Current Exhibits & Programs | Newsletter
enews youtube google pinterest instagram facebook twitter


(you must have Acrobat Reader to view this document)

Download the current newsletter here. (PDF)

Sign up for our Email Newsletter


For eMail Newsletters you can trust



July 12
“Geocoaching 101”

Experience an outdoor treasure hunting game using GPS-enabled devices. Participants will learn to navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates to find the geocache (container) with a riddle and coordinates to their next clue. The group who obtains all the geocaches wins a prize. This program is in collaboration with the DuPage County Forest Preserve.

Activity - Ages 9 yrs. to Adult - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Fee: $10.00 per person, Museum Members $8.00
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

Rock & Mineral Identification

Geologist Sara Kurth presents an introduction to rocks and minerals. Hands on identification in-cludes hardness tests. Great for teachers and rockhounds, this program qualifies for Scout merit badges. All materials are provided. Scout groups require adult supervision.

Classes: July 19 and September 20 at 10:30 a.m.
Activity – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult - 75 minutes
Admission: $5.00 per person, Museum Members $3.00
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

July 18
Fossil Collecting Field Trip

Travel by motor coach to a new quarry in Illinois. Collect Silurian and Ordovician Period marine fossils in shale and dolomitic 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: $40.00 per person – Museum Members $35.00
Reservations Required: 630-833-1616

August 23
“Soapstone Carving”

” Lapidary Lorel Abrell teaches participants how to successfully carve soapstone. Sim-ple tools and techniques are used in carving this soft and inexpensive material. Learn the basics from blocking out a design to final polish. Take home a carving of your own crea-tion. All materials are included.

Activity - ages 9 yrs to Adult - 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Fee: $15.00 per person – Museum Members $10.00
Reservations Required: 630-833-1616




September 13
Mazon Creek Fossil Collecting Field Trip

Join Jim Fairchild of the Earth Science Club of Northern Illinois on a trip to Braceville, Illinois to collect Mazon Creek fossils. Learn what to look for when collecting these spe-cial fossils and how to open them. Travel by motor coach, bring a sack lunch and get ready to collect. Make reservations early, this field trip fills up fast!

Field Trip - 8 yrs. to Adult
9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. - $40.00 per person
Museum Members $35.00 per person
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616

September 27
Celebrate Smithsonian Museum Day

As a Smithsonian, Affiliate the Lizzadro Museum is featuring your last chance to see “Modern Designer Jewelry” from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Free ad-mission is offered to visitors presenting a Museum Day Ticket available on-line at The Museum Day Ticket provides free admission to one per-son, and a guest.

Regular Museum Admission or Free with Smithsonian Museum Day Ticket Museum Members Free

September 28
Jeffrey Post Presents The Smithsonian Gem Collection

In closing the popular exhibit on “Modern Designer Jewelry from the Smithsonian”, Dr. Jeffrey Post, geologist and curator of gems and minerals at the National Museum of Nat-ural History will present a program on the most important and awe inspiring gems in the Smithsonian collection. Learn about the legends and lore behind famous gems and the variety mineral species represented.

Sunday Lecture - Youth to Adult - 2 p.m. - 60 minutes
Fee: $15.00 per person, Museum Members $10.00
Reservations Recommended: (630) 833-1616

Faces of Eternity Bring Skulls to Life
faces of eternity

Reprinted with permission from the GIA  
(Gemological Institute of America) Carlsbad, California.

Human skulls, long a symbol of death or danger, have been a popular jewelry icon for decades, but gem carver Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio has taken the concept of the skull as décor to a whole new level. “I personally see it [the skull] as a symbol of eternity,” he said. “It is a sign of man's mortality; a victory of death over life. I thought to myself, ‘Why don't we try giving some life to them? Maybe even personality and character!’ I wanted to show that skulls could also be alive and fun.”  That was the genesis of a 26-piece collection of carved gemstone skulls he created to last forever.

Carving a New Tradition for the Family Business
Aparicio said the skull sculptures were a way he could blend the lapidary art and metalsmith skills he learned in his family’s gemstone carving business in Lima, Peru. Aparicio and his sister Sylvia, a goldsmith and jewelry designer, grew up surrounded by artists, master carvers and jewelers who visited their father’s art studio. The siblings traveled to gem and mineral exhibitions around the world for more than 20 years, soaking up the work of many artists. This multi-cultural exposure helped them to develop their own artistic forms and techniques.

An engineer by profession, Aparicio creates objets d’art for Neoart Peru, the company their father created in 1968. The brother and sister have revived the business with a specialty in ruby carvings and natural wildlife-inspired themes that use rare and unusual gemstones from around the globe. Aparicio spent several years collecting rough from around the world once he had the idea for the skull sculptures. Each chunk of rough needed to be large enough to create a skull and visually appealing to ensure the finished piece was attractive and interesting.

“Every stone has its little secret,” Aparicio said. “It could be revealed in the cutting, carving or polishing ‒ they all need special skill to be well-carved. That is the fun part, it becomes a challenge.” Aparicio spent one to three months on each of the skulls, depending on the material used and the intricacies of the details. The exception was the ruby skull, which took three times longer because of ruby’s exceptional hardness. It is essentially an eight-step process from design to cutting and carving to polish. Each piece is a result of sculpture, metalsmithing and jewelry-making techniques. “The skulls collection was one of my favorites to create,” said Aparicio, who spent a year designing and carving them. “By carving natural gemstones with a combination of lapidary art and metalsmithing techniques, you can really see how the colors and textures in the various stones bring each piece to life.”

“Faces of Eternity” will be on display at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art July 1 through November 2, 2014.  The artist, Luis Alberto Quispe Aparicio, will be giving a program at the Museum in early November. Details will be posted in our Fall Newsletter.

A Look Inside the Smithsonian’s Gem & Mineral Collection

postThe Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) hosts the remarkable Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems, and Minerals. This exhibit of exquisite specimens was opened in 1997. The Smithsonian’s gem and mineral collection contains of over 10,000 gems and 350,000 mineral specimens. These specimens are used for scientific research, educational programs, and public exhibits.

The gem and mineral galleries of the Smithsonian’s NMNH are among the most visited in the world. The National Gem Collection was created in 1884 and is renowned for both the number and scope of mineral specimens and gemstones. The most iconic of the collection is the Hope Diamond, which is the centerpiece of the Harry Winston Gallery and widely considered to be the most popular museum object in the world. In 1958 the famous jeweler presented the Smithsonian with the Hope Diamond. Harry Winston envisioned the institution assembling a gem collection to rival the royal treasuries of Europe "crown jewels" that would belong to the American public. The collection is dedicated to inspiring people of all ages with the wonders of the natural world. While visitors may come to see the Hope Diamond rather than a “bunch of rocks”, most visitors end up spending the majority of their time in the awesome Minerals and Gems Gallery. 

Janet Annenberg Hooker's relationship with the Smithsonian is longstanding and goes beyond her gift of $5 million toward building the new hall. Mrs. Hooker donated some of the finest jewels in the National Gem Collection including the spectacular yellow starburst diamonds. Gifts are the main source of specimens, but while gifts are a great way to grow a collection, it may also sometimes grow in unexpected ways. These gifts to the nation belong to all of us, and when not exhibited at the Museum of Natural History, commonly are loaned to Smithsonian Affiliation museums. Endowments provide on-going funds each year that allow for directed expansion of the collection as specimens can be searched out and purchased to fill in or expand specific areas of the collection. In 2005 a gift from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation established an endowment for the acquisition of important gemstones as part of the Museum’s National Gem Collection, known as “The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Collection.” This endowment enables acquisition of gemstones that may come along only once in a lifetime. The gift will help maintain the National Gem Collection’s position as one of the world’s great repositories of rare gemstones well into the future.

Dr. Jeffrey Post has served as curator of the (NMNH) National Museum of Natural History’s Gem and Mineral Collection since 1991 and also served as the lead curator for the Janet Annenberg Hooker Hall of Geology, Gems and Minerals. For more insight about the NMNH, National Gem Collection, Dr. Jeffrey Post will be presenting a lecture at the Lizzadro Museum on Sunday, September 28 at 2 p.m. Please call the Museum at (630) 833-1616 to make reservations.

grant passport


Location | Calendar | Contact Us