Framing the Image: Antique Frames Come Alive
In 2004, Hewlett Packard (HP) ran the first of a series of TV ads that used picture frames to capture live images and turn them into picture-perfect framed still images. A similar concept is used in the opening scenes of the hit TV show, Modern Family. At the end of the opening scene, the picture is frozen in a frame and then spirals into other pictures in frames. I’m always fascinated to realize how my perception of the image changes as each is framed.
Pictures often have their frame changed to match the current décor or simply because of personal taste. So over the years, antique frames have been separated from the original art. Many people do not realize that artists often thought of the frame as an integral part of their painting. Incredible workmanship went into many of these frames.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY, as part of the recent opening of its new American Wing Galleries for Painting, Sculpture and Decorative Arts, commissioned the recreation of a massive frame for its most famous painting, Washington Crossing the Delaware. The painting had been displayed in its narrow, third frame. But in 2006, photographs from 1864 were discovered of the painting in its original elaborate frame. After a year of work, the frame has been recreated and has been installed with the painting at the museum. By all accounts, the massive frame and its new room, highlight the quintessential American painting in ways the narrow frame never could.
The trend of aligning historically accurate frames to antique paintings has been growing over the past 10-20 years. You may be able to find a painting with its original frame, but more likely the frame won’t be the original. So the question is, how can you tell the age of a frame? The obvious is check for a maker’s mark and date on the back of the frame. Study the period look of the frame as construction and design followed furniture. Look at the materials the frame is constructed from.
Antique frames vary widely in quality. Some are exquisite for their detail while others are beautiful in their simplicity. So, it’s not too surprising that frames are now being collected for their own sake. Mirroring the images of frames in frames we see on TV, only these frames truly are works of art.
Search for frames on Dig Antiques.
Art Frames: You Can’t Fully See the Picture Without the Frame, Art & Antiques Magazine, March 2012.
Eli Wilner & Co. Reframes A Masterpiece At The Met, Frances McQueeney-Jones Mascolo, Antiques and the Arts Online, June 30, 2009.
How to Date Antique Frames, Robert Gray, eHow.
The Gilded Edge Revised Edition: The Art of the Frame, Eli Wilner, Chronicle Books, September 7, 2011.
Written by Guest Columnist: Lyn Andeen
I just finished doing the Country Spirit Antique Show in Arcola, Il. What a great show. Lots of wonderful country items and great people.
What a difference 300+ miles can make in the weather. Last week in Tennessee it was 70 degrees. We traveled up to Arcola on a great sunny day. Wow! Then the weather went crazy! We fortunately were not affected by the tornados that plagued much of the South and Midwest. We did however have sun, downpours, then sun, then cold weather.
I arrived ready for spring with a garden display and daffodils and herbs in tow! I had many inquiries about where I got my fresh plants. Had I grown them myself? I sheepishly admitted I had purchased them at my local supermarket.
Boy, I'm sure we all are looking forward to spring and the joy of our gardens. With that in mind let’s all Dig out those watering cans, birdhouses, trellises, totes and architectural items and start planning and planting for spring.
About Lyn Andeen
Lyn Andeen has been an avid collector and dealer for the past 28 years. She has been in group shops, setup at countless antique shows and has a true artistic eye. Lyn's passion is for quality 18th through early 20th century Americana, decorative arts, Shaker and folk art. You can find Lyn online through Andeen Antiques.
March Madness Spring Sale at Dig Antiques!
Spring is in the air and we're down to the final four teams in the NCAA March Madness. So the Shops at Dig Antiques are having a March Madness Spring Sale. Starting on Saturday, March 31 at noon eastern and continuing until the winner of the NCAA Championship is crowned (or midnight Monday night, April 2) many of the Shops will be marking down their antiques. The following Shops have confirmed their participation:
You'll want to check each of the Shops multiple times during the course of the sale as new items will be added throughout the time period.
It's not too late to open your own Shop on Dig Antiques and participate in the sale! If you have any questions, send us an email or give us a call.
Tom & Sheila Baker
We Dig It...do you? Dig Antiques - Real stuff without the fluff.