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chinese jade


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 teachers and rockhounds. This program qualifies for Boy & Girl Scout merit badges. Scout groups require adult supervision. Teachers can earn Professional Development credit for this class. For more information email:

75 minutes – Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Saturday Classes: April 9 at 1:30 p.m., May 14 & June 11 at 10:30 a.m.
Fee: $5.00 per person, Museum mebers $3.00
Reservations Required: (630) 833-1616.

“Crystal Bowls Sound Healing”


Marian McNair, MATC, MFA will demonstrate the healing power of crystal bowl vibration. Doctors have recognized sound therapy as a beneficial factor in overall wellness and relaxation. Learn the science behind sound therapy, followed by a demonstration. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable clothing and bring yoga mats for the demonstration.

Ages 16 yrs. to Adult - 2 p.m. – 90 minutes
Admission: $10.00 per person, Museum Members $5.00
Reservations Recommended (630) 833-1616

April 30 & May 1
“Art in the Park”

A juried show of Fine Art, Craft and Design, over 100 artists from around the Midwest will be showing and selling their creations in Wilder Park. At the Lizzadro Museum, members of the West Suburban Lapidary Club will be demonstrating forms of lapidary art.

Free Admission to the Museum.
Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. & Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

May 15
“20th Annual Museum Day in Elmhurst”

museum Day

Celebrate the BIGGEST Museum Day ever! Jump on board the trolley as it rolls through town to celebrate Elmhurst Museum Day at three local museums and the cultural campus Wilder Park. Ride the trolley to each location for free admission, activities, refreshments, and more. At the Lizzadro Museum, explore the museum’s fascinating collection and create your own rock critter to take home.

Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. All Ages Welcome.
Admission is Free at all 3 Museums!


June 4
“Stone Hunt”


This hands-on activity allows children and adults to search for gems and minerals among more common rocks. Learn the difference between rocks
and minerals and how to distinguish between them. Each rock or mineral found is identified and can be taken home.

Activity - Ages 5 yrs. to Adult 45 minutes - 2 p.m.
$5.00 per person, Museum Members Free
Reservations Recommended

June 18
“Fossil Collecting Field Trip"


Travel by motor coach to Mulford Quarry in Rockford, Illinois. Collect Ordovician Period marine fossils in dolomitic limestone. Collectable fossils include: brachiopods, cephalopods, corals, crinoids, gastropods, and more.

Field Trip - Ages 8 yrs. to Adult
Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Fee: $45.00 per person – Museum Members $40.00
Reservations Required: 630-833-1616


Summer is a great time to visit the museums in Kane and DuPage Counties. Designed for ages 4 to 12, each site has an activity for children to complete. The Summer Passport program begins on May 1st and ends on Labor Day.


Symbolism in Qing Dynasty Chinese Jade

By Dorothy Asher



Special Thanks to: Yi Hua Chou, Chinese Language Teacher, York Community High School, Elmhurst, Illinois.

References Bartholomew, Terese Tse, Hidden Meanings in Chinese Art, 2006.
Knight, Michael, et al., Later Chinese Jades Ming Dynasty to Early Twentieth Century From The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, 2007.
Rawson, Jessica, Chinese Jade From Neolithic To The Qing, 1995.

The Curious Case of the Crying Calcite

By Sara Kurth

calciteOver the holiday season, Museum staff noticed something alarming. The Angel Wing calcite was crying! Well, it wasn’t really crying, but it filled the case with water that leaked out behind the wall. There was no water on the outside walls and the water was relegated to just the single case. The mineral specimen was moved so the water could be cleaned and the cause of the water could be investigated. It turns out that there are some very interesting properties associated with the mineral.

Angel Wing calcite is a relatively new name for this variety of calcite. In fact, it is only within the New Age scene that the name is used. Calcite is a calcium carbonate (CaCO3) mineral found in sedimentary limestone rock. The mineral calcite comes in many colors and crystal structures. Several polymorphs, or minerals with the same chemical composition but different crystal shapes exist, including aragonite and vaterite. Calcite is the most stable form of CaCO3 – aragonite will change into calcite under extreme temperatures greater than 380°F.

Among some of the interesting attributes of calcite is its ability to double refract. This property allows objects viewed through the crystal to appear doubled. Using the transparent form of calcite, Iceland spar, the double refraction property has been utilized for optical purposes, including early use by Vikings for navigation purposes. In fact, ancient sea creatures called trilobites had calcite optic lenses, useful for seeing predators in murky waters (Schwab, 2002). Calcite will readily dissolve when exposed to acid. It is this reason that marble, metamorphosed limestone, will breakdown over time when exposed to the elements.

This does not explain why our Angel Wing calcite was crying. Calcite is hygroscopic, which means that it is able to absorb water from the environment (Rougvie, 2016). Much like salt can become clumpy in humid summer months, calcite can, over time, absorb water, which will eventually destroy the crystal structure.

For unknown reasons, on December 21st, our Angel Wing calcite spontaneously released all the absorbed water on a single day. Perhaps there was a significant change in humidity in the Museum, or the temperature fluctuations in December caused a significant change in the environment. Whatever the reason, it is now clear that humidity control for the specimen is necessary. To alleviate the humidity, a moisture absorbent material has been placed in the case, much like placing rice into your salt container. The Angel Wing calcite was returned to its case on permanent display. 

Rougvie, J.R., January 6, 2016, personal communication, Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin.
Schwab, I.R., 2002, British Journal of Opthalmology,v. 86(4).

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