Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the American Folk Art Museum
Huth, Boeing, Salmon and Haws Galleries
April 2 – June 18, 2023
Reason Bell Crafft (1812–1873), Masonic Master Mason Apron, 1855–1865, ink, paint, and gold paint on leather, with silk binding, Collection of the American Folk Art Museum, New York, Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel, Photo by José Andrés Ramírez
Artist unidentified, Independent Order of Odd Fellows Sword with Scales, 1850–1900, paint and gold leaf on wood, with metal, Collection of the American Folk Art Museum, New York, Gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel, Photo by José Andrés Ramírez
The mystique of secret societies, with their cryptic signs, gestures, and arcane rituals, has been embedded in our American experience since the early 18th century. Before the age of mass production, artists who painted a portrait or embellished a piece of furniture might have also decorated a parade banner, an apron, symbols on a chart, or a backdrop for a fraternal lodge. More importantly, he or she encoded the ideals of fellowship, labor, charity, passage, and wisdom – the core of fraternal teachings – into the many forms associated with fraternal practice. The iconic art and objects showcased in Mystery and Benevolence relate the tenets of fraternal belief through a potent blend of highly charged imagery, form, and meaning. The exhibition explores the fascinating visual landscape of fraternal culture through almost 200 works of art comprising a major gift to the American Folk Art Museum from the Kendra and Allan Daniel Collection. Organized by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.
Secret Society Scavenger Hunt Thursday, June 8 | 5 – 8 p.m. during $5 After 5
Explore the galleries and complete a scavenger hunt of Mystery and Benevolence: Masonic and Odd Fellows Folk Art from the American Folk Art Museum. Register your team ahead of the event and submit your clue entries by tagging the Museum on social media. Click here to register and read the guidelines.
Mystery and Benevolence Presentation Thursday, June 15 | 5:30 – 6:15 p.m. during $5 After 5
Michael Feld, Chairman of the Grand Lodge of Alabama Free and Accepted Masons Public Relations and Education Committee, will lead a presentation entitled Origins and Explanation of Masonic Ritual and Symbols in the Great Hall.
Alabama State Council on the Arts
The Huntsville Museum of Art of Guild