986, is a landmark along New York’s FDR Drive. Other well known works include a mural created for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, on which Haring worked with 900 children; a mural on the exterior of Necker Children’s Hospital in Paris, France in 1987; and a mural painted on the western side of the Berlin Wall three years before its fall.
Haring was diagnosed with AIDS in 1988, and shortly after he established the Keith Haring Foundation – which aimed to provide funding and arts to AIDS organizations and children’s programs, and to expand the audience for his work. He died of AIDS related causes at the age of 31 on February 16, 1990. Over 1,000 people attended his memorial service in New York City. Since his death, Haring’s work has been licensed and featured in many different forms. It is only natural, it would seem, that his work appears on the largest jigsaw puzzle ever created – a testament to the huge impact his life and work as made to so many people.