Frames In History

On April 3, 1882 Jesse James- the most wanted man in America- was shot in the back of the head by Robert Ford while he stood on a chair to clean a picture frame.

A 500 Year Old Tradition

A brief history of Framing.

Framemaking began as an art in and of itself during the Italian Renaissance. Patrons needed a way to enhance the paintings hanging in dark, candlelit churches and villas. Gold leafed frames captured that flickering candlelight and helped artificially light the paintings. Frames also served to isolate the paintings from the cold, damp, walls and support the often huge, heavy artworks. Aside from lighting, some of the reasons we frame items today remain the same:

• To protect and support the artwork
• To complement and enhance the intrinsic nature of the art
• To reflect the tastes of the patron
• To incorporating art into larger design planning and architecture

At the turn of the 20th Century, mass production had crept into picture framing and pre-made 'length' moulding became the norm that exists to this day. That's not to say that beautiful mouldings were or are not available, or that no shops handcraft frames, but the vast majority of frames produced since the beginning of the 20th century are of mass-produced, pre-made moulding.

The return of Craft

Traditional production methods are seeing a resurgence across the board. Timeless crafts such as brewing, letterpress printing, and local food production have slowly crept back into modern conscience. One doesn't have to settle for beer made in the millions of gallons or fish farmed in China.

Undoubtedly these methods are more expensive and time consuming -and I won't harp on all of the benefits of keeping capital withing a community here- but nothing compares with having a relationship with the person who creates a thing you love.

Patron. Art. Framer.

Aside from small readymade frames in standard sizes- every Blackrabbet frame is made with a the customer and art in mind. By controlling every step of the production process, a frame can truly reflect the taste of the patron and strengthen the overall impact of the art. Wood selection, subtle color matching, historical considerations- all contribute to the overall aesthetics of a framed piece.

Questions? Ready to start a project? I love frames and will gladly tell you more than you've ever wanted to know. Contact me and let's get started. Also- feel free ot check out my collection of frameshop labels from all over the world.