Saturday, August 5, 2017

Exploring The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL

This past Friday we explored the Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL. Admission to the museum is free every Friday, so yesterday was the perfect time to go.

Jade lapidary art  at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL
Stunning jade lapidary art
Lapidary is the art of cutting, polishing, sculpting and engraving stones. The collection of lapidary pieces at the Lizzadro Museum is stunning. Walking through the display on the first floor almost felt like walking through a vault in a castle. Just wow!

Displays of art pieces art  at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL

Joseph Lizzadro was an Italian immigrant who settled in Chicago in the early 1900's. He became an enterprising and successfil businessman. He also became a lapidary hobbyist and collector with a particular love of polishing jade. Joseph, his wife Mary and their 6 children moved to Elmhurst in 1939. Over the years, Joseph and Mary collecting breathtaking pieces of lapidary art. Working with the City of Elmhurst and Elmhurst Park District, Joseph opened The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in 1962 so we could all enjoy!

Bears carved from rock in diorama at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL
Bears carved from rock in diorama 
There are several different exhibit groupings within the museum. Our favorite consisted of dioramas highlighting wildlife carved from stone. Each scene was pretty intricate and interesting to look at.

Fish cut from agate in diorama at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL
The beautiful angel fish are cut from agate.
The above diorama was one of my favorites -- the angel fish sculpted from agate are beautiful and look realistic.

Jade art at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL
More stunning jade art pieces
Joseph had an affinity for jade, so the museum's collection includes a considerable number of jade pieces. Each piece is incredibly beautiful, so who could not love jade after visiting this museum?

Sculptures at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL
Lovely sculptures telling a story.
The museum also houses pieces crafted with other gems.

Petrified wood specimen at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL
Sizable petrified wood specimen
The museum also has a collection of petrified wood which was pretty interesting. Some of the specimens are rather large and give an impressive look at fossilization.

How rocks are formed
How rocks are formed
The second floor of the museum has excellent displays on how rocks, minerals and fossils are formed. The displays are pretty straightforward and I really think detailed in ways that kids can grasp. During our visit, kids of all ages were eager to learn about rocks which was a delight to witness!

Gorgeous display on jasper at Lizzadro Museum
Jasper display showing how rocks and minerals vary on impurities.
Some of the displays are incredible not just academically but aesthetically as well like this one on Jasper.

Example of carving with jade
Example of carving with jade
The display on jade details carving. This one particularly struck home because we picked up a jade bear carved in Alaska on our visit to Juneau last year!

Ammonites at Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art in Elmhurst, IL
Gorgeous ammonites!
A lot of the kids enjoyed checking out the fossils on display including these gorgeous ammonites.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art

Overall, the museum is pretty interesting and a true hidden gem. There are other nearby museums in Elmhurst, so you can spend an afternoon there. The museum also has a fabulous gift shop with tons of rock specimens and jewelry with items in every price range. The museum hosts a number of interesting events including learning about rock and mineral identification, lapidary art and even dinosaurs! Quite an interesting and educational museum!

**Disclosure: No compensation was received for this post. All opinions are 100% my own.


  1. Sounds like a hidden gem for sure! Beautiful sculptures!

    1. They are amazing and interesting to look at!

  2. How in the world do I live so close, and not know about this museum! I would love to spend an afternoon here exploring!

    1. I know! I have had it on my list for a couple of years and finally made it. Now I am kicking myself. Quite the treasure!

  3. Awesome! We need to check that out!

  4. Looks like an interesting place - I have to check it out!

  5. Thank you so much for the great review! I just wanted to comment on two things in the article. First, we are free every Friday, not just the first Friday of the month. Second, ammolite is the mineral that makes up the ammonite fossils. Ammonites are related to the current-day nautilus. They are in the same family as squid and octopus. Ammolite is a beautiful iridescent mineral and the trade name for aragonite formed in the shell of some ammonites, similar to mother of pearl. It is most commonly mined in Alberta, Canada. Other than those nit-picky comments from a nit-picky geologist, you got it spot on! Thank you!

    1. Thanks for the updates! I have corrected. No worries about being nit-picky. I actually did understand the distinction between ammolite and the ammonites. I meant to type ammonite and of course did not. Lol! But, I have it all corrected and appreciate you pointing it out. In the winter, I share a list of indoor things to do in the area for break so I will definitely add Lizzadro. Have a nice weekend! :)