“Freemasonry has shaped so much of US history – the Masonic Temple, Library and Museum brings history to life,” Hunter Winters, Carlisle Lodge No. 260, said, when asked why people should visit. He was a part of that process for five weeks this summer when he interned there. Through this experience, he learned “how the information museums store is relevant even today,” networked with individuals in his field who could help him get a job someday, and learned skills that museum professionals need, like how to utilize archival filing systems.
His primary responsibility as an intern was taking 360° photographs of Museum artifacts. Instead of showing just one or two sides of an object, 360° photographs pan all the way around. This type of photography is ideal for highly detailed objects like those featured at the Masonic Temple, Library and Museum. By the end of the internship he had photographed over 50 items. (You can view Hunter’s photographs at https://masonictemplevirtualmuseum.weebly.com/.)
“I met the Grand Master at a DeMolay convention last year, and he said, ‘You should do that for the Masonic Temple, Library and Museum,’” Hunter said
He worked with Museum curator Dennis Buttleman to decide what artifacts to photograph. While the items’ histories and personal stories were part of the choice, it was also based on which would look good visually. For example, they did not photograph any ceramics because of lighting issues.
“The most unique item that I photographed was a Masonic apron from the Tun Tavern which was the original location of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and was one of the earliest meeting place for Freemasons in Pennsylvania. The apron is made of lambskin and is hand-painted with the square and compass, the sun, and two men meeting on a bridge shaking hands. This is one of the oldest Masonic aprons in the museum’s collection,” Hunter said.
Besides photographing artifacts, Hunter also did some event photography and was responsible for opening and closing the museum.
“During executive board meetings, I was running the museum by myself for three hours. I had to test myself on what I actually knew,” he said.
Like many visitors, his favorite room is the Egyptian Room.
“I’ve collected Egyptian artifacts since I was twelve,” he said. His favorite artifacts include the museum’s collection of Pennsylvanian folk art and the numerous Masonic aprons.
Hunter is a sophomore at Juniata College, where he is majoring in Museum Studies. He is a member of Carlisle Chapter, Order of DeMolay, and served as the Regional D Representative for 2017-2018. He recently received two scholarships from the Pennsylvania Masonic Youth Foundation at the 2018 DeMolay Convention in Gettysburg.
He is working on a virtual museum of American history with his uncle, and hopes to work at the Masonic Temple, Library and Museum again in the future.
“This was truly an amazing experience and I am grateful for everyone at the museum who assisted me and those who assisted me in getting the internship in the first place,” he said.