The Second Puzzle Parley
Detail of puzzle cut by Bob Armstrong
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Anne Williams at the museum Anne Williams, curator for the exhibit " Cutting A Fine Figure, The Art of the Jigsaw Puzzle "

The second incarnation of the Puzzle Parley extended over two weekend days, April 27 and 28, 1996. It centered on the Museum of Our National Heritage in Lexington, Massachusetts (now the National Heritage Museum). The Museum's main exhibition that winter and spring was "Cutting A Fine Figure, The Art of the Jigsaw Puzzle," curated by Anne Williams. It featured more than 100 puzzles from Anne's collection and another dozen loaned by participants in previous Puzzle Parleys.

The 22 puzzle cutters in attendance met Saturday afternoon to exchange ideas and tips about wooden puzzle making. They came from New England (15), the NY-PA area (3), and the Midwest (4). The Strong Museum Library in Rochester, NY holds a video recording of this meeting.

Cutters discussion
Cutting Demo By Amy Scott

Most out-of-towners stayed at the Ramada Inn in nearby Bedford. The evening featured casual dining, informal conversation, puzzle assembly, and puzzle sales and swaps.

Betty Hayter selling wooden jigsaw puzzles

Sunday began with a brunch at the Ramada for about 50 guests, including many members of the Association of Game and Puzzle Collectors (AGPC, then known as the American Game Collectors Association). Bert Cohen talked briefly about his marble collection. A few other collectors spoke about their own specialties. A dozen or so collectors and dealers set up tables for selling their wares.

Sunday afternoon's program took place at the Museum where Anne Williams gave a slide presentation on "The Art and Craft of the Jigsaw Puzzle." Activities continued for the entire afternoon. Amy Scott wowed the public by cutting wooden jigsaw puzzles on a scroll saw set up in the atrium. Her demonstration inspired one of the onlookers, Dave Beffa-Negrini, to start cutting puzzles later that year. (He features prominently in later Parleys.) Museum volunteers had set up tables with unassembled puzzles for visitors to do. Children had their own area for a "Beat the Clock" puzzle assembly contest, and a "Create Your Own Puzzle" table.

Puzzling with the family
Playing " Beat the Clock "
Create your own puzzle

Detail from Par puzzle "Sher Bliss"