Last month, I was driving back to Massachusetts from a business trip in Philadelphia and passed through Trenton along the way. I had contacted R.W. Glenn Visscher, the Curator of the Museum of Masonic Culture, and he kindly agreed to meet my wife and I there to give us a tour of the historic Trenton Masonic Temple. I had first become aware of the Museum in 2018, when I was commissioned to make a charcoal portrait of the late Charles D. Visscher, the original Curator. He was Glenn's father. Caring for the collection has become a passionate legacy within the Visscher family. Glenn's mother, Barbara, and his sister, Karyn, both help operate the Museum as well.
After passing through the large doors on Barrack Street and seeing the ornate lobby, banquet hall, Library and administrative area, we headed upstairs. The second floor houses three large Lodge rooms. The first is utilized by a few different Blue Lodges, next there is the impressive Ionic Hall of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey. Then, the far end of the level contains a third (former) Lodge room and several adjacent ante-rooms, all of which provide a wonderful backdrop to display the collection of the Museum of Masonic Culture.
Special thanks to R.W. Glenn Visscher for his hospitality and to the entire Visscher family for their noble efforts in preserving Masonic history for posterity.
Contact info is of the Grand Lodge website: www.newjerseygrandlodge.org
Travis Simpkins is a freelance artist with clients throughout the United States and Europe. He currently works on projects for the Supreme Council, 33°, NMJ in Lexington, Massachusetts and the Supreme Council, 33°, SJ in Washington, DC. He also serves as a portrait artist for the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, Grand Lodge of New Jersey and other jurisdictions across North America. His artwork is in many esteemed collections, including the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum in Independence, Missouri and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial in Alexandria, Virginia.
Bro. Simpkins is a member of Morning Star Lodge A.F. & A.M. in Worcester, Massachusetts. He is a 32° Mason in the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite- Valleys of Worcester and Boston. He is also a member of Eureka Royal Arch Chapter, Hiram Council of Royal & Select Master Masons and Worcester County Commandery No. 5, Knights Templar.