Volume LIVFebruary 2007Number 1

"The Initiated Eye" Now on Display
Exhibit featuring Masonic symbols within our nation's
capital showing through March at the Masonic Temple
by Glenys Waldman, Librarian, The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania

A Vision Unfolds

The exhibition, "The Initiated Eye: Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry and the Architecture of Washington D.C.," has been lent to the Masonic Temple by the Octagon, the Museum of the American Architectural Foundation, in Washington, D.C. "The Initiated Eye" consists of paintings by Peter Waddell, which are now decorating the south hallway of the Temple in Philadelphia. They will remain here until the end of March 2007.

Waddell's paintings illustrate the Masonic ideals and designs as depicted in the geometrical layout of our nation's capital. This theme is nicely complemented by the architecture of our National Historic Landmark, the Masonic Temple, whose every lodge hall, corridor and staircase bespeak the lofty ideals of the oldest and largest fraternity. In addition, the Temple is set in the center of an equally geometrically laid-out city: a simple grid overlaid by a few diagonal streets. It was in Philadelphia that the first Grand Lodge was formed in 1731 and where our Founding Fathers, many of whom were Freemasons, declared independence, guided the Revolution and drafted the Constitution. It was from Philadelphia that the new Federal Government moved its seat to Washington, D.C., which was considered a more central location for the capital of a growing, young country.

Born in 1955, Peter Waddell, a native of New Zealand, has been a U.S. citizen since 2003. His specialty is painting images of historic places showing the people and artifacts as they were in the hey-day of the particular place or building - in other words, "being lived in." Waddell ensures historical accuracy by studying both written accounts of the period and material evidence. Artist in residence at the Tudor Place Historic House and Garden in the Georgetown section of our nation's capital, Waddell has exhibited frequently and has done paintings for Mount Vernon, as well as other historic mansions in Virginia and Maryland.

The Octagon, the Museum of the American Architectural Foundation (AAF), is a nationally recognized museum of architecture and design located two blocks from the White House. One of Washington, D.C.'s earliest residences, the building is a National Historic Landmark (1960) and is accredited by the American Association of Museums (1973). The Octagon's mission is to educate the public about architecture, design, historic preservation and stewardship of our architectural heritage. These goals are accomplished through onsite exhibitions, traveling exhibitions, collections and a wide variety of creative public programs.

To learn more and see the pictures online, visit www.peterwaddell.com/initiated.html. A catalogue of "The Initiated Eye" exhibit is for sale through the Masonic Temple Gift Shop for $10.

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