Freemasons to share its history
Later this month, the Freemasons will open an exhibition to showcase their impressive collection of jewels, which includes items bequeathed to them by King Edward VII.
The Freemasons, once so secretive, have tried to dispel myths surrounding their membership in recent months and this further permission to explore rarely seen pieces is as enticing as it is fascinating. For someone like me, who has been tempted previously by other collections of gems, it is a must-see autumn spectacular. It also allows women a rare glimpse at a stronghold of male patriarchy and I’m always up for a rebellious snoop anywhere!
Did you know that last month the Freemasons agreed to allow women to join, but only if they’ve previously been a member and have gone through gender reassignment? They also will allow men to join after gender reassignment. Women who were born female will not be allowed to join.
Bejewelled: Badges, Brotherhood and Identity, at the Library and Museum of Freemasonry, will draw on items from its royal former Grand Master and other past Freemasons such as the Duke of Connaught, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Rudyard Kipling. It’s the first major exhibition of Masonic jewels in the UK and, with around 150 jewels exhibited, it is believed to be one of the largest collections of male jewellery ever displayed.
The exhibition runs from 20 September 2018 – 24 August 2019
Britsh Museum Exhibits Dissent
The Citi exhibition: I object, Ian Hislop’s search for dissent
From the bronze head of Emporer Augustus (27BC) to a pink, knitted pussy hat worn at a women’s march in Washington DC to protest President Trump’s open contempt for females, the public will be able to see over 2,000 years of dissent at the British Museum this autumn. Showcased are items that signify public disapproval and will be on display from 6 September to 20 January 2019.
Ian Hislop, editor of Private Eye, along with co-curator Tom Hockenhull, has spent three years delving into the Museum’s stores to find subtle or downright obvious artefacts that convey the public’s objections to tyranny, oppression or authority.
I’ve previously researched the eighteenth century caricatures of Gillray and Cruikshank that viciously mocked the reigning royal family and so this exhibition appeals to the side of me that enjoys witnessing dubious authority being challenged. It’s another one for my diary.