‘Every Variety of Painting for Lodges’: Decorated Furniture, Paintings, and Ritual Objects from the Collection

Masonic Armchair, 1780-1800. England or France. Collection of the Grand Lodge of Masons in MA, GL2004.0793. Photograph by David Bohl.

Tracing Board, 1863. MA. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library Gift of Trinity Lodge, A.F. & A.M., Clinton, MA, 97.007.1. Photograph by David Bohl.

Bowl, 1906.  Hugo A. Possner (1859-1937), Waterbury, CT. Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library Gift of Clark Commandery No. 7, Knights Templar, Waterbury, CT, 92.034a-b.  Photograph by David Bohl.

Every Variety of Painting for Lodges’: Decorated Furniture, Paintings and Ritual Objects from the Collection
Through January 2, 2016

“’Every Variety of Painting for Lodges’: Decorated Furniture, Paintings and Ritual Objects from the Collection” draws on one of the strengths of the collection, Masonic decorative arts created in the 1800s.

Featuring over fifty different paintings, watercolor sketches and illustrated archival material — as well as painted Masonic aprons and decorated furniture — this exhibition explores the ways Masons have expressed their involvement with the fraternity. The first section of the exhibition looks at some of the kinds of paintings and decorated furniture craftsman produced for Masonic lodges in the 1800s and will feature ritual objects, painted furniture and tracing boards, including a tracing board made for Trinity Lodge in Clinton, Massachusetts in 1863. Brothers there used this tracing board to instruct new members about different Masonic symbols’ meaning and uses. Lodge records show that in 1863 members had decided to procure a new tracing board and appointed a committee to undertake the task. Committee member Levi Green commissioned