Freemasonry in America
Freemasonry gained acceptance in America during the middle of rthe 1700s. As the Fraternity grew its symbolism found its way into the decorative arts of the period. This was in part becuase the same craftsman of the period, like Paul Revere, (pictured below in a painting by John Singleton Copley), who made furnishings and futniture, also made regalia paraphernalia for the new Masonic lodges.
Because many patriots were Freemasons and many soldiers became Freemasons during the war for Independance, Freemasonry symbolism became popular as decorative motifs. By the 1790, Masonic symbols were also identified with temperance, equality and industry that formed the morality of the new American Republic, the United States of America.
1768, John Singleton Copley (American, 1738–1815)
Oil on canvas
Gift of Joseph W. Revere, William B. Revere and Edward H. R. Revere
©Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
1775–90, American, New England, Boston, Massachusetts,United States,
Painted mahogany, maple
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. George M. Kaufman, 2000
©The Metropolitan Museum of Art
As a member of St. Andrew's Lodge, Revere was a devoted Freemason for fifty years, and many of his clients were also members of Boston's Masonic lodges. His shop was large and exceptionally active, supplying patrons with merchandise as well as services, including the importation of foreign goods. Like other colonial merchants, he sold wrought silver and jewelry alongside imported textiles, foodstuffs, tools, and hardware. Documented instances of his relationships with other Boston craftsmen indicate a steady exchange of goods and services.