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The Day We Met Our Rock Stars: The Lod Mosaic Opens in San Francisco April 23

On 14, Apr 2011 | 11 Comments | In Ancient | By man-admin

We shall cut to the proverbial “chase.”

The Lod Mosaic on exhibit at the Legion of Honor this coming Saturday, April 23rd through July 24th  really is “all that” . . .


and much . . .


. . .  much more.

It is glorious.  It is astonishing.  It is humbling.  It is a master work.

How do we know?  Because we’ve spent almost an hour – virtually alone – with it.

 (Photos courtesy Israeli Antiquities Authority)

It was the opportunity of a lifetime and totally unplanned.  Mosaic maker and scholar Lillian Sizemore had invited us to go to the docent orientation being given by Dr. Renee Dreyfus, Curator in Charge, Ancient Art and Interpretation at the Legion yesterday.  Happily, we ran into contemporary mosaic artist Kate Kerrigan in the audience.

We all gasped when Dr. Dreyfus introduced Jacques Negeur and Ghaleb Abu-Diab, the two experts from the Israel Antiquities Authority responsible for the excavation and conservation of the mosaic.

A few self-introductions, shuffling of business cards, gift of a Mosaic Art NOW 2011 and voila, the five of us were in the still-not-open-to-the-public exhibit rooms.  It was intoxicating.  Tears were shed.  And then there was the incredible opportunity to ask Negeur and Abu-Diab questions one-on-one standing right beside the mosaic.

We were surrounded by rock stars and, most wonderful, had the opportunity to thank them for their work.  We are hugely grateful for the generosity of their time, expertise, and good humor.

We have been asked by officials at the Legion to wait until the official Press Preview this coming Thursday to publish our photos of the mosaic and our experience.  We will be good, but it is not easy.

Stay tuned and, by all means, mark your calendars for the events below.  We’re musing on what a MAN event might look like . . .

Exhibit runs April 23 – July 24, Legion of Honor San Francisco

Opening Day Lecture by Lillian Sizemore April 23 – 2:30 – 3:30 pm, Florence Gould Theater

Artist Demonstrations by Lillian Sizemore, April 23, May 14, June 12, July 9 - Noon in the Walter and Phyliss Shorenstein Court

Mosaics, a Lost Art—Rediscovered! May 22 1:00 pm Florence Gould Theater followed by a demonstration at 2:30 pm in Gallery 12.  Mosaic artist Vanessa Somers will lecture on the art of creating a mosaic and will demonstrate the cutting tesserae from marble with traditional tools and assembling them into a picture.

The Lod Mosaic and Its Menagerie: Roman Influence in Local Mosaic Art, April 27 at 7 pm in the Florence Gould Theater.  Miriam Avissar, a senior archaeologist with the IAA and the original excavator of the Lod Mosaic is the guest speaker.

The Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel – Insights and Interpretations on June 25 at 2 pm, Metropolitan Museum of Art curator of Greek and Roman art, Christopher Lightfoot, will give the FAMSF Ancient Art Lecture.

Previous MAN Posts on the Lod Mosaic:

Roman Rock Star Begins US Tour
The Lod Mosaic at the Metropolitan Museum of Art 
“We feel the continuity of generations here”: 1700 year old footprints of Roman mosaic artisans found
Lod Mosaic Uncovered

Enjoy ––  Nancie

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  1. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Injy, if you would like, why don't you contact me at and maybe I can come up with some ideas on your papers. Looking forward to hearing from you.

  2. Injy Shediac Shami

    I really enjoyed the exhibit as well and happy to hear of others who share my interests.I wrote two papers on the mosaics of Khirbet al Mafjar north of Jericho. Interested in publishing them. Any ideas on whom I should talk to?

  3. George

    Can't wait to hear/see more – you luckies, you! But you've also been laying some great groundwork for this climax! Thanks SO much.

  4. Nirit Keren

    I got the cahnce to see this mosaic on the original location in Lod before they removed it for restoration. It is amazing!!!! probebly more amazing now after the proes of the Israeli Antique Othority are done with the restoration!

  5. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Maureen, it was fascinating to see the "blueprints" for laying out the mosaic. I've got so many photos and more to tell. After Thursday!

  6. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Paul, I was glad I remembered my Kleenex. Wait till you see the plans for the museum they're building. They saved everything and it is going to be displayed beautifully.

  7. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    So sorry, Lillian — I'll correct that lecture start time immediately!

  8. concretenprimroses

    Incredible. Wish I could go to SF to see it.

  9. Maureen

    I just finished reading a newspaper piece about moving the mosaic across the country. It's just marvelous we can see this masterpiece.

  10. sfmosaic

    Hi Nancie GREAT post! it was a treat to get a behind the scenes peek. the lecture on opening day is 2:30- 3:30 PM, (not noon) in the Florence Gould Theatre. It's FREE after museum admission.
    Thanks for listing!!

  11. Paul Anater

    Isn't it spectacular? It made me weep like a child too. Talk about holding hands with the ancients!

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