Joshua Aaron Poole, 32°
& Archival Associate
Everyone knows that accidents happen. Unfor- tunately, they happen in
the museum field, too. At some
point in our history, an original
oil painting of Ill. Charles Edward
Rosenbaum, 33°, was mishandled, and
the result was an gash on the back of the
painting that protruded on to its front.
Yikes—but more on that in a second.
So, who was Charles E.
Rosenbaum was born in St. Louis
Missouri on January 1, 1855. In
1883, he moved to Little Rock, Arkansas, and began his journey in
Freemasonry at Magnolia Lodge
No. 60 in 1886. He received the
Scottish Rite degrees by communication in 1891, and in 1892 helped
revive Scottish Rite Masonry in Little Rock by dramatizing the Scottish Rite Degrees as Albert Pike had
intended and was instrumental in
helping design the Albert Pike Memorial Temple. He was elected as
Sovereign Grand Inspector
General of Arkansas in
1901 and served until
his death on Febru-
ary 25, 1930. Dur-
ing his time on the
he served on the
committee that over-
saw the New Age Maga-
zine (now The Scottish Rite
Journal), served as the superinten-
dent over the construction of the House
of the Temple in Washington, DC, and
was the Lt. Grand Commander from 1914
to 1930. In addition to all of this, he also
served as the SGIG of the Ori-
ent of the District of Columbia from 1908
to 1910 when Grand Commander James
D. Richardson called for the District of
Columbia to be under Rosenbaum’s juris-
diction. Needless to say, Rosenbaum was
a very active mason who
loved the fraternity.
Now back to the gash in
his painting. As you can see in
the detail below, the damage oc-
curred when something sliced through
it on the back (notice the canvas sticks
out, not in). Because of the damage, the
painting has been in storage here at the
House of the Temple so that no further
damage could befall it. That was un-
til Ill. Carroll Collins, general secretary for
the Valley of Washington, DC, saw it and
stated that the Orient would provide the
funds to restore it. They consulted Pres-
ervation and Framing, a local restoration
company, to repair the painting. And my,
what a difference it has made! I was
so impressed with the restoration
that I contacted Preservation and
Framing to inquire about the pro-
cess. Here are the five steps that the
1. The canvas was removed from
the stretcher bar, and was then
2. The canvas was relined (AKA, the
gash was restored).
3. The canvas surface was cleaned
from the old varnish and dirt.
4. The restorer painted the missing
areas from the gash.
5. A protective UV varnish was put
onto the painting.
I would be remiss if I did not
thank the Orient of the District
of Columbia publicly for funding
the restoration of the Rosenbaum
painting! I know the Supreme
While the restoration of the painting
has made a significant difference, I hope
that the Museum and Archives will not
have to worry about having other items
like this restored due to mishandling.
Because, as you know, it’s always best to
avoid such a pain in the gash!
A Pain in the
painting of Ill.
used to have a