“Hold in Constant Remembrance”: Self-Identity and Celebration
Over the years, many men have taken pride in their association with Freemasonry. In the 1800s, some Masons commissioned portraits of themselves and wanted to be presented as members of the fraternity, wearing jewelry or regalia that identified them as Masons--along with their best and most fashionable clothing. Some of these portraits marked personal achievements, such as holding a lodge office or captaining a ship. In presenting himself as a Freemason a portrait’s subject proclaimed his affiliation with the fraternity as a valued part of his self-identity. He also guaranteed that he would be remembered as a Freemason for as long as the portrait endured.