Recognized by All

Washington as a Freemason

Washington as a Freemason, 1870

Strobridge and Co.; J. H. Powers & Co.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Special Acquisitions Fund, 78.74.18

The subjects of the portraits in this section were—in their day and after—instantly recognizable to many viewers. In some cases, printmakers and publishers capitalized on their fame and created images showing revered leaders—such as George Washington or Benjamin Franklin—as Freemasons to appeal to Masonic consumers.

Masons could purchase affordable prints of these subjects to display in their homes. These images were also part of the décor of many Masonic buildings where portraits of well-known Freemasons reminded members and visitors of these admired heroes’ association with the fraternity.  

George Washington

George Washington, 1847

Rembrandt Peale (1778-1860)

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Gift of John Bartholomew Webster, 75.6

Franklin Opening the Lodge

Franklin Opening the Lodge, 1896

Kurz and Allison (1880–1899)

Chicago, Illinois

Special Acquisitions Fund, 81.56

George Washington as a Mason

George Washington as a Mason, 1903

Sculpted by James Wilson Alexander MacDonald (1824-1908)

Produced by the National Lead Company

New York, New York

Gift of Lon Heibeck, 2018.010