Picture Show: Daughters of Job

Posted by GOOD

In the early 1990s, when the photographer Alison Malone was a young girl, she was a member of a private society know as Job's Daughters, an organization for 10- to 20-year-old girls who are direct blood relatives of Master Masons; it's the only Masonic Youth organization for which a blood relationship is a membership requirement. While not explicitly religious, the group's guiding principles can be found in the Biblical book of Job, wherein steadfastness is championed in the face of life-long adversity."I started this project because I had left Job's Daughters when I was young, and I wanted to see how my experiences as a child matched up with my perspective as an adult," says Malone. "Once I went back to it, I found out that it was disappearing. So it seemed like now or never."In returning to the organization, Malone attempts to document, with neither judgment nor agenda, both the physical space of the lodge-which is constructed around the principles of sacred geometry-and the girls themselves, who share a bond, based on ritual and tradition, that is uncommon in this age of cynicism. For Malone, the purpose of these photographs is not only archival and but also personal, as it's allowed her to revisit and re-examine a space that played a significant role in shaping her life-one that might not be around for future generations."I just hope these girls realize that they're part of something unique," she says. "And I hope they're proud of that."What follows is a selection from "Daughters of Job."Hershey Blue Lodge 1Guide, age 15, MinnesotaBethel 48, Anoka, MinnesotaJunior Princess, age 13, PennsylvaniaAndrew H. Hershey, Lancaster, PennsylvaniaTeachingHershey Bethel 2Junior Custodian, age 10, PennsylvaniaBethel 1, Minneapolis, MinnesotaHonored Queen, age 16, PennsylvaniaMechanicsburg Blue LodgeRecorder, age 13, PennsylvaniaRitualUrn of IncenseRonald A. Aungst, 116th Right Worshipful Grand MasterSenior Custodian, age 13, PennsylvaniaRobert L. Dluge, 113th Right Worshipful Grand MasterBethel 1, York, Pennsylvania–Are you a photographer with a project you would like to share with the GOOD community? Send a brief description and a few sample images (or a link) to photo [at] goodinc [dot] com, and we'll take a look. If we like it, it might end up as one of our Picture Shows. We look forward to your submissions.