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A memorial portrait of Joseph F. Lizzadro, Sr. was added to the collection in 1972. It contains over 1,300 pieces of natural stone, cut to fit together without using a grout. It was created by Bruno Lastrucci of Florence, Italy. The technique that he used is called “commesso di pietra dura” or the joining together of hard stone. This art has been practiced for hundreds of years in Florence, Italy.

In the late 1930’s Joseph Lizzadro acquired the piece of Jade that started his collection. It was a Chinese Jade Carving. Joseph Lizzadro’s desire to change the carving was overwhelmed by his respect for the original carver’s ability and thus his collection was started.

Joseph Lizzadro died in 1972. He collected lapidary art pieces until his death. Some pieces were added after his death. One of them is a Memorial Portrait of him.

Lapidary is the art of cutting and polishing stones. Lapidary started as early as humans began fashioning tools and weapons from stone. After a while, these techniques were also used for items that people would wear or use as decoration. In the 1950’s, lapidary became a popular hobby in the U.S. Mainly, the people enjoyed creating two forms of lapidary art. They are called cabochons and faceted stones.

This carving of a castle was made for the grandson of Joseph Lizzadro. It combines the art of lapidary and goldsmithing. William Tolliday of London, England created the castle in 1984. It is part of the permanent collection. On a slab of Brazilian agate, the 18K gold castle rises from specimens of amethyst, malachite, azurite, and vanadium. Diamonds are placed in the windows, giving the illusion of an occupied castle.

The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary art is located in Wilder Park in Elmhurst, Illinois.

With an agreement with the City of Elmhurst and Elmhurst Park District, Joseph Lizzadro built his museum in Wilder Park. On November 4, 1962, the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art opened its doors to the public. Joseph Lizzadro continued to collect lapidary art until his death in 1972.

Joseph Lizzadro came to the U.S. from Italy in the 1900s with his father. His father set up a cobbler’s store in Chicago, Illinois. In 1916 Joseph got a job with Meade Electric Company as a laborer. In 1929 Joseph was promoted to chairman of the board.
The poor condition of streetlights in Illinois promted Joseph to fix them he also fixed storm water pumping systems after this happened Meade electric and Joseph became popular.

Joseph loved using jade for his Lapidary art, which is the art of cutting and polishing stone. He got his first Chinese carving in the 1930’s it was made out of jade. When he got this piece, un-cut jade was very hard to come by. Lapidary artists would have to take already made sculptures and cut them to make something new.ls_agate.jpg