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Rock & Mineral Identification

Geologist Sara Kurth presents an introduction to rocks and minerals. Learn to identify minerals through basic hands-on identification including observation skills and hardness tests. Great for rockhounds, Boy & Girl Scout merit badges and Teachers Professional Development credit, email: Scout groups require adult supervision.

10:30 a.m. - 75 minutes – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Saturday Classes: July 16 & Sept. 17
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00 Reservations Required

“Rockin’ Jewelry for Kids”

This beginner’s class allows children to make their own?gemstone jewelry to keep. Choose two different types of jewelry to make with stones from the Museum Shop and learn how to work with jeweler’s tools. Parties of 10 or more are encouraged to schedule a private class. Email:

1:30 p.m. – 75 minutes - Ages 8-16 years
Saturday Classes: July 16 & Sept. 17
Fee: $10.00 per person
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

July 23

Geologist Sara Kurth presents an interactive lecture on volcanoes. Discuss the mechanisms of how volcanoes work, and compare different eruption styles. This presentation focuses on recent volcanic eruptions and explores how volcanoes can both positively and negatively effect local and global communities. Hands-on specimens will be available to see and touch.

Lecture – 2:00 p.m. – 60 minutes - Youth to Adult
Regular Museum Admission, Museum Members Free
Reservations Recommended


July 29
Fossil Collecting Field Trip

Travel by motor coach to Vulcan Quarry in Sycamore, Illinois. Collect Silurian and Ordovician Period marine fossils in shale and limestone. Collectable fossils include: brachiopods, cephalopods, corals, crinoids, gastropods, and more.

Field Trip - Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Fee: $45.00 per person, Museum Members $40.00 Reservations Required: 630-833-1616

August 20
Start Your Rockin’ Collection!"

Create your very own, personalized rock collection! Cartons and materials for decoration and personalization are provided. Each child can choose several rocks to start or fill in their collection carton. Rocks from home can also be brought in for identification.

Workshop – 2:00 p.m. – 60 minutes - Ages 5 to 10 yrs.
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members Free.
Reservations Required: 630-833-1616


August 28
Painting in Stone"

Dr. Anna Maria Massinelli from Florence, Italy presents her new book Painting in Stone Modern Florentine Pietra Dura Mosaic including mosaics in the Lizzadro Collection. Discuss modern pietra dura and the collaborations that developed between painters and mosaic workshops during the 19th and 20th centuries. A book signing takes place after the lecture.

Adult Lecture – Sunday 2:00 p.m. - 75 minutes
Admission: $10.00 per person, Museum Members Free.
Reservations Recommended: 630-833-1616


September 24
Geode Find"

Geodes are spherical hollow nodules that usually contain crystals. Learn more about the theories on how geodes form and where they are found. Children and adults can participate in “Geode Find” an activity to find and crack open your very own geode to take home.

Lecture/Activity - Ages 6 yrs. to Adult – 2:00 p.m. – 75 minutes
$5.00 per person, Museum Members Free.
Reservations Recommended: 630-833-1616

The Influence of 19th Century Italian Genre Painting on Florentine Mosaics
By Dorothy Asher

Genre art portrays scenes of everyday life.  Italian genre painting developed from the 17th century Dutch and Flemish painters, realistic, imagined and romanticized everyday people doing everyday activities. More importantly genre painting often portrayed sentimental domestic scenes popular with the middle class. Figurative genre motifs became extremely popular in many forms of the decorative arts.

Something Old
The Lizzadro Museum currently displays two outstanding genre based Florentine Mosaics.  The “Old Folks” mosaics (as we call them) were believed to be based on earlier paintings.  However we had no documentation of the paintings until now. “For Body and Soul” features an old peasant woman and man at a table. The man is eating a simple meal of beans and the woman is praying a rosary. The picture is based on an Aurelio Zingoni painting of the same name.  The Museum’s “Old Folks Sharing Wine” is loosely based on “Happy Old Age” by the Italian painter Pietro Saltini.  Dr. Anna Maria Massinelli’s book Painting in Stone sheds new light on the Italian ‘genre painters who brilliantly portrayed the life of peasants’.


This unique blending of popular figurative subject matter examined the world of the domestic peasant classes in Italy and became very popular.  19th century Florentine genre painters inspired and often collaborated with the pietra dura mosaic workshops in Florence that continued well into the 20th century.


Something New
This spring the Museum was fortunate to receive a donation of both a painting and mosaic of related subject matter.  “The Chimney Sweep’s Meal” an oil painting by Aurelio Zingoni signed and dated 1882 and a Florentine mosaic of the same title by Giovanni Montelatici circa late 19th century. Both the painter and the mosaicist sign the mosaic. This proves the relationship between Italian genre painters and mosaicists.  In many cases the paintings that the mosaics are based on are lost or in private collections. Very rarely does a painting relating to a mosaic come on to the market.  Michael & Diane Werner generously donated the “The Chimney Sweep’s Meal” painting and mosaic to the Museum this spring. The pieces will be on display at the Museum beginning August 2. 

On Sunday, August 28 at 2:00 p.m., Dr. Anna Maria Massinelli from Florence, Italy will present her new book Painting in Stone Modern Florentine Pietra Dure Mosaic that includes “The Chimney Sweep’s Meal” and Florentine Mosaics in the Lizzadro Museum.  She will discuss modern pietra dura and the collaborations that developed between painters and mosaic workshops during the 19th and 20th centuries.  Her book is available in the Museum Shop and a book signing will take place after the lecture. Admission is $10.00 per person; Museum members are free, light refreshments will be served.  Reservations are recommended, phone: (630) 833-1616 or email:  We hope to see you there!


don cronauer

June 21 to December 31, 2016

Artist Statement
I have been a research chemical engineer for a number of years, and I undertook silversmithing to make creative and pretty articles as an extended hobby and avocation. I began silversmithing about 30 years ago when my wife invited me to join her at a jeweler’s workshop. I soon began cutting and polishing opals using very crude homemade equipment. There was no more challenging and beautiful stone to work with! After preparing several stones, I had a difficult time selling the cut stone, so I progressed to silversmithing to mount them.  As the quantity and price of good opal rough became harder to obtain, I stuck with silversmithing. After a few classes and volunteering as a teacher’s aide at the College of DuPage jewelry department, along with membership in the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois and the West Suburban Lapidary Club, I was able to buy a reasonable collection of used equipment and learn more about the craft. It is great to be able to make creative jewelry, demonstrate silversmithing at shows, get a few compliments, and be able to sell enough to cover costs. That’s the ultimate avocation!

Silversmithing combines the techniques of lost wax casting, soldering, stone setting and polishing to create a finished piece of jewelry. Many lapidaries learn silversmithing as a way to set the stones they have cut.  Long before 3D printing, artisans sculpted wax by hand to create silver, bronze, brass, or gold jewelry. This ancient process is called lost-wax casting. Once a mold is made, it can be used to produce multiple castings of a unique design. Artists have been using this method to create jewelry for over 5,000 years. Don Cronauer has been a member of the Lizzadro Museum for over 20 years. An exhibit of his work will be on display in the Visiting Artist’s case June 21 through December 31, 2016. He will present a demonstration on silversmithing techniques including lost wax casting and fabrication of rings and pendants in October. Details will be posted in our next newsletter.

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