Visitors have commented on the striking image at the entrance to our newest exhibition “The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Collection.” The exhibition will be on view through March 25, 2017. This image of an arch, the letter G, a mosaic pavement, three candlesticks and an open Bible with a square and compasses was taken from an engraved Master Mason’s apron made in the United States between 1815 and 1830. This apron is pictured below. Images of columns from the same apron also ornament the walls in the exhibition. You can learn more about this apron, as well as other aprons on view in the exhibition, in The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library by Aimee E. Newell, the Museum’s Director of Collections.
Reproduced at over thirteen times its original size, the image clearly shows some of the intriguing details visitors can see on aprons in the exhibition. These details include finely delineated engravings of Masonic symbols, glittering gold paint highlighting elements of the design and hand-inked details.
The exhibition features over 50 Masonic aprons dating from the 1700s through the 1900s as well as related artifacts from the Museum’s rich collection, such as tracing boards, books, regalia catalogs, prints and photographs. Visitors to the exhibition will have the opportunity to learn about the history, symbolism and workmanship behind Masonic aprons as well as the intriguing stories of the people who made and wore them.
Interested in deepening your knowledge of historic aprons? Be sure to read some of our recent posts about aprons. You can also attend gallery talks in the exhibition. For an in-depth look, order your own copy of The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library, published by the Museum & Library. It is available for $39.95 plus shipping and tax (if applicable) at www.scottishritenmj.org/shop. The book is also on sale at the Museum.