Special Exhibit
The Artful Soul of Faust
October 12 thru April 16, 2022

The legendary story of Faust is told in fourteen large cameos carved by Dieter and Andreas Roth.
The collection was carved from 2007 to 2013 at the Roth-Cameo studio in Idar-Oberstein, Germany.
The Lizzadro Museum is the first to premiere this exhibit in the United States.


Carrying on Cutting Traditions

By Bruce McKay

Dieter Roth specialized in carving exceptionally large cameos with complicated biblical scenes. Dieter passed away in 2020.

In a Western Germany valley between Frankfort and Luxembourg is the town Idar-Oberstein, the heart of the gemstone industry. Long past its glory days of being the main source of cut gems in the world, it remains home to some of the worlds finest gem cutters – gem cutters whose exceptional skills have passed down through the generation of families like the Roth Family of Idar- Oberstein.

One common thread among these specialized shops is the excellent quality of craftsmanship, something that has always set Idar-Oberstein apart from others. Among the finest examples of this tradition is the Roth Family.

Fortification agates are used for cameo carving because they contain a layer of white and other bands of color that are perfect for cameos.

Currently cameo carvers, the family members can trace their gem connections back to their great-great-grandfather Philipp Roth. An agate cutter, he passed his skills onto his son August Roth. Walter Roth, the son of August, learned to cut diamonds and was an esteemed diamond cutter from 1907 until 1957. That takes us to today’s cameo carving Roth’s, Dieter and his son Andreas.

Dieter began his apprenticeship with world-renowned gem engraver and cameo carver Richard Hahn. He worked at Hahn’s workshop for 15 years, achieving Master Craftsman status. In time, he began working for himself, carving agate cameos and engraving in stone.

Dieter came to be known for doing large agate cameos with multiple full figures, not just faces. His artistic credits include the largest gemstone cameo in the world, the Faust Without an End cameo. In addition, he has done themed series of cameos, such as a dozen large pieces with Biblical scenes. As the years went on, he worked in partnership with his son Andreas, and a few years ago he retired from working in his shop, turning over the family legacy to his son.

Andreas Roth has mastered both traditional subject matter and includes contemporary styles in his work.

Idar-Oberstein used to have a School of Lapidary Arts where Andreas Roth studied and graduated. His test piece at the end of his apprenticeship was good enough to win first place in the Rhineland-Palatinatecompetition, and he has gone on to win other awards for his combination of skill and artistry. He continues to create pieces in the style of his father: based on a theme such as the story of life or scenes from classical history. But Andreas has begun to also do work that breaks from traditional style and expresses his modernsense of artistry, in combination with the finest craftsmanship. He accepts commissions such as doing a cameo based on a photograph or theme supplied by the customer. There are signs there may be another generation of Roth carver, as Andreas’ 12-year-old daughter comes into the workshop regularly to do her gem cutting.

The work of Dieter and Andreas can be seen in both the museums in Idar-Oberstein: the Deutsches Edelsteinmuseum and the Deutsches Mineralienmuseum. The Faust collection of fourteen cameos has toured Europe and makes it’s premier in the United States at the Lizzadro Museum this fall.

For more information about the Roth family of carvers, visit www.roth-cameo.com, or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Roth-Cameo

Learn more about cameo carving at Bruce McKay’s lecture on October 16 at 2 p.m.
A companion booklet to the exhibit, Faust in Precious Stone by Bruce McKay
is available in the Museum Shop and online.
Beginning Sunday, October 24 at 2 p.m. and every Sunday following
see a 30-minute video in the Lecture Hall on Roth Cameo Carving.
The Special Exhibit “The Artful Soul of Faust” will be on display through April 16, 2022.

Roth Cameo Carving –
Every Sunday beginning October 24 at 2 p.m.

Visit Roth studio in Germany and watch how a cameo is created with Dieter Roth,
then see a video message from Andreas Roth abou the Faust cameos
and a close-up view of the largest two-sided cameo in the world:
Faust Without an End.

Museum Shop

Annual Holiday Sale

November 19 to December 5
Museum Members receive 20% off purchases!
Shop online or in store.
Support the Museum – become a member!