Anteroom, Hershey PA, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone The guidelines of Jobs Daughters states that there must be two outer doors and an Anteroom in order for a bethel to be complete and prepared for an official meeting to be held. When Bethel 17, Hershey PA found themselves unable to hold meetings in the main lodge room, they created a space that allowed them to work within the guidelines and not be forced to meet outside of their lodge.
Photographer Alison Malone uses both audio and visual documentation to explore subcultures that are overlooked and often misunderstood in American society, and with the project she brought to Review Santa Fe, she is exploring a secret society known as Job’s Daughters. This fascinating and insightful project reveals what takes place behind closed doors in buildings that we drive by on a regular basis and never enter.
In 2008, Alison earned her Masters in Photography, Video and Related Media from the School of Visual Arts in New is the current recipient of the McKnight Fellowship for Visual Arts. She received her Bachelors of Fine Art in Photography from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design in Minnesota in 2002. She has exhibited nationally and internationally and received numerous grants, scholarships and awards including: 2014/15 McKnight Fellowship for Visual Arts, the Paula H. Rhodes Memorial Award, MJR film grant, School of Visual Arts Alumni Scholarship, PhotoLucida Critical Mass Top 50 in 2008, Artist Initiative Grant form the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Photography Book Now Honorable Mention, and was a nominated participant in Review Santa Fe.
She has been published in American Photography 24, The Collector’s Guide to Emerging Art Photography, Yvi Magazine, Esquire Russia, META magazine Germany, and various online journals. Her work is featured in numerous collections including the Museum of Fine Arts Houston and the private collection of Joseph Baio. This fall, Alison will have a solo exhibition at the National Heritage Museum in Lexington MA featuring “The Daughters of Job” work.
Recorder, Age 13, PA 2009, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone Caitlin joined the order at the age of 13 after learning about it from friends at school. After researching masonic roots, she learned her great grandfather was a Mason which gave her the paternal relationship required to enter the order and be a part of the community by choice.
The Daughters of Job
For the past six years, I’ve photographed a group of girls between the ages of ten and twenty involved in a secret society known as Job’s Daughters. The girls are the direct blood relatives of Master Masons, a prerequisite to be part of this Masonic Youth organization. The group takes its name from the Book of Job, 42nd chapter, 15th verse: “And in all the land were no women found so fair as the Daughters of Job.”
My focus on this group comes from my own history—I was a member of it in the early 1990s. What I remember most from my experience is its intensity, an immersion into a social structure entailing a level of responsibility not usually required of young adults in today’s society. For this project, my interest is in the type of girl who finds comfort in ritual and its ability to allow her to disassociate from one world and become part of something much bigger than she is. I’m interested in meeting, documenting, and coming to know the current world of girls who enter and stay in this order. I approach these girls from the vantage point of an insider. With that perspective, I’m also interested in their sites of ceremony, built around the same principles of their Masonic family. The Freemasons’ focus on meticulous execution and order is manifest in sacred geometry— providing these spaces with what ultimately gives strength to the ties that bind the people in these organizations.
Much like a religious sanctuary, Masonic spaces, or Bethels, can lend a sense of discovery, meditation, and comfort. Each object within each room has a personality developed by the people who meet there. Mirroring the portraits of the girls, I look to render the character of each space, allowing nuance to surface from what on the surface might appear as a rigid structure.
Bethel 1, Minneapolis, MN, 2011, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone This is the original Bethel in Minnesota.
Guide, Age 15, 2010, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone Laurel joined the order at the age of 13 after having a family history in the order. She quickly climbed the ranks and became Guide at the age of 15, which is 3 terms away from being Honored Queen.
Ronald A. Aungst, 116th Right Worshipful Grand Master , 2008, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone Ronald Aungst’s support of Masonic Youth activities and orders brought in more membership than any Past Master of his era. He exemplifies the leadership that the girls are taught to look up to in a Master Mason.
Junior Princess, age 13, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone
Bethel 21, Butler PA 2008, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone The first Bethel to be instituted in Pennsylvania in over 2 decades, Butler Lodge 21 received its Charter in early 2007. It was a great moment of pride for the girls to have gathered enough interest and support to open a new Bethel during a time that most communities membership is in rapid decline.
Honored Queen, age 16, PA, 2008, from the Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone Caitie joined Jobs Daughters at the age of 13. While she had very little knowledge of Masonic Youth organizations she was intrigued by her friends invitation, and became Honored Queen in under 3 years.
Bethel 17, Hershey PA, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone
Brownstone Lodge 666, Hershey, PA, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone
Junior Custodian, age 10, 2008, from The Daughter of Job ©Alison Malone Mollie joined the order at the age of 10. She is the 3rd daughter of her mother Nancy, a former Miss International Jobs daughter. By the time she was 15 she was elected twice to the role of Honored Queen.
Honored Queen, age 16, 2013, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone Mollie, who was photographed as a Junior Custodian at the age of 10, was serving her 3rd term as Honored Queen when this portrait was taken in 2013.
Andrew H Hershey, Past Worshipful Master Lodge 43, Lancaster PA, from The Daughters of Job © Alison Malone
Guide, age 12 PA, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone
The Teaching, 2009, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone This image stems from my earliest memories on the order. After joining, each girl is paired with a “big sister” that helps them understand the intricacies of the order.
Abraham C. Treichler Lodge No. 682, Elizabethtown, PA, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone
Honored Queen, age 14 PA, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone
Urn of Incense, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone
The Messengers, 2009, from The Daughters of Job ©Alison Malone The Messenger semi-circle is a critical foundation of the Bethel’s layout. An active messenger is a major part of community development and prepares the girls for leadership roles in the order.