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Special Events
04 May 2016

Mystery and Benevolence Bash!

The Independent Order of Odd Fellows and the Freemasons enjoyed their greatest popularity and highest membership rates in the United States in the last third of the nineteenth century.

In the spirit of benevolence and friendship so cherished by these organizations, join an amazing party decked out in your coolest nineteenth-century-era clothes and dance the night away surrounded by beautiful and highly symbolic fraternal art.

Discover the mysterious meanings and history of fraternal art on view in the galleries guided by museum staff and engage in parlor games, entertainment, and food and drink of the late Victorian period. Prizes will be awarded for the most inventive costumes. A percentage of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Food Bank for New York City. Tickets include refreshments and entertainment.

Bash highlights
• Music by the Melody Allegra Band
• Contra dancing lessons. Contra is a folk dance, similar to a square dance but instead of a square formation it is danced in lines of couples, with every other couple facing up or down the hall.
• Old-time cocktails plus sweet and savory snacks evocative of the era
• Silhouette portraits by renowned artist Jenny Lee Fowler
• Nineteenth-century parlor games
• Optional costume contest! Costume categories can include nineteenth-century literary figure, Western pioneer, Civil War–themed, steam punk, Victorian gentleman or lady, mourning black, or original creation.


Image: Independent Order of Odd Fellows Inner Guard Robe, the Ward-Stilson Company, 
New London, Ohio
, 1875–1925, velvet, cotton, and metal
, 37 x 23″
, American Folk Art Museum, gift of Kendra and Allan Daniel, 2015.1.153. Photo by José Andrés Ramírez.

7:00 pm–10:00 pm

$20 members, students, seniors; $25 non-members

Purchase Tickets