New Book | Freemasonry and the Visual Arts

Posted in books by Editor on October 19, 2020

From Routledge:

Reva Wolf and Alisa Luxenberg, eds., Freemasonry and the Visual Arts from the Eighteenth Century Forward: Historical and Global Perspectives (London: Bloomsbury Visual Arts, 2020), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-1501337963 (hardback), $120 / ISBN: 978-1501366925 (paperback), $35.

With the dramatic rise of Freemasonry in the eighteenth century, art played a fundamental role in its practice, rhetoric, and global dissemination, while Freemasonry, in turn, directly influenced developments in art. This mutually enhancing relationship has only recently begun to receive its due. The vilification of Masons, and their own secretive practices, have hampered critical study and interpretation. As perceptions change, and as masonic archives and institutions begin opening to the public, the time is ripe for a fresh consideration of the interconnections between Freemasonry and the visual arts. This volume offers diverse approaches, and explores the challenges inherent to the subject, through a series of eye-opening case studies that reveal new dimensions of well-known artists such as Francisco de Goya and John Singleton Copley, and important collectors and entrepreneurs, including Arturo Alfonso Schomburg and Baron Taylor. Individual essays take readers to various countries within Europe and to America, Iran, India, and Haiti. The kinds of art analyzed are remarkably wide-ranging-porcelain, architecture, posters, prints, photography, painting, sculpture, metalwork, and more-and offer a clear picture of the international scope of the relationships between Freemasonry and art and their significance for the history of modern social life, politics, and spiritual practices. In examining this topic broadly yet deeply, Freemasonry and the Visual Arts sets a standard for serious study of the subject and suggests new avenues of investigation in this fascinating emerging field.

Reva Wolf is Professor of Art History, State University of New York at New Paltz. Alisa Luxenberg is Professor of Art History, University of Georgia.


List of illustrations

Reva Wolf and Alisa Luxenberg, Introduction: The Mystery of Masonry Brought to Light
1  David Martín López, Freemasonry in Eighteenth-Century Portugal and the Architectural Projects of the Marquis of Pombal
2  Cordula Bischoff, The Order of the Pug and Meissen Porcelain: Myth and History
3  Reva Wolf, Goya and Freemasonry: Travels, Letters, Friends
4  David Bjelajac, Freemasonry’s ‘Living Stones’ and the Boston Portraiture of John Singleton Copley
5  Nan Wolverton, The Visual Arts of Freemasonry as Practiced ‘Within the Compass of Good Citizens’ by Paul Revere
6  Alisa Luxenberg, Building Codes for Masonic Viewers in Baron Taylor’s Voyages pittoresques et romantiques dans l’ancienne France
7  Talinn Grigor, Freemasonry and the Architecture of the Persian Revival, 1843–1933
8  William D. Moore, Solomon’s Temple in America: Masonic Architecture, Biblical Imagery, and Popular Culture, 1865–1930
9  Martin Cherry, Freemasonry and the Art Workers’ Guild: The Arts Lodge No. 2751, 1899–1935
10  Cheryl Finley and Deborah Willis, Picturing Black Freemasons from Emancipation to the 1990s
11  Katherine Smith, Saint Jean Baptiste, Haitian Vodou, and the Masonic Imaginary

Selected Bibliography


%d bloggers like this: