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segunda-feira, 19 de abril de 2010

The Initiated Eye

The city plan of Washington, D.C.—with its radiating avenues and circles overlaying a grid pattern of right angled streets—presents daily challenges to visitors and residents alike as they navigate between the monuments and buildings that symbolize our national capital. But the circles, squares, angles, and architecture in the Federal city hold a far deeper symbolism for the Freemasons from the time of George Washington to the present day. “The Initiated Eye: Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry and the Architecture of Washington, D.C.,” on view at the National Heritage Museum from December 19, 2009 through January 9, 2011, is a fascinating exhibition that explores the Masonic ideals and symbols made manifest in our nation’s capital city.
“The Initiated Eye” presents 21 extraordinary oil paintings by artist Peter Waddell based on the architecture of Washington, D.C., and the role that our founding fathers and prominent citizens—many of whom were Freemasons—played in establishing the layout, design and construction of the city. Through the paintings on view, the exhibition portrays an unprecedented view into the world of Freemasonry, and through historical events, activities, ceremonies, and special gatherings carefully explains and demystifies Freemasonry for the public. The paintings often depict objects associated with Freemasonry that were carefully selected from local lodges to provide a context and richness to illustrate the many historical collections related to our nation’s heritage held in trust by the Freemasons. Waddell created the paintings through extensive research, and in collaboration with a Masonic advisory committee. Fans of the recent Dan Brown book, The Lost Symbol, will recognize in the paintings a number of the places and events depicted in the novel, including the House of the Temple, the cornerstone laying at the Capitol, the Smithsonian Institution, the Shrine Temple, the Franklin School, and the Washington Monument. Approximately 40 Masonic artifacts from the National Heritage Museum collection further enrich the exhibition.