The Grand Lodge of Virginia’s Museum is the central repository for the preservation and display of some the best and most representative examples of the surviving material culture of Virginia Freemasonry’s long (and still-active) history. While a number of Virginia’s oldest and most historical Lodges each continue to hold a significant number of historically important relics of early Virginia’s Masonic history within their own collections (as many of them are tied directly to those subordinate Lodges and their members during their earliest years of existence), the Grand Lodge of Virginia’s Museum today contains some of the finest examples of a large assemblage of Masonic artifacts that are still in existence within the United States. A select, few of these artifact items even pre-date the founding of our nation, as well as the Grand Lodge of Virginia’s own establishment (in 1778, in Williamsburg, VA.).
The Museum’s diverse collections include various pieces of Masonic Lodge furniture, dishware, firing glasses, Lodge Bibles, gavels, items from the personal collections of a number of prominent Virginia Masons of the past, as well as an impressive assortment of different forms of Masonic regalia; such as aprons, officers jewels and collars, tracing boards, gloves, and printed ephemera, all dating from various historical periods throughout Virginia’s Masonic past. The Grand Lodge Museum also contains an impressive collection of both portrait paintings and color portrait photographs of nearly all of Virginia’s Freemasonry’s previous Grand Masters, a large collection of portraits which extends in time all the way back to 1778, and even slightly before.
A tour of the Museum will provide visitors (both Masons and Non-Masons, alike) with a greater appreciation of the important role that Freemasonry has played in the establishment of our state and nation, and how the Virginia Masonic fraternity and its subordinate Lodges have continued their long (and on-going!) tradition of service to our Commonwealth; as a social and fraternal force for good; standing for a respect for law and civil authority, and in accordance with high moral values….throughout every local community where a Lodge may exist today.
In fact, it is through viewing these precious artifacts from the past that one gets a better appreciation of Virginia Masonry’s rich heritage and traditions; all of which can, and should, help to inspire the Freemasons of today to not only emulate the examples set by our predecessors, but to gain inspiration for how to better meet the many challenges that continue to face our world today. It is a museum about which ALL Virginia Masons should feel justly proud!