P

erhapsthere’saprizedcertificatehangingonthewall
oraglass-frontcasewithaprons,jewelsandmedals

thatyoupassbyeachtimeyouenterthelodgeroom.

Sinceitsfoundingin1975,theNationalHeritageMu-

seuminLexington,MA,hasworkedwithMasonicgroups
toresearchandpreservetheirhistoricobjectsanddocu-
ments.

Thesejointventuresofferimportantbenefitsforboth.

ThroughsitevisitstolodgesandValleysorthroughphoto-
graphssentbymailoremail,themuseumdiscoversarti-
factsthatmayfitourcollecting,researchandexhibition
projectswhiletheMasonicgroupsreceiveexpertadviceon
howtocarefortheseitems,andlearnabouttheirhistory
anduse.

Since1975,over40Valleysandlodgeshavemadegifts

ofobjectsanddocumentstotheNationalHeritageMu-
seumanditsVanGorden-WilliamsLibrary.

Inaddition,numerousValleysandlodgesplacedobjects

onloantothemuseum,sometimesforshort-termexhibi-
tionandsometimesforlonger-termpreservation.

Themuseumtakesseriouslyitsresponsibilitytoassist

Masonicorganizationswiththeirhistoricartifactsanddoc-
uments.

Westrivetodothisinacost-effectiveway.Overthepast

year,themuseumbegantoimplementanewmodelofcol-
laborativeloansandgifts.

Thisarticlehighlightsthreerecentprojects.

FITFORAKING—

KingSolomonGracestheFarr
ConferenceCenter

InlateNovember2006,themuseumwascontactedby
AnnawonLodgeNo.115inWestHaven,CT.Thelodge
hadsolditsbuildingandwasabouttomovetosmaller
quarters.

Whilethemembershadaplanfortheirrecordsandfur-

nishings,oneitemremainedandthesituationwasbecom-
ingdesperate.Thecenterpieceoftheirlodgeroom,alarge
oilportraitofKingSolomonthatwaspresentedin1874,
wastoobigtofittheirnewaccommodations.Annawon
Lodgeaskedthemuseumifthepaintingmightfinda
homeinLexington.

Atapproximatelyninefeethighbyfiveandahalffeet

wide,thiswasarequestthatrequiredsomecarefulconsid-
erationonthepartofthemuseum.

Mostspacesinthebuildingthatcoulddisplayorstore

somethingthislargealreadydid.But,withsomebrain-
storming,togetherwithresearchaboutthepainting’sfasci-
natingstory,museumstaffdevisedaplantohousethe
painting.

Throughanextendedloanagreement,AnnawonLodge

agreedtocontributefundsfortransportingthepaintingto
Lexington,conservingandappraisingthepiece,andbuild-
ingitanewframe.

Inturn,themuseumprovidedprofessionalstafftimeas-

sessing,installingandresearchingthepainting,aswellas
coordinatingwiththelodge,movers,conservatorand
framer.

4

May2008/

TheNorthernLight

W

ByAIMEEE.NEWELL

DoesyourValleyorlodgehave

historicor

antiquetreasures?

TOGETHER

:

SharingTreasures

orking