astAugusttheScottishRiteMasonic
MuseumandLibraryplayedhostto
hundredsofvisitorswhowereinBostonto

attendthe2009AnnualMeeting.ManyScottish
Ritememberstoldusthattheywerevisitingforthe
firsttimeandexpressedgreatpleasureatour
beautifulbuilding,stunningexhibitionsandexciting
collections.Whilewearealwayshappytomeetour
ScottishRitevisitorsfacetofacehereinLexington,
wearealsosteppingupeffortstomeetmembers
online,onthephoneandinprint.

In2009,membersofthemuseumstaffwrote

articlesthatappearedinmorethansevendifferent
periodicals,aswellasthemuseum’snewsletterand
TheNorthernLight.Thesearticles,highlighting
museumobjectsandfraternalhistory,always
introducethemuseumtothosewhomaynotbe
familiarwithitandofferinformationabouthowto
contactuswithquestions.In2009,asineveryyear,
weprovidedphotographsofmuseumobjectsfor
severalforthcomingbooksandarticles.Staff
travelednearandfartopresenttalks.These
presentationstookplaceascloseasWoburn,MA,
andasfarawayasEdinburgh,Scotland.And,over
thecourseofthepastyear,curatorialandlibrary
staffansweredmorethan400inquiriesbyphone,
emailandinperson.

Despiteoursuccesswiththeseactivities,weseek

toofferevenmoreinformationandservicetoour
visitors–nearandfar,onsiteandonline.Recently,
thestaffunveiledseveralnewinitiatives,andmade
progressonsomeongoingprojects,tohelpraisethe
visibilityofourcollectionandtomakeourresources
knownthroughouttheworld.Oneofthemost
frequentquestionswereceiveisaboutmakingmore
ofourobjectcollectionavailableovertheweb.And,
wenowhaveawaytodojustthat.Forseveral
years,wehadabout100collectionobjectsaccessible

onourwebsite(www.nationalheritagemuseum.org)
togivebrowsersatasteofthekindsofthingsthey
mightseeonavisit,ortoexplore,learningmore
aboutFreemasonryorcomparingthemtoantiques
intheirownlodgeorhome.

Withnewtechnologywecannowmakemany

moreobjectrecordsavailableonline.Lastfall,we
beganbytransferringtheformer“treasures,”along
withsomerecentacquisitions,andaselectionof
favoritesfromourarchivescollection.

Oneofthenewitemsaddedonlineisarecent

acquisition—awoodenboxpaintedwithMasonic
symbolsbyNathanNegus(1801-25),whowasan
artist’sapprenticeinBoston.NathanNeguswas
borninPetersham,MA,in1801.Atage13,in
1814,hewenttoBoston,firststudyingwithartist
EthanAllenGreenwood(1779-1856),andthen
becominganapprenticetodecorativepainterJohn
RittoPenniman(1782-1841),whowasamemberof
Boston’sSt.John’sLodge.Negusendedhis
apprenticeshipin1820andtraveledasanitinerant
painterinthesouthfrom1821-25.Whenhe

4

February2010/

TheNorthernLight

ByAIMEEE.NEWELL

ToYou

L

BringingtheMuseum

ScottishRiteMasonicMuseum
andLibrary,Lexington,MA.