Freemasonry in Focus
August 29, 2014
Starting Sept. 11, visitors to the National Museum in Warsaw will have a chance to see a new exhibition about Freemasonry, the most comprehensive overview of the subject ever presented in Poland.
The exhibition, tracing the impact Freemasonry has had on politics, art and society over the centuries, aims to answer questions such as: What is Freemasonry? What are its rules and forms of activity? How does it figure in social life? Does it function openly or—as many believe—in secret? And finally, what is the meaning of its initiation ritual?
The exhibition portrays Freemasonry as a voluntary, organized movement of free and independent people working towards the common good of the community and country. The subject of Freemasonry’s public activity will be examined through the contributions that its members have made to Polish history.
The exhibition gathers nearly 500 objects ranging from items connected with Masonic rituals (aprons, collars, mallets, lodge officers’ insignias and decorations, feast chalices and seals) to documents, books, graphic art, fine art addressing Masonic activity and an assortment of portraits of Polish Freemasons.
While most of the objects were sourced from the collections of the National Museum in Warsaw, the exhibition also features some noteworthy pieces on loan from other Polish institutions and private collections. Among the paintings is Marcello Bacciarelli’s 1793 Portrait of Stanislaus Augustus with an Hourglass, which depicts the Polish king surrounded by objects bearing a Masonic significance on top of their ordinary symbolism.
This showcase of objects related to Freemasonry is supplemented with multimedia presentations offering an insight into Masonic rituals and symbols.
Until Jan. 11, 2015
National Museum in Warsaw; 3 Jerozolimskie Ave.