Artifact of the Month : Masonic Tracing Board

The Museum Division presents:HH 20160516 Monitor and Tracing Board (2)

Masonic Tracing Board, early 1800s
Oil, gilt + multicolor paint on canvas.
L: 157.5   W: 101.6
St. Andrew’s Lodge No. 289;
Hobart, NY

In early days of Freemasonry, the
symbols were drawn with chalk on the
ground, so there was no permanent
record of the images. This practice
gave way to symbols being woven into
a carpet, called “The Master’s Carpet”
which was rolled up and hidden.
Carpets gave way to paintings like this
one, which were kept in the Lodges
and used to illustrate the lessons
taught during Masonic degrees.