Whether we’re talking trends in art, architecture, or design, it’s all about seeing the beauty of traditional materials used in new ways. It’s looking at ordinary objects in a different light. It’s rethinking the purpose of conventional spaces. But most of all, it’s about being open to possibilities.
Picture frames increasingly are being recognized as objets d’art that raise the aesthetic as well as the monetary value of the masterworks they surround.
“Every great artist, from Michelangelo and Van Gogh to Thomas Hart Benton, got involved in designing and sometimes even building great frames for each work they created,” says master framer Eli Wilner, whose namesake studio in Manhattan has restored and replicated frames for private clients and museums around the world. “The frame is a tool by which art gets elevated and energized. I consider it an adjunct to the artwork.”
Wilner, who replicated the mammoth $3.5 million frame for Emanuel Leutze’s Washington Crossing the Delaware at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, says that “when the right frame is paired with the right picture, it can add 10% to the value of the work.” And, he adds, “With major artworks selling for upwards of $10 million, that’s a significant amount.”