Framed | Reagan Upshaw Fine Art

A person of the upsides to being buddies with artists is that occasionally they give you performs of artwork.  A person of the downsides to staying pals with artists is that those people works are usually unframed.  You are happy to get a do the job, but, if it’s unframed, you just cannot cling it, and if you’re really don’t have the time or dollars to get it framed, the perform will conclude up in a closet or under a bed.  You’ll subsequently locate on your own hesitating to invite your mate for supper, fearing she will see that the get the job done is not on screen.  Which she will. Our artist friend Excitement Spector, becoming a prince of a fellow, has enable that cup move from us by making confident that each and every operate he has supplied us around the a long time has arrive framed.  As a result, Roberta and I are curators for what Excitement once described as the country’s greatest long term Buzz Spector exhibition.

Buzz Spector Upshaw”s Auden, 2001
Assortment Reagan and Roberta Upshaw

Laying aside their functionality as protection for artwork, frames are essential.  “A great frame will make a gentleman out of a rascal,” art seller David Findlay once declared.  What constitutes a good frame, however, is a matter of regularly shifting view.  I realized a body vendor who bought his begin 50 decades in the past at a time when there was a vogue for reframing Hudson River Faculty paintings in compact frames that ended up “less gaudily Victorian.”  The dealer acquired some of his early inventory by snatching discarded 19th century frames from trash established out on Park Avenue sidewalks.  He sold them for tidy sums a long time later, when collectors had been all over again demanding period frames for their paintings.

In women’s manner, there are specific types that are described as timeless.  These layouts uncover reputation once more and once again, even as their strains are tweaked by contemporary designers.  Other fashions uncover ridicule as memes on Fb with captions like, “What on earth were being they considering?”

Frames also have their fashions.  There are basic models, and there are fads. Paintings by Picasso or Botero are generally exhibited in replicas of 17th century Spanish frames which established the paintings to advantage and phone to brain their predecessors in the heritage of Spanish art.  On the other hand, gold strip moldings with burlap liners, common in the 1950’s, make the paintings they surround appear hopelessly out-of-date these days.

When Roberta and I go to museums, we typically expend as significantly time commenting on the frames as on the paintings, for they’re a package.  We not long ago went to the Philadelphia Museum of Art with our good friend Nina Foster, the daughter of artist Harold Weston, to check out a single of her father’s paintings, a charming Adirondack landscape.  Nina had donated dollars to the museum to have the painting reframed in a replica of the frames Weston had carved by hand for his paintings when he was preparing for his initially New York exhibition in 1922.  The new body made a fantastic accompaniment to the painting, however as curator Katharine Foster noted, it elevated a little bit of a difficulty in the painting’s relation to will work hung close by that bore modest frames.  It’s like your neighbor fixing up his dwelling, Kathy remarked instantly yours seems to be a bit run down.

Harold Weston (1894-1972), The Elm Tree, 1922
Collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Artwork, Reward of Mrs. S. Emlen Stokes 1979-13-1.
Photograph courtesy Jessica Smith.

When you’re in a museum, consider notice of the frames as perfectly as the paintings.  What functions?  What appears inappropriate?  Why?  We were lately at the Brandywine Museum, making the most of a excellent exhibition of functions by Wayne Thiebaud.  I was struck by the final decision of the Wayne Thiebaud Foundation, which owns quite a few of the performs on display screen, to frame their oils mainly as will work on paper.

Wayne Thiebaud. Untitled (Rows of Eyeglasses), 2000. Oil on linen. 
Wayne Thiebaud Basis.

An oil on linen at the very least a pair of toes significant has been framed as if it have been a 10 x 8 inch drawing.  Was the linen mat vital?  To me it was distracting.  I most popular the oils framed in a more conventional manner.

Wayne Thiebaud.  Boston Cremes, 1982.  Oil on canvas. 
Assortment Crocker Art Museum.

I found Boston Crème’s framing significantly additional effective, strongly supporting the painting instead than distracting from it.

Perfectly, if it’s your collection, you can frame the operates as you you should.  Speaking of my have selection, I’m in the course of action of acquiring a frame for a substantial portray that was supplied to me a several yrs back by Vernon Fisher.  It was a generous reward, and I have felt a twinge of conscience from time to time in excess of its languishing unframed and unseen.  I’m excited at the prospect of having it hanging in our property.  Now the problem is where by.  Do I crowd the walls even additional, or do I mail an individual else’s portray to storage?  If we choose for the latter, Roberta and I will have to observe our supper invites very carefully and be well prepared to make a switcheroo at quick observe.  For the artist will recognize his painting’s absence.  He usually does.