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Et cetera

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The Return of the Mosaic Atlas

On 29, Jan 2012 | 6 Comments | In Et cetera | By man-admin


There is very good news for mosaic lovers around the world today.  The is back.  Thanks to the very large heart of John O’Brien and the technical wizardry of Allan Punton, this online resource is alive and well. began as a twinkle in the eye of O’Brien almost ten years ago. The UK-based mosaic artist and former president of the British Association for Modern Mosaics thought that it would be an excellent idea to have a place on the internet where people could share photos of public mosaics and have those photos cataloged by geography – creating, in essence, a “mosaic atlas.”

If you were planning a trip to a new country, you could check to see if there were mosaics in your destination to include in your itinerary.  Even if you weren’t traveling, a mosaic atlas would be a great place to find mosaic inspiration and help you daydream of faraway places.

During a mosaic conference in 2005, O’Brien infected MAN founder and MosaicRocks entrepreneur Bill Buckingham with the idea and Buckingham, who had the technical skills to make it so, soon had up and running.

Buckingham continued to maintain and update until 2009, when his battle with prostate cancer required that he put the project on hold.  At that time contained:

  • 3814 Mosaics from
  • 75 Countries and
  • 616 Locations submitted by
  • 305 Contributors

With Buckingham’s death in 2010, Michael Welch, Buckingham’s partner in business and life, gave the website domain to O’Brien.

O’Brien says it’s time now to expand the database: is now open again for additions.  Please share your mosaic discoveries with the rest of the world by uploading them to the atlas.  At the very least, make sure your hometown is represented – take a photo of a local mosaic and submit it!

We think it important to note that exists solely because two of the art form’s most ardent enthusiasts, John O’Brien and Bill Buckingham, volunteered their time, money and expertise to make it happen.  It is a lovely, lovely gift to the world at large.

John O’Brien


Bill Buckingham

Thank you, John.  Sweet dreams, Bill.


To upload photos, go to and click on Contribute A Photo.

Share this article


  1. Nancie Mills Pipgras

    Thanks for the comments, all. Now, go and upload something wonderful! Lori, I love that photo of Bill, too. It makes me wonder what kind of mischief he got into in Venice. cheers!

  2. Concetta


  3. Lori

    Great news! Love the picture of Bill!

  4. Maureen


  5. Julie Richey

    Oh, this is so perfect. As the Finest and Most Entertaining Mosaic Tour Guide in All of London, John O'Brien is the perfect person to herd these cats. And I'm sure there are plenty of public art cats in mosaic too, right? Mostly Big Cats. Big ancient Roman marble cats taking down stags and elephants and such. Cheers, John! And thank you, Michael, for continuing the legacy.

  6. Wentan

    Great news!! This was and will be again … a wonderful resource for lovers of mosaics like me, who enjoy seeking them out almost as much as I enjoy stumbling upon them by accident. Many thanks to all for keeping the dream alive!!!
    Wendy Tanner, Australia

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