Yesterday I visited an exhibition at the town museum here in Århus. It is a joint venture with the local freemasons, marking the centennial of the local lodge of St. Andrew, Four Roses. The exhibition is called A Night at the Lodge, and that is how it is set up: First, you come to the anteroom. There is classical music playing, and mannequins are dressed up in tails and wearing regalia of the ten degrees in the Swedish Rite. Next is the lodgeroom (as pictured, I used my mobile phone, but it turned out well enough). This is typical Swedish Rite: the use of light, yellowish stone or beige, with blue and gold and candles; as well as the position of the officers (Master under the canopy, both Wardens in the West); the three pillars are missing, but it does have the star ceiling. Finally, there is a table for the “fraternal feast”, which always follows the meeting. There is also posters offering some background information and a number of antique objects.
This is the right way to do a public exhibition on freemasonry, in my opinion. Primarily, it is based on fact and well-researched. It doesn’t try to delve into the mysteries that could only be dumbed down or misunderstood, and it avoids the clichés and myths. Secondly, it is open enough about what we do that it doesn’t patronise the visitors, and really invites them into our world. It is based, not so much on the historical background that we like to talk about ourselves, but rather on a visual experience, something anyone can relate to. The objects chosen are beautiful, and just the right amount (numbering approximately 50, all objects of beauty, significance and antiquity).
A very satisfying result. Well done.