We do believe that the right frame style can greatly enhance the look of a work of art, while the wrong frame can detract from its overall appearance. Having said that, please keep in mind that framing is a matter of personal opinion! One person may like a more ornate frame on a particular painting, while another likes a much simpler frame – there is no ‘real’ right or wrong.
For the most part, galleries that deal in historical works of art will often frame their works in the original frame, a period frame, or a reproduction frame done in the style of a period frame. Now I am sure you want to know, what’s the difference?
The original frame – those selected by the artist, or his dealer/agent, for the painting when it was first created -- in some instances the artist may have actually created the frame. Again, the frame style can range from the very simple to the extremely ornate. When possible, it is nice to keep the ‘original’ frame with the painting. There are instances where people just do not like the ‘original’ frame style … if this is the case we always suggest that you store the ‘original’ frame in a safe place and when you decide to sell the work, put it back in its ‘original’ frame – these frames can add a lot of value to the work.
Period frames - produced during the era when the work was first created and may be similar or even the exact frame style that the artist used to frame his work. While this option is a good one, you need to keep in mind that looking for a period frame is time consuming and when you find the right style, you may find that it is the wrong size. When this happens, the frame may need to be enlarged, or cut down and this will add to its cost. Of course, you may get lucky and find an exact fit!
Reproduction frames – frames that are made today to look like the old frames. These frames are often a great choice, when the original frame is no longer on the painting. Reproduction frames are custom made for a specific work of art; will be an exact fit and are available in many different styles. These frames also come in a variety of mediums – carved wood, composition/wood combinations and resin. They also offer you the option of finishes – from painted to original gold leafing, and a host of combinations.
Now I am sure you are wondering: what will this cost? Again, if you are going to purchase a work from a gallery that deals in historical works of art, the painting should come framed. If you are purchasing a work of art from a gallery that specializes in more contemporary/decorative works of art, then the frame will probably be an ‘extra’. These galleries will often have frame samples on hand and will help you choose the frame that is right for you. The cost for a frame will run the gamut … from $20 or $30 for the simple metal frames to over $100,000 for original period frames.
If it turns out that you need to purchase a frame for a work of art you own, finding the right framer is similar to finding the right dealer … you will need to do some research and learn about the different types of frames that are available. If you decide to venture into the ‘period’ frame arena, you will need to concern yourself with condition, quality, style and size – as they all factor into the final price. If you choose the reproduction route then you will need to find those framers, or frame shops, that offer you the widest choice in style, finishes and quality. You should also keep in mind that in the reproduction world, the finely carved wood frames, finished in original gold leaf, will probably be the most expensive; however there are carved wood frames that are inexpensive, but remember, you get what you pay for.
In the end, as with any work of art you purchase, buy what you like. You are going to live with it and really, who cares what the neighbors think!
Emile Munier & Louis Aston Knight
The gallery has announced that along with its current projects, the catalogue raisonnés for Daniel Ridgway Knight (1839 – 1924) and Julien Dupré (1851 – 1910), it will begin compiling information and documentation on the life and works of Louis Aston Knight (1873 – 1948) and Emile Munier (1840 – 1895) for, what will begin as, Internet based checklists of each artist’s work.
We have often said that it is truly a shame that the majority of the great 19th century academic artists have been long forgotten and the available information on many of them is almost nonexistent. During their lifetimes, many of these artists enjoyed extremely successful careers and collectors from both Europe and the United States fought to acquire their works. By the 1920s the Academics were out of favor and their works were bought and sold purely for their decorative appeal. It was not until the 1960s that dealers and scholars began to look at these works as something more than just ‘decorative’ paintings.
Today scholars and dealers are exploring the contribution the Academics made to the history of art during the 19th century and once again, they are not only being prominently displayed in many of our museums, but are integral parts of scholarly exhibitions dealing with the art of the 19th century.
We are asking that anyone with information about the life and works of Munier and Aston Knight to please contact the gallery.
Stolen Art Update
Sometimes, good things do happen! Last month I reported on a theft that had taken place in Naples, FL at the end of December. Our local paper has reported that undercover police have recovered the two works -Claude Monet’s Paysage a Vetheuil and Renoir’s La Place de Trinite – and that three men were charged with dealing in stolen property … chalk one up for the good guys!!
eBay and the Cortès Book
A few months ago I reported on the fact that someone sold a copy of David Klein’s Cortès book on eBay for $180.00. On February 9th, another copy surfaced and sold for $195.00. We have all seen how strong the demand for his original paintings has been during the past couple of years ... I guess the same is true for used copies of the book! Oh, by the way, we still have 10 ... no 9 ... now only 8, new copies for sale! They are selling as I am writing this.
Gallery Updates: Many of you know that for the past few years we have attended the Lake Forest Art & Antique Show, Lake Forest, IL. We were informed, late last year that the show has been canceled … but have no fear; we have found another great venue!
This year we will exhibit, for the first time, at the Chicago Botanic Garden's Antiques & Garden Fair.
The show takes place in Glencoe, IL from April 11 - 13, 2003. We will be sending on more information about the exhibit and hope that many of our friends will be able to visit us there!
The gallery has also acquired new works by Édouard Cortès, Antoine Blanchard, Heidi Coutu and Sally Swatland – some of which have been added to our site.
Virtual Exhibitions: This month we have added one work to – Rehs Galleries: A Visual History … Edward Charles Williams’ The Old Roadside Inn. This work was painted in 1859 at the height of the artist’s career and is one of the most important works to have surfaced in years. The direct URL to this work is:
Since our last newsletter we have sold a number of wonderful works of art … many of which have been added to their respective Virtual Exhibitions. Among them were three important paintings by Daniel Ridgway Knight - Confidence; Les Cerisiers and Martha, A Days Sport - a large Vincent Clare: Still Life with Bird’s Nest - a number of Sally Swatland’s including: Collecting Minnows and Castle Builders, Todd’s Point - Antoine Blanchard’s Le Louvre, Passerelle des Arts and l'Arc de Triomphe (c.1968); a great early Cortès of Quai du Louvre (c.1930) and the important British landscape painting by Edward Charles Williams – The Old Roadside Inn – we mentioned earlier.
Next Month: Continuing on my “How to Care for Your Works of Art” series I will discuss - Storage!