Volume LIIINovember 2006Number 4

Freemasonry's Mark on Our Capital

Many of America's historical iconic buildings, located in Washington, D.C., correlate with freedom, liberty and a history rich in Freemasonry. Artist Peter Waddell has captured Freemasons' symbols incorporated in some of America's most famous architecture, as well as the layout of our nation's capital, in a series of 21 paintings.

The Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania will showcase his collection, titled "The Initiated Eye: Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry, and the Architecture of Washington, D.C.," courtesy of the Grand Lodge of Washington, D.C. This is the start of a nationwide tour for the exhibit.

Such examples of Masonic symbolism in the artwork include Bro. George Washington wearing his Masonic apron on his way to lay the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol; the cornerstone laying of the Washington Monument; and the reconstruction of the White House, where Masonic marks were discovered on foundation stones. If one looks carefully, symbolism can be found in every picture.

The layout of the streets around the National Mall is believed to be derived from the Masonic square and compasses design. The city is also made of several geometrical forms including circles, rectangles and right angles. The Mason's Enlightenment thinking is even evident in the decision to locate the U.S. Capitol on the highest hill in the city.

The exhibition is intended to reveal the role Freemasons had in our nation's architectural history and provide a new perspective on significant historic events.

The paintings were on display at The Octagon, a historic museum located in one of the oldest houses in Washington, D.C., in 2005. A group of Masons worked with Waddell to ensure the accuracy of the subjects and symbols.

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