Art and Framing Maintenance

We call our current location our “new store”, because it is not our “old store”, next to the Bibelot (1989-1994), or our “old old store” in Milton Square(1975-1989).   You can imagine my shock last summer when I discovered that the cedar deck and wheelchair ramp was rotten at our “new store”.  Pam reminded me that we moved into our “new store” in 1994, a long time ago.  Since last summer, we have had to take down an ash tree, paint our interior, and replace our carpet.  Even the garden will get some remodeling this summer.  The point is, time passes quickly and stuff wears out, deteriorates, and needs attention.

Even art and framing doesn’t last forever.  Of course, we use materials and techniques designed to slow the deterioration that time and light inevitably bring.  Besides, not everything you own was framed by us.  It may have been framed before conservation materials were regularly used.  It may have been framed by someone whose thriftiness overcame their concern for the long term care of the art.  It may have had a hard life that has it looking a bit beat up.  I have seen some pretty amazingly awful framed pieces of art hanging in homes and offices – landscapes that have faded to pink and blue, horribly discolored acidic mats that burn and discolor the art, prints that have slipped from their mats, sagging canvases, frames that have been scratched or banged up or with separating corners, art and framing that has suffered obvious water damage, moldy art that has been stored in a damp basement.  You get the idea.  And let’s not even get into all the ugly and inappropriate framing designs.

Some art is timeless.  Some is not.  I own some paintings that I’ve had for 25 years and still love.  I have also bought pieces that have not stood the test of time.  It is true with everything else, so why are we so surprised that some art is classic and some is trendy?  That mauve and gray abstract above your fireplace is screaming 1980’s.  The marbled green laminate frame you bought twenty-five years ago may have looked great then, but it doesn’t now.  It may not be the look you are after .  After all, you have changed your hair style, if you have some, your clothing styles, your car, and your furniture several times in the last twenty years.  It might be time to take stock of what art you own and consider its condition.  Consider updating the framing on pieces you love if they need it and getting rid of pieces you own, but don’t care about any more.  I’ve been framing for thirty years.  Framing standards have changed drastically during that time and styles have, too.  I wish it weren’t so, but even your art collection needs a little maintenance once in awhile.  Bring in your less-than-perfect framed art you love, and let us give it the care it and you deserve.

An example of acidic mat and backing and the damage they caused