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Masonic Master Mason Apron
1850-1870
Unidentified
USA
paint on silk; cotton; bullion
overall: 18-1/2"h x 20-1/2"w
Gift of David B. Richardson
96.002.2

Masonic Master Mason apron with rounded body and rounded flap; white silk edged with blue silk and bullion fringe, shorter fringe on top, longer fringe on bottom; flap: painted all-seeing eye, sun and moon and seven stars; apron: painted with three-step platform with altar, Bible, square and compasses, gilded painted columns left and right, gilded painted five-pointed star at top; sky, mountains, ark and men climbing in background; various symbols, bottom front: casket, spade, pick, and sprig of acacia; backed with white linen.


The colors employed in the decoration of this apron, especially in the land and sky surrounding the arrangement of Masonic symbols, suggest that the artist who painted this apron was informed by a popular form of printing that emerged in the mid-1800s. The palette selected for the painting on this apron is similar to the one used in chromolithographs. An example of a Masonic chart printed using chromolithography is displayed nearby. “The Badge of a Freemason: Masonic Aprons from the Collection,” March 2016-March 2017