In the Aquarelles from 1809 a Master Mason represented the Ceremonies of the meetings of Freemasons for reception of Entered Apprentices and admissions of Master Masons. The Masterpieces were published by Thomas Palser between 1809 and 1812 in beautiful Album. This Masonic Art work will be presented at the General Exhibition of Apollo Festival – 2018 at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. The Festival is the Second World Celebration of Symbolic and Masonic Arts and Culture.
What deserves to be in the esteemed category of “Masonic Art”?
The Association of Masonic Arts takes a broad yet principled position in relation to what constitutes a Masonic Art. Because the Craft has a distinguished history reaching back to Operative Masonic times, so rich in religious symbolism, quite a bit of artistic imagery fits within the Masonic bailiwick. The AMA considers that many hallowed works of art, architecture, music, and literature have a possibly Masonic relationship in their genesis.
Though the basis for distinguishing these matters ultimately lies in verifiable scholarship, there seems to be no reason for not generally adopting a very expansive view of what lies under the classification of Masonic Arts. The general protocol of this expansive view being that in some way or other the artist intended to depict or inspire a Masonic theme with the work. This means that only those works which intend and manifest a sincere respect for deep Masonic convictions, in their use of Masonic symbols or themes, are eligible to be included as Masonic Arts . With this proviso we can present a very inclusive précis of what is included in the category:
- All works of visual and plastic arts, music, drama, literature, and architecture created by Brother Masons to depict or evoke Masonic themes or symbols.
- All “ornaments of the Lodge” and regalia, jewels, and ritual implements made with bespoke Masonic intention for ritual.
- Any historical design or motif that can plausibly be connected with Operative Masonry.
- Works of fine art or artisan objects created by non-Masons with a good- faith intent to depict something sincerely evoking the goals of the Craft using Masonic symbols or ideation. (N.B. All works that use Masonic symbols for purely ironic, malicious, instrumental purposes (as mere graphic motifs or design tendencies, in other words) are completely excluded. Such works can rightly be called “Pseudo-Masonic,” particularly if the claim some relation to Masonic symbolism.
- All forms and acted attributes used in the performance of Masonic Degrees.