Mosaic Master Isaiah Zagar of Philadelphia's Magic Gardens Turns 75

Mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar in his studio at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens
Mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar in his studio at Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

Isaiah Zagar is an art world legend, one of the innovators of the mosaic mural form whose works have been included in the permanent collections of several East Coast museums as well as the 2008 documentary, In a Dream. Isaiah and Julia Zagar’s Magic Gardens at 1020 South Street in Philadelphia is made up almost entirely of Isaiah’s mosaics and is a sight-seeing landmark. Last Sunday at the Magic Gardens, Zagar celebrated his 75th birthday with an open studio tour.

Whether you live in Philadelphia or just happen to be passing through as a tourist, you can’t help but bump into Zagar’s mosaics - grand murals of broken plates, cracked tiles, busted pottery and all manner of personal ephemera. For his unique style, Zagar has been awarded space in the permanent collections of Washington, D.C.’s Hirshhorn Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art.

On Sunday, March 16, Zagar celebrated his 75th birthday, working and greeting well-wishers in his second-floor studio space at the Magic Gardens. If you didn’t get a chance to catch him on his birthday, you can usually find Zagar either there at his South Street studio, or run into him as he works on mosaics for local homes and businesses. You can learn more about Zagar's work at

Photo by Nikki Miller via Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

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Posted on Wednesday, March 19, 2014