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Calendar of Events

< 2017 >
September
Sat Sep 2 3

Rock and Mineral Identification @ 10:30 a.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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: educator@lizzadromuseum.org. Scout groups require adult supervision.

10:30 a.m., September 23
75 minutes – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00
Reservations Required (630) 833-1616

 

Sat Sep 2 3

Rockin' Jewelry for Kids @ 1:30 p.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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. Great for Girl Scout Jewelry Badge, parties of 10 or more are encouraged to schedule a private class. Email: educator@lizzadromuseum.org.

All Classes 1:30 p.m., September 23
Activity – Ages 8 to 16 years
75 minutes
$10.00 per person Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

Sat Sep 2 3

Rock and Mineral Identification @ 10:30 a.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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: educator@lizzadromuseum.org. Scout groups require adult supervision.

10:30 a.m., September 23
75 minutes – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00
Reservations Required (630) 833-1616

 

Sat Sep 2 3

Rockin' Jewelry for Kids @ 1:30 p.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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. Great for Girl Scout Jewelry Badge, parties of 10 or more are encouraged to schedule a private class. Email: educator@lizzadromuseum.org.

All Classes 1:30 p.m., September 23
Activity – Ages 8 to 16 years
75 minutes
$10.00 per person Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

Sat Oct 0 7

Knot Those Pearls @ 1 pm

Pat Koko of the West Suburban Lapidary Club teaches knotting techniques used in necklaces & bracelets. Instruction includes: discussion of beading techniques, use of tools, beads, clasp and string. All materials included. Necessary tools will be available to share to complete the project.
Complete a single strand faux pearl bracelet to take home.

Ages 15 years to adult – 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Fee: $35.00 per person Museum Members $30.000
Reservations Required (630) 833-1616

Sat Oct 1 4

Rock and Mineral Identification @ 10:30 a.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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: educator@lizzadromuseum.org. Scout groups require adult supervision.

75 minutes – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00
Reservations Required (630) 833-1616

 

Sat Oct 1 4

Rockin' Jewelry for Kids @ 1:30 p.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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. Great for Girl Scout Jewelry Badge, parties of 10 or more are encouraged to schedule a private class. Email: educator@lizzadromuseum.org.

Activity – Ages 8 to 16 years
75 minutes
$10.00 per person
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

Sat Oct 2 1

Olympic Rocks @ 10:30 a.m.

Geared for middle and high school students competing in Science Olympiad tournaments, this class delves into the world of rocks and minerals. Hand samples will be available, covering most of the S.O. specimen list. Topics include quick ID tips, Bowen’s Reaction Series, and general rock information. Students are encouraged to sign up as a team or as an individual. Please bring all your questions for this informal practice session!

75 minutes – 10:30 a.m. – Ages 10 to 18 years
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

Sat Nov 1 1

Illinois Silurian Fossils @ 2 p.m.

Paul Mayer, Fossil Invertebrate Collections Manager from the Field Museum, will present a talk on the 430 million year old Silurian reefs of Northeastern Illinois, including common fossils found in the Chicago area: corals, brachiopods, crinoids, trilobites, and cephalopods. Today we see the remnants of this in the numerous limestone quarries in our landscape.

2:00 p.m. – 60 minutes – Youth to Adult
$5.00 per person, Museum Members Free
Reservations Recommended (630) 833-1616

Sat Nov 1 8

Lapidary Day

See demonstrations by artists from the West Suburban Lapidary Club including: beading, silversmithing, cabochon cutting, wire wrapping and faceting. Free hands-on activities! New this year Mystery Gem & Rock ID! Bring in your rock or gem and have it identified. This event is a great way to see the Museum and learn more about lapidary art.

Saturday Demonstrations &Activities – 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
All Ages – Free Admission

Tue Nov 2 1

Rock and Mineral Identification @ 10:30 a.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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: educator@lizzadromuseum.org. Scout groups require adult supervision.

75 minutes – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00
Reservations Required (630) 833-1616

 

Tue Nov 2 1

Rockin' Jewelry for Kids @ 1:30 p.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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. Great for Girl Scout Jewelry Badge, parties of 10 or more are encouraged to schedule a private class. Email: educator@lizzadromuseum.org.

Activity – Ages 8 to 16 years
75 minutes
$10.00 per person
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

Thu Nov 2 3

Thanksgiving

The Museum will be closed on Thanksgiving Day, however it will resume normal business hours on Friday. Enjoy the holiday!

Sat Dec 0 2

Create A Gem Tree @ 1 pm

Lapidaries Bill and Lois Zika of the DesPlaines Valley Geological Society teach how to create a small tree using gemstones and wire. These beautiful trees never need water and make a great gift.

Ages 9 years to Adult
Fee: $25.00 per person, Museum Members $20.00
Reservations Required (630) 833-1616

Sat Dec 0 9

Rock and Mineral Identification @ 10:30 a.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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: educator@lizzadromuseum.org. Scout groups require adult supervision.

75 minutes – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00
Reservations Required (630) 833-1616

 

Sat Dec 0 9

Rockin' Jewelry for Kids @ 1:30 p.m.

Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
220 Cottage Hill Ave. Elmhurst, IL 60126

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. Great for Girl Scout Jewelry Badge, parties of 10 or more are encouraged to schedule a private class. Email: educator@lizzadromuseum.org.

Activity – Ages 8 to 16 years
75 minutes
$10.00 per person
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

Interpreting Chinese Jade Pendants in the Lizzadro Collection: Part II Literature

By Ying Zhang

In the Lizzadro Spring 2017 Newsletter I interpreted jade pendants that were popular designs including auspicious symbolism and blessings. This article will focus on more unusual pendants that depict references to Chinese literature. These nephrite jade pendants feature the seal marks of the owner or maker and likely date from the late Ming and Qing Dynasties.

As one of many forms into which raw jade materials are crafted, jade pendants became popular during the Ming and Qing Dynasty (AD1368-1912), i.e., the Late Imperial Period in Chinese history. Jade pendants are designed to be used as personal accessories and are relatively small in terms of size, often made in square or rectangular shapes. Ancient Chinese people usually wear jade pendants using a string to hang from the waist. For example, we can take a look at the painting series from the Qing Imperial collection called “Twelve Beauties” commissioned during the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor (AD1678-1735). (雍正十二美人图) Pictured here is one of the paintings called “appreciating the butterflies in a summer leisure time” (消夏赏蝶 xiāo xià shǎng dié). The female figure is standing against a table, and we can observe a blue decoration from her waist.

“A Beauty at Leisure: Watching Butterflies in Summer” shows how jade pendants were worn.

The jade pendant the figure wears is a sophisticated china blue jade, knotted with the beautiful blue ribbon. On the table: Chinese chess, chess holder, paper fan, a vase with flower. The woman holds a calabash  gourd: a symbol of flourishing growth. It is often used to suggest the idea of many sons.
There are two sides of the jade pendants that craftsmen would carve on: the front side presents scenes, patterns, or objects, while the back side is usually carved with poems or mottos. The contents of the front and back side echo mutually and deliver the same allegorical message. Because of its size and the auspicious meaning it carries, the jade pendant is very convenient to wear and ancient literati or aristocracy were fond of the small but exquisite pieces of jade. Let’s look at two good examples from the Lizzadro Collection that refer to Chinese literature.

Eternal Friendship Pendant The front side shows Bó Yá playing the zither on a boat. The back side shows the woodcutter Zhong Ziqi sitting on the mountain.

 This jade piece venerates the eternality of friendship. (一曲起|千古知音說至今) The sentence goes: with the tune, bosom friends of eternality communicate to this day. This literary quotation is concerned with a classic story of friendship during the Spring and Autumn period and the Warring States period (BC 770-221). It is said that the skilled Chinese zither master Bo Ya 伯牙 is playing his zither in the unfrequented mountain, but the uneducated woodman Zhong Ziqi 鐘子期 can surprisingly understand what Bo Ya is delivering in his tune. Therefore, they both realize that they can really understand and appreciate each other. After Zhong Ziqi dies, Bo Ya feels that he loses his bosom friend, so destroys his zither, and never plays again. The tune Lofty Mountain and Flowing Water 高山流水 is still one of ten ancient Chinese classical tunes.

Chinese zither

The Chinese zither (guzheng) is a lap or table based stringed instrument. The zither is played by plucking strings and has movable bridges. The instrument has a long history and has been used in China for more than 2,500 years.

Ní Zàn Pendant The front side depicts two boys assisting Ní Zàn with cleaning the Wutong tree. The back side features a Ming fable written about the famous painter Ní Zàn.

This pendant honors the Chinese painter and poet Ní Zàn 倪瓒 (1301-1374) who lived during the Yuan and early Ming periods. The poem on the back side writes: with his esteemed name literati Ni; the Spring wind breezes in the garden; his work Qing Bi Ge清閟閣; draw water to clean the tree called Wu Tong.
We can find one excerpt of Ní Zàn’s life story in a late Ming vernacular writer Feng Menglong’s "古今譚概Gu Jin Tan Gai", which is characterized by a combination of stories of antecedent literati, jokes and satirical essays. In the original Chinese version, Feng writes that there are two boy attendants who help Ní Zàn with cleaning and drawing water under the Wutong tree.

The Wutong Tree

The Wutong tree, species classified as Firmiana simplex, is commonly known as the Chinese parasol tree 梧桐; pinyin: wútóng. Wutong is a pun for “together” (tong 同). The Wutong is an ornamental plant of tree size that grows up to 52 feet tall and is native to Asia. It has alternate, deciduous leaves up to 12 inches across and small fragrant, greenish-white flowers borne in large inflorescences. The flowering tree varies in fragrance with weather and time of the day, having a lemony odor with citronella and chocolate tones. The Wutong tree is a key botanical image in Chinese literature related to desirable human character and symbol of personality. Wutong wood is used in musical instruments like the Chinese zither.

Portrait of Ní Zàn

Ni Zan (倪瓚, 1301–1374), courtesy name Yuanzhen (元鎮) and pseudonym Yunlin (雲林), was a painter and poet of the Yuan Dynasty. He was a native of Wuxi (無錫) in the Lake Tai region.
Instead of serving the foreign Mongol dynasty of the Yuan, Ni Zan chose to live a life of retirement and cultivated the scholarly arts (poetry, painting and calligraphy). He collected artistic works of the past and associated with those of a similar temperament. Ni Zan was characterized by his contemporaries as particularly quiet and fastidious, qualities that are found in his paintings. Toward the end of his life, Ni Zan is said to have distributed all of his possessions among his friends and adopted the life of a Daoist recluse, wandering and painting in his mature style in the Lake Tai region near his hometown.

The art of Ni Zan and his peers in the Yuan dynasty was opposed to the preceding standards of the Southern Song academy, whose art immediately appealed to the eyes through obvious displays of virtuoso brushwork and a convincing pictorial reality. Ni Zan’s new style demanded concentrated viewing so that the larger and, in fact, more complex plays of ink could be perceived.

Generally it may be said that in his paintings, usually landscapes, he used elements sparingly, used ink monochrome only, and left great areas of the paper untouched, which suggests the expanse of water. There is often a rustic hut, without any further suggestion of human presence, a few trees and other scant indications of plant life, and elemental landforms with a somber quiet throughout. These sparse landscapes defy many traditional concepts of Chinese painting. Many of his works hardly represent the natural settings they were intended to depict. Ni Zan advocated that painting should be used to express personal emotions, rather than to depict physical resemblance. Ni Zan is regarded as one of the “Four Great Masters of the Yuan (元四家)”.

(China Online Museum 2017)

Ying Zhang received her Masters of Religious Studies specializing in Taoist philosophy at the University of Chicago in 2017. She studied several Chinese jade pieces in the Lizzadro Collection and presented programs.

Twenty-one years ago the Smithsonian Institution created a national outreach program that would extend the reach of the Smithsonian collections to communities, museums and research organizations across the nation. To fulfill the Smithsonian’s mission for the “increase and diffusion of knowledge,” Smithsonian Affiliations was created to provide access to Smithsonian collections. The program’s goal was to make sure those who cannot travel to Washington, D.C., could experience and enjoy the Smithsonian in their own neighborhoods.

Today, the program has established partnerships with more than 200 organizations in 45 states, Puerto Rico and Panama. The Lizzadro Museum became an Affiliate member in the fall of 2008. We look forward to bringing an exhibit of Smithsonian Gems this summer.

In December 2016, the Lizzadro Museum received $5,000 from the DuPage Foundation to support educational and cultural programs offered by the Museum. The grant funds will be used for in-house and outreach programming, with a focus on the Earth Science education.