Thursday, October 28, 2010

All that Glisters

A client referred to me by an antiques dealer brought in the above vintage museum frame.  The job he wanted done was relatively simple:  change the mat, put in museum glass, and put the original art back in.  After a brief consultation, the client decided to instead insert a wide fillet into the existing frame rather than a mat.

This is the original mat.  I wanted to point out the orangey color of the bevel.  This is the number one indicator that the mat is not acid free.  In fact, the orangeness is caused by acid oxidation.  Also, there is discoloration on the outside edges of the mat, which was under the rabbet of the frame.  This is an indication that there was no uv protective glazing on this mat in its original setting.  I mention this not because the original framing was inferior (quite the contrary!  The art was mounted using very proper techniques and the frame itself is magnificent and very high quality.), but because this was originally framed before acid free products and uv glazing was invented.  It is a really good idea to change old or inferior mats and glass to more modern conservation materials before irreparable harm comes to valuable art.

So, I chopped and installed the fillet.

And now for the art.  Below is the art as it arrived in the shop in its original mat.

 And here it is completely unframed.  Note the discoloration of the paper.  We know it was in an acidic environment, but it is also very old.

and clearly original art.

The client recently acquired this piece and had not yet had it authenticated.  The art is unsigned.

This is the plaque on the original frame.

Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres (1780-1867) is a French Master.  A Neoclassicist.  Le Grande Odalisque (below) is perhaps his most famous painting, though his portrait graphite drawings are among his most well regarded works. 

To be clear, I do not authenticate or appraise art, but naturally, I want to know what it is that I'm handling.  I looked into the artist's catalogued works to see if there was anything similar in style, theme, or materials.

Virgin of the Adoption

Niccolo Paganini

Study for Vicomtesse d'Hausonville, born Louise Albertine de Broglie

So now you have all the clues that I have.  Who knows?  I may have just handled the real deal.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Collage Walls

Design Trend, Part I

Over the past decade or so, the trend for the display of family photos has changed from collage frames (large frames with multi-opening mats) to collage walls (lots of small frames arranged in a group).  Here are some that I've happened upon quite accidently.

A friend snapped this at Brown Betty Dessert Boutique. The frames and mats are unified by color, but are varied styles and shapes.

And this one at the bosses' house has an eclectic mix.

This one, at Capogiro Gelateria has family photos transferred to canvas and put into vintage frames.

I spotted this one on a tour of neighborhood homes and the nice homeowner allowed me to snap this.  The display is multi-dimensional!  Special brackets mounted to the wall allow some frames to jut out.

This was in another home and another nice person allowed me to photograph (Oh, people must think I'm nuts--but I'm glad it didn't stop them from being so darned agreeable!).  I have never seen step frames before!  These were purchased ready-made.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Cavalcade of Stars

There's been a run on shadowboxes lately at the shop.  Here are 2 from this week.

I got to thinking about the varied objects I've framed and observed other talented folks frame and thought I'd share a few.  I have been privileged to work alongside some really great people over the years, and they've graciously allowed me to show you some of their interesting 3D projects.  All framers credited beneath their work.

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Paul Ricci

yours truly

Charles Johanesen

yours truly

Paul Ricci

Richard Fekete

Rafael Ruiz

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Richard Fekete

Rafael Ruiz

Rafael Ruiz

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Ice Box

These hockey pucks were brought in by a client who CAUGHT them as a spectator over her many years of fandom.  I have framed tons of sports memoribilia in my career--baseball bats, footballs, uniforms, etc, but somehow I hadn't encountered pucks before.  They are surprisingly heavy.  I was sure to use gatorboard backing to support the weight and managed to use an adhesive-free mounting technique.

The mat is a shimmery rice paper board from Bainbridge.  Suggests ice in a subtle way, methinks.  Overall, I like the bold graphic look of this box.  A perfect square with 4 circles inside, with like colors arranged on diagonals. The scale of this moulding is just right for the objects.  I can barely take credit, this thing practically designed itself.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

All Of It

I am so glad I could make it in an 11th hour, race-to-the-closing-of-the-show, dash to Gallery Aferro in Newark, NJ to see Dahlia Elsayed's All of It.

Dahlia uses text and maps, among other things, to create personal histories and isolate moments and emotions.  Hers was an untraditional display of over 100 pieces, arranged in such a way that an interesting narrative emerged.  Items were tacked to the wall in various ways, and where there was framing, it was white-on-white.

and good for you, Dahlia, for appearing in the NYT recently as being a finalist for the Guggenheim Museum's "YouTube Play, A Biennial of Creative Video."  (winner to be unveiled soon)

Go, Dahlia!