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July 2017

New to the Collection: Butterfly Wing Picture Made for Harry Lindquist

Picture Made for Karl Harry Lindquist, ca. 1948. Aliwu, Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. Museum Purchase, 2017.001. Photograph by David Bohl.

One of our most commented on blog posts in past years discussed a tray decorated with Masonic symbols formed out of butterfly wings.  We are excited to have just added another butterfly wing picture that displays several Masonic symbols to the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library collection.   

Colorful souvenirs decorated with iridescent butterfly wings and reverse painting on glass—often sold in Brazil or Buenos Aires—enjoyed popularity from the 1920s through the 1950s.  Craftsmen assembled this custom-made butterfly wing picture for traveler Karl Harry Lindquist (1909-1985), probably in 1948.  The sixteen by twenty-two inch framed picture combines information about Lindquist’s Masonic affiliations with two pictures of stylized Brazilian scenes.  The craftsmen who put this work together used blue, pink and yellow butterfly wings to give color to lettering, some symbols and the borders between the different elements.

Lindquist, as noted on the picture, belonged to Paul Revere Lodge #462 in San Francisco, as well as the Islam Shrine, located in the same city. Membership records at the Grand Lodge of California document that Karl Harry Lindquist joined Paul Revere Lodge in 1944.  Lindquist received degrees in the Scottish Rite in San Francisco in 1945.  Symbols of different bodies in the Scottish Rite are portrayed on the picture in butterfly wings and in black, yellow, white, red and green paint. 

Born in Sweden, Karl Harry Lindquist immigrated to the United States as a young man in 1929.  Early in his career he worked as a seaman, ship’s cook and steward.  Over time he lived in New York, San Francisco and New Jersey.  He became an American citizen and eventually married.  Intriguingly, as logged on passenger lists and in immigration records, in 1948 Lindquist traveled to Rio de Janerio two times.  He went in July, working as a merchant, and again in September, working as a representative.  The picture’s maker marked it on the back: Aliwu, Rio.  Lindquist likely commissioned this picture celebrating his involvement in Freemasonry on one of his 1948 journeys.

Many thanks to Jason Harding, Grand Lodge of California, and Larissa Watkins, Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, SJ, USA.


Digital Collections Highlight: 1760 Masonic Lodge Summons

A1993_076_DS_webThe Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives Digital Collections website contains a rich collection of digitized documents from the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. Among these items is an engraved lodge summons (pictured at left), printed in 1760. Henry Dawkins (c. 1735-c.1790) engraved this summons, which was sent to members of Philadelphia's Lodge No. 2, Ancient York Masons. This summons, or invitation, was circulated on May 13, 1760, to inform members of the lodge that a meeting was to take place at the house of Brother James Bell. Richard McNeall, who had been appointed Secretary of the lodge at its March 11, 1760 meeting, signed the summons in the lower left hand corner.

Dawkins, who engraved the summons, was a Freemason who was raised in Philadelphia's Lodge No. 1, Ancient York Masons, on September 11, 1759. The following year, Lodge No. 1 was renumbered to Lodge No. 2 and, at the time of this summons, Dawkins was still a member of the lodge. James Bell, at whose house the May 1760 took place, was raised a Master Mason in Lodge No. 2 in January 1760.

Interested in viewing more early printed Masonic documents or taking a closer look at this 1760 summons? Visit the Van Gorden-Williams Library & Archives Digital Collections website, which provides access to images of a diverse selection of documents in the collection, including a 1768 summons engraved by Paul Revere.


Fraternal Bomber Jackets

Degree of Pocahontas Jacket, 1980s. The Ltd., United States. Museum Purchase, 2017.009.

The Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library recently acquired two bomber jackets embroidered with emblems for the fraternal group, Degree of Pocahontas and Improved Order of Red Men.The Degree of Pocahontas, also known as the Daughters of Pocahontas, is an American women’s fraternal auxiliary group founded in 1885 and associated with The Improved Order of Red Men. The Improved Order of Red Men officially formed in 1834 in Baltimore, Maryland with three basic tenets: Freedom, Friendship, and Charity.

The group’s national office and museum is currently located in Waco, Texas.  Today there are 11,000 Order of Red Men members and 5,500 Degree of Pocahontas members, in the United States. Both groups use names, regalia, and paraphernalia modeled after generalized ideas of American Indian culture. According to fraternal histories, members established these groups “with the express purpose of increasing patriotism, encouraging love of the flag, and maintaining the customs and legends of a once vanishing race.”   The organizations identify local chapters as “tribes,” states as “hunting grounds” and “reservations,” and officers as “Keepers of Wampum” and “Chiefs.” 

Improved Order of Red Men Jacket, 1980s. English Creek Sportswear, United States. Museum Purchase, 2017.010.

According to collectors’ notes, a since closed sporting goods store in New Jersey sold these jackets in the 1980s. The red Order of Red Men jacket also features the embroidered names of a chapter and city—the Pohatcong Tribe 61 in Tuckerton, New Jersey. Chartered in 1884, Pohatcong Tribe 61 still meets today, as does the Degree of Pocahontas Ptesan-Wi Council No. 1, also located in Tuckerton. We are currently researching the sporting goods store that sold the jackets, when they were sold, and if members of the Ptesan-Wi Council No.1 and Pohatcong Tribe 61 purchased or wore jackets like this one. If you have any ideas, please let us know in the comments section below.

To learn more about other Improved Order of Red Men items in our collection visit our previous blog.


Many thanks to David Lintz, Executive Director, Improved Order of Red Men Museum and Library, Waco, Texas.



Alvin Schmidt, Fraternal Organizations Greenwood Encyclopedia of American Institutions (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1980), 287-289

Robert E. Davis, History Improved Order of Red Men (Waco, Texas: Davis Brothers Publishing Co., Inc., 1988) 24, 40.

George W. Lindsay, Official history of the Improved Order of Red Men (Boston, MA: Fraternity Pub. Co., 1893) 618.