Thursday, June 29, 2017

‘Guggenheim to exhibit Symbolist art of the Rose+Croix salons’

Here is an edition of The Magpie Mason from nine months ago. The exhibit will open tomorrow.

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum will present about 40 works of Symbolist art first presented in fin de siècle Paris in Sar Péladan’s annual Rosicrucian salons. Péladan founded his own idiomatic system of Rosicrucian thought (don’t we all), and the art he cultivated in his Rose+Croix salons drew deeply from Christianity and Greek mythology, among other sources, to breathe some shock and awe spirituality into the Paris art scene, which was dominated by Realism at that time.

The exhibit will be open from June 30 through October 4, 2017. Then the collection will go to Venice to be shown in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection from October 27, 2017 through January 7, 2018.

From the publicity:

Mystical Symbolism:
The Salon de la Rose+Croix
in Paris, 1892-1897

In 1892, Joséphin Péladan (1859-1918), a Rosicrucian, self-proclaimed high priest of the occult, author, and critic, organized the first Salon de la Rose+Croix. This annual exhibition in Paris showcased mystical Symbolist art, particularly a hermetic, numinous vein of Symbolism that was favored by Péladan and dominant during the 1890s, a time when religious and occult practices often intertwined. Mysterious, visionary, and mythical subjects, often drawn from literary sources, prevailed in the art at the salons.

Orpheus Death by Jean Delville, 1893.

Images of femmes fragiles and fatales, androgynous creatures, chimeras, and incubi were the norm, as were sinuous lines, attenuated figures, and anti-naturalistic forms. Cosmopolitan in reach, the salons featured artists from Belgium, Finland, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Spain, and Switzerland, such as Antoine Bourdelle, Jean Delville, Rogelio de Egusquiza, Charles Filiger, Ferdinand Hodler, Fernand Khnopff, Alphonse Osbert, Armand Point, Gaetano Previati, Georges Rouault, Carlos Schwabe, Alexandre Séon, Jan Toorop, Ville Vallgren, and Félix Vallotton.

“Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892-1897” will capture a fascinating, transnational cross section of artists—some well known, others less so—and invite a fresh look at and new scholarship on late 19th century Symbolist art. Organized by Vivien Greene, Senior Curator, 19th- and Early 20th-Century Art, with the assistance of Ylinka Barotto, Curatorial Assistant, “Mystical Symbolism” will feature about 40 works culled from the six Salon de la Rose+Croix exhibitions, as well as pertinent historical documents. A musical component with pieces by Erik Satie and others will complement the presentation and underscore how composers played key roles in the development of the movement. The exhibition will highlight central artworks shown at each salon in order to tease out themes such as the role of Orpheus, the adulation of the Primitives, and the cult of personality that developed around figures including Richard Wagner and Péladan himself. These carefully chosen works and groupings, in turn, will allow for an in-depth exploration of the diverse and sometimes opposing concepts that informed Symbolism in the 1890s.

A fully illustrated catalogue will comprise essays on the salon and its main themes (Greene); the contemporary reception of the salon (Jean-David Jumeau-Lafond, independent scholar); and the connections between Symbolists tenets and those of early 20th century avant-garde artists (Kenneth Silver, Professor of Art History, New York University). It will also contain a selected bibliography and artist entries authored by emerging scholars.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

‘If we’re all pretty lucky, we’ll wind up in Kentucky’

It is just about two months away. The Masonic Society’s 2017 Conference in Lexington, Kentucky awaits you September 7 through 10. An amazing group of speakers will discuss “Centuries of American Freemasonry: 1717-2017, Our Past, Our Present, Our Future.

This brochure tells the tale. Click here to register. Click here for hotel accommodations.

 Click to enlarge.

Congratulations to John Bizzack for putting this together! I believe this event will become the benchmark for future TMS conferences. Hope to see you there.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

'The Magic Flute on the radio today'

I really wish I had something profound and original to write today on this 300th anniversary of the public debut in London of Freemasonry's first Grand Lodge of England, but I do not. (I had submitted a brief historical essay on the subject to the New York Times' Op-Ed Page, but to no avail.)

But here is some news from WQXR: the classical music radio station (formerly owned by the Times) will broadcast Mozart's Masonic opera The Magic Flute at 1 p.m. in its "Saturday at the Opera" series. This is the Lyric Opera of Chicago production.

Coincidence or international Masonic conspiracy? You decide!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

‘The Persecution of Freemasonry’

Magpie file photo
For the first time in a long time, a brother Freemason will present a lecture on Freemasonry at Fraunces Tavern. (I think I was the last one to do so, and that was more than five years ago. Although that was upstairs in the museum.)

Bro. Christopher Maldanado, of Continental Lodge 287 in the Fifth Manhattan District, will discuss “The Persecution of Freemasonry in a Global and Historical Context” on Friday, July 7. Cocktails at six and the program will begin at seven o’clock.

Fraunces of course is located at 54 Pearl Street. Cost per person is only $65, which covers your dinner, wine/beer, soft drinks, and the gratuity.

The event is open to all Masons and to those interested in joining a Masonic lodge. Seating is limited, so your reservation is required no later than June 30. Click here to do that.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

‘Freemasonry and the Underground Railroad’

Upcoming lecture. From the publicity:

Moises Gomez
The Chancellor Robert R. Livingston Masonic Library of the Grand Lodge of New York will welcome RW Moises Gomez, Past Master of Atlas-Pythagoras Lodge 10 in New Jersey, to present a lecture on “Freemasonry and the Underground Railroad.” Thursday, June 29 at 6:30 p.m. at Masonic Hall (71 West 23rd Street in Manhattan).

Through this lecture, Gomez plans to construe the evolution of the Abolitionist movement and its relationship with Freemasonry. In addition to discussing the Abolitionist movement, he will speak about the role that Prince Hall Freemasons played in their struggle to achieve justice, freedom, and equality for all.

Gomez has presided over six Masonic bodies and has membership in more than 30 Masonic organizations, research groups, and societies, such as SRICF, AASR, York Rite, Red Cross of Constantine, Athelstan, and National Sojourners and Operatives. He is the chairman of the annual Allied Masonic Degrees Masonic Week in Virginia, and is a past Grand Historian of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey.

Seating is limited, so please RSVP here. Photo ID is required to enter Masonic Hall.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

‘EAº with Rosicrucian elements next Tuesday’

The Empire State Building no doubt will be illuminated in the blue, white, and red of the Tricolour when l’Union Française No. 17–this is J.J.J. Gourgas’ lodge and the oldest lodge in the Tenth Manhattan District–will confer the Entered Apprentice Degree on four candidates, in ritual descendant from the French Rite, with purification elements of Rosicrucian origin kept alive since 1797.

This is where Garibaldi Lodge’s EA° comes from.

Tuesday, June 20 at 6 p.m.
Masonic Hall
71 West 23rd Street, Manhattan
French Doric Room, tenth floor

The degree will begin at 6:45, after which no one will be admitted.

The Tenth Manhattan is home to the lodges permitted to work exotic Craft degrees in French, Italian, and Spanish (and maybe other tongues).

Photo ID is required to enter Masonic Hall, and your current membership card is required to work your way into the lodge room. Bring your apron too. The brethren will retire to a nearby restaurant afterward ($50 per person, cash only).

Monday, June 12, 2017

‘A little Masonic music at Mostly Mozart’

Lincoln Center’s annual Mostly Mozart program will begin July 25, and it won’t take long to get into the Masonic material. On Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29, the Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra, led by Conductor Edward Gardner, will deliver a performance of Mozart’s, Beethoven’s, and Schubert’s music. From the publicity:

Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert
July 28 and 29 at 7:30 p.m.
David Geffen Hall
Mostly Mozart Festival Orchestra
Edward Gardner, conductor
Jeremy Denk, piano

“Luminous atmosphere and edge-of-the-seat excitement.”
The Times (U.K.) on Edward Gardner

“Irrepressibly charismatic...a joy to watch.”
New York Times on Jeremy Denk

Maestro Edward Gardner’s “powerful, impassioned conducting” (Seattle Times) finds its match in the “irrepressibly charismatic” pianist Jeremy Denk (New York Times) in a program that moves from dark to light. Mozart’s austere work, composed for his fellow Freemasons, and Beethoven’s supremely lyrical concerto give way to a sunlit Schubert finale.

Mozart: Masonic Funeral Music

Beethoven: Piano Concerto No. 4

Schubert: Symphony No. 5

Click here for more festival information. Click here for tickets to either of these concerts.

There will be pre-concert recitals (Shubert: Introduction and Variations on Trockne Blumen for flute and piano) by Jasmine Choi, flute; and Roman Rabinovich, piano at 6:30.

According to the indispensible website of the Grand Lodge of British Columbia and Yukon:

Mozart’s Masonic music falls into three broad categories:

  • music he wrote specifically for the lodge;
  • music intended for the public but built on Masonic themes; and
  • music he wrote for other purposes, but which was adapted, either by himself or others, for Masonic use.

K.477 Maurerische Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music). Composed in Vienna on 10 November 1785 for a Lodge of Sorrows held by Lodge Crowned Hope a week later for the funerals of Bro. Georg August, Duke of Mecklenburg-Streletz and Bro. Franz, Count Esterhazy of Galantha.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

‘Angel Millar speaking dates’


Angel Millar will be on the road this month. From the publicity:

I will be giving a couple of talks over the next couple of weekends. I believe both events are restricted to Freemasons only, but if you are a member, and you’re in the area, and interested to come along, it would be great to meet you.

The first of the two talks will be in Keyport, New Jersey, on Saturday, June 17. There, the Scottish Rite Knights of St. Andrew will be holding their statewide gathering. The subject of my talk will be “Freemasonry: Meeting the Challenges of the 21st Century.”

The following week, on Saturday, June 24, I will be speaking at the “300: Freemasonry’s Legacy, Freemasonry’s Future” event, hosted by The Masonic Roundtable podcast. The event will be held at the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia. I will be talking about “Terrorism and Anti-Masonry” — and looking at some possibilities to overcome this, as well.

Other talks on the 24th will include “A Brief History of the UGLE” by Mike Hambrecht, “A Craftsman’s Journey” by Steven L. Harrison, and “Freemasonry’s Future” by Juan Sepúlveda. There will also be discussion group sessions and refreshments, among other things.

Personally, I’m looking forward to the events, especially meeting new friends, seeing some familiar faces, and getting to see a little of America that I may not have seen before, or, at least, much of before.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

‘On the Digital Square’

The Digital Square Club of New York will meet again at Grand Lodge’s St. John’s festivities at Utica. Very valuable instruction to be gained.


‘Andrew Hammer to visit Inspiratus’

Andrew Hammer, president of the Masonic Restoration Foundation, will return to New Jersey next month to visit the area’s Observant lodge, Inspiratus 357, in Lyndhurst. The flier has all the info:

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

‘Tuesday morning news’

Magpie coverage of the stellar lecture on Plato’s Divided Line at the School of Practical Philosophy Saturday night is still to come, but in the meantime I just want to throw out some news briefs from the past few days.

First up, let’s all congratulate Adam Kendall on his election to membership in Quatuor Coronati Lodge 2076! Amazing! (This isn’t the Correspondence Circle. This is the actual lodge—“the premiere lodge of Masonic research in the world,” etc., etc.)

I bet he doesn’t even read The Magpie Mason anymore, but that’s okay. Once you attain such exalted heights, everything changes. So I am told.

Courtesy @davisshaver
‘The Bond’

On Saturday, the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania unveiled a pair of bronze statues of George Washington and Benjamin Franklin on the sidewalk outside its headquarters Masonic Temple in Philadelphia. Named “The Bond,” they depict Washington showing his Masonic apron, that he received as a gift from Lafayette, to Franklin. The actual apron is exhibited inside the building, in the museum. The statues themselves are a gift from Shekinah-Fernwood Lodge 246, which meets in the Temple. They are the creation of James West. Check out his most impressive website here.

Courtesy Ashmolean Museum

Sunday night I wrote a short essay on the early history of Freemasonry that might be published somewhere, and I included not only the inevitable mention of Elias Ashmole and his initiation into the fraternity in 1646, but also mentioned his bequest that created Oxford University’s museum of art and archaeology, the Ashmolean. And just by coincidence, today is the anniversary of its opening day in 1683. It is the first university museum. Happy anniversary!

I have been writing here about Henry David Thoreau several times of late in this bicentennial year of his birth. Last Friday, the Morgan Library and Museum—a stunning place to visit—opened its exhibition “This Ever New Self: Thoreau and His Journal.” This collection of unpublished writings dwarfs his published work in volume, and gives far more insight into Thoreau the man. More than 100 items have been assembled for this exhibit. It will close September 10. Click here.

Next week, on Thursday the 15th, the Spiridon Arkouzis Lecture Series in Masonic Studies will continue with Iván Boluarte being hosted by the Tenth Manhattan District to present “Pre-Columbian Builders.” Seven o’clock at Masonic Hall in 1530. Photo ID to enter the building, etc.

And finally, and returning to the School of Practical Philosophy (12 East 79th Street), it is having a book sale, and some recordings have been added to the inventory on sale. From the publicity:

Courtesy School of Practical Philosophy

JUST ADDED: Select recorded-lecture titles on sale at a 20 percent discount in our wonderful Get Ready for Summer Sale.

Plan ahead and stock up to make your summer an enlightening and enjoyable break. Consider books and CDs as treasured gifts to pass on to friends and family.

During this event, a large portion of our inventory is sale priced at a 20 percent discount and recorded lectures have just been added. Subject areas included: scripture, philosophy, history, language, government, literature, and economics.

Discounted titles will be sold as long as inventory remains, but we suggest you make your choices early since availability may be limited.

Note: Items cannot be put on hold or reserved by anyone for purchase. Sale applies only to the Bookstore in our New York City location.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

‘Lots of books for sale on 15th Street’


The New York City branch of the Anthroposophical Society (138 West 15th Street) will hold a book sale on Sunday the 11th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. They say:

Loads of used and very discounted new books! Many works by Steiner, other Anthroposophical titles, philosophy, psychology, social issues, education, art books, poetry, literature, religion, science, occult, etc. Everything must go! Super discounts! Lots of freebies! Come early to get the rare titles! Stay late for free takeaways! Bring friends and a tote bag! (Donate books up to Saturday, June 10.)