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A Brief Look At Present Day Picture Frames

Aug 17, 2007
Picture framing follows all general changes in sound decorative style, so no one can expect to produce a frame which need never be changed. By keeping the principles of good taste always in mind, we will not turn out something faddish or freakish.

There will be times when a small or even tiny picture gains in importance and is not necessarily overpowered by a very wide molding if used judiciously. Again, a very large picture may only require the simplest of narrow Moldings to set it off properly. There is no call to be precious, but care employed when choosing the exact value of color for the frame or mat may make a tremendous difference in the final effect.

A few words on present-day, conventional picture framing might be in order - but just a few. Extended discussion of contemporary methods of framing would be wasted; styles and fashions in frames will undoubtedly change in a relatively short time. Therefore, the following are only general indications of how pictures in various mediums are ordinarily framed at the present time.

Original prints in black and white such as etchings, lithographs, etc., are usually matted in white, off-white or cream mats and framed with glass in very narrow moldings of natural wood or black. A narrow gold line is sometimes added to relieve the severity of the black frame.

Original color prints, as distinguished from reproductions, such as color wood-blocks, colored etchings or lithographs and serigraphs are also matted and then framed in narrow moldings with glass. More latitude in the use of color in both mats and frames for this type of picture is becoming increasingly popular.

Watercolors are usually put in proportionately larger mats and the frames are somewhat wider. Glass is always used with watercolors. Frames for them are still being made in simple, natural wood or painted finishes, but with the tendency to give the medium the importance it deserves, they are often as heavy, decorated and textured as are those for oil paintings.

The frames for pastels are similar to the ones used for watercolors, except that they are matted only when necessary. Class is always used, as is a concealed insert to separate the picture from contact with the glass surface.

Oil paintings are framed closely except for the occasional use of extra-wide inserts, which give the appearance of mats. It has been popular lately to employ less ornamentation and gilding and to bring the finish into closer relationship with the picture.

Photographs may be given more importance on a wall by matting them. They are ordinarily framed close with glass in natural or stained wood, silver or gold.

Fine reproductions of oil paintings, water-colors and prints are framed to resemble their originals.

No other decoration in a room is of such importance as a picture. Correctly framed, it can furnish continual aesthetic enjoyment; badly framed, it will merely be a jarring disturbance. Perhaps the artist should take a hint from good salesmanship; present your product in the most attractive manner possible. The right frame can improve the appearance of any picture.
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