The Masonic/Stained Glass Connection

Email by Jason Peter Brown on July 11, 2007

The Masonic/Stained Glass Connection Image

The "all-seeing eye" at the lavish Washington, D.C. temple of the Freemasons. Photo © Regis Lefebure.

In the never-ending quest to bring you stained glass news & views from around the web, I have come across more than a few sites discussing Freemasonry and stained glass. Freemasonry is an ancient and mysterious fraternity that has been shrouded in controversy and charges of worldwide conspiracy for ages. Apparently though, Freemasons also love stained glass.

This article from Smithsonian Magazine discusses the lavish temple of the Freemasons in Washington, D.C., including a great shot of a large stained glass window bearing the "Eye of Providence" — commonly thought to be a masonic symbol (although this is often refuted).

A few years ago, the Scottish Rite Research Society was to be following up on a proposal titled "Windows to Our Heritage". The aim of the project was to restore, preserve, and catalogue the stained-glass windows of approximately 200 Masonic Temples across the United States. According to this article, many of these windows are historically and artistically significant works, and include the work of some of America's greatest stained-glass design studios, such as Louis Comfort Tiffany. Do any of you have any idea of what became of this effort? Perhaps some of you were involved?

Finally, even my home city of Toronto seems to be steeped in a masonic past. This article from NOW magazine leans more towards the architectural side of Toronto's masonic symbolism, but has a brief mention (and photo) of a memorial window for William Jarvis, the former secretary of state of Upper Canada, featuring the iconic square and compass symbol of the Freemasons.

Maybe not the stuff of the next Dan Brown novel, but interesting nonetheless!