Complete with intricate stone carvings and collaborative music performances

By Larry Atseff

Recently, Lizzadro Museum Director Dorothy Asher arranged for the first United States exhibit of fourteen beautifully carved agate cameos from Germany’s Roth-Cameo Studio, portraying Faust’s adventures. Agate is a variety of quartz and is naturally banded in color. Agate along with shell is most commonly used in cameo carving. The story of Faust, of course, is man’s dissatisfaction with the finite limits on man’s potential. Faust’s, dissatisfaction becomes a driving force in all his adventures to get beyond the boundaries of human experience and perception. Ultimately, the story of Faust concludes on a positive note, which makes it so universal in its appeal. She wanted to bring the exhibit to Lizzadro because “It’s very unique,” she said. “There are 14 very large cameo pieces that are all themed. That’s highly unusual. The pieces are based on Johann Wolfgang von Goethe’s version of the German legend about a man who sells his soul to the devil for unlimited knowledge.

The scenes are realistically portrayed. The last cameo “Faust Without an End” is the largest two-sided cameo in the world, nearly two-feet high. In its own right, the exhibit is spectacular and meaningful. But Asher wanted to do more. She said “I wanted to collaborate with other arts, like music and acting. I wanted to make it a celebration of different forms of art.” Appropriately, the show is titled “The Artful Soul of Faust”. Specifically, she arranged for certain live performances at the Museum featuring actors from First Folio in Theater. Their first performance was January 23, others may be added. Actor Nick Sandys said, “The crossover between art forms is what fascinated me as a human being. That I can be moved by a piece of poetry and equally by a piece of pottery is fascinating to me. They can be equally powerful emotional spots for us to delve into our humanness and connect to this mystic story in completely different ways.” Every first Sunday through April popup concerts featuring Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra musicians will perform at the Museum. Upcoming concerts: February 6 – Woodwind Quintet, March 6 – String Quartet, April 3 – Solo Harp. Performances are at 2:00 p.m., 45-minutes, all ages are welcome. This collaboration is funded in part by grants from the DuPage Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

The Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art is located at: 1220 Kensington Road, Oak Brook, Illinois.

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All programs are limited capacity and face coverings are required.