Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art
The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art celebrates the art of cutting, polishing, and carving stone, a practice that dates back to prehistoric times. Lapidary became a popular hobby in the United States during the 1950s in the form of cutting and polishing gemstones and turning them into jewelry or metalwork. The museum has 26 new exhibits featuring over 200 pieces of jade, other hard stone carvings, snuff bottles, modern and antique vases and bowls, and other decorative and functional pieces, in addition to dioramas, stone mosaics, cameos, mineral specimens, and the famous Castle Lizzadro (an 18kt gold sculpture).
Backstory and Context
In 1916, he took a job at Meade Electric Company where he found his career and eventually worked his way up to Chairman of the Board. Lizzadro enjoyed trips to Keweenaw with his wife and their 6 children; they collected stones at Lake Superior and Lizzadro began colleting stones and cutting and polishing them to make jewelry for family.
From that time on, Lizzadro became a lapidary hobbyist and collector with jade being his favorite stone. He began his permanent collection with a Chinese jade carving he got in the late 1930s. Lizzadro’s collection grew and he wanted to share it with others so in November 1962 he opened a museum in Wilder Park. He continued to collect, cut, and polish stone until his death in 1972.