Vivian was born in Niagara Falls, New York, on January 4, 1945 to C. Isabella Cutini Carli and James Carli. She attended private schools in Niagara Falls, NY and Niagara Falls, Canada. After she graduated with an Art degree from The University of Buffalo, she earned her teaching certificate and taught second grade at Prince of Peace. Vivian then married Richard Kistler and moved to Akron, Ohio where she founded Kistler Art Supply & Framing. Vivian was a strong advocate for women’s rights and fought local Title IX battles. She founded the Akron Arts Expo at Hardesty Park as a venue for college artists to showcase their art. Vivian was a former president of the Fairlawn Chamber of Commerce and taught business classes at The University of Akron.
Vivian began teaching traveling seminars on picture framing and business which took her all over the world. Vivian was a well-known speaker and instructor for the picture framing industry and was known for her entertaining and informative presentations. Vivian founded Columba Publishing in 1984 and produced the Library of Professional Picture Framing in addition to authoring over 20 more books and hosting over 15 videos.
Over one million of Vivian’s books and videos have been sold. Vivian wrote articles for Picture Framing Magazine (PFM), Art World News, Profile Magazine and DECOR Magazine. She was also a former Senior Chairholder for the Color Marketing Group. Vivian’s work with the Professional Picture Framers Association included service at both the local and national levels. She created and developed National Picture Framing Month to promote public awareness of the craft.
Vivian held professional certifications of Master Professional Picture Framer (MCPF) from the Professional Picture Framers Association, and Guild Commended Framer with Honors (GCF), from the Fine Art Trade Guild in the United Kingdom.
Vivian was awarded the PFM Lifetime Achievement Award and the PMA (Photo Marketing Association) Distinguished Service Award. In 2010 the Professional Picture Framers Association honored Vivian by renaming their prestigious award to The Vivian Kistler Lifetime Achievement Award. Vivian was awarded the PPFA Award For Innovation in 1999, and the Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009.
This lady wrote the book on framing. Literally. I enjoyed her column and often tried to channel her guidance (WWVKD?) RIP, dear industry leader and teacher.