History Of Picture Framing

At the same time that heavy gilt frames were the vogue for oil paintings, a
demand for polished,veneered oak and white enamel frames developed. In order
to cheapen the cost of production, a fashion was instituted for bronze frames,
i.e., frames finished with gold or silver paint. It did not last long, however,
and simple, wide frames in black or dark brown wood of the Flemish type came
into favor.

“An inexpensive picture frame may be made by covering a plain pine frame with
varnish, then sprink-ling it lavishly with either sand, oatmeal or rice. When
thoroughly dry, cover the whole surface with gold paint”?From a ladies magazine
of 1894.

As will be seen from this quotation, one of the causes of a great deal of
misconception regarding proper framing is the damage which has been done by
the “ideas” put forth in women’s magazines and slick-paper decorators’ journals.
The attempts at being “cute” and “homey” in the women’s magazines and the
chi-chi attitude of being “smart” in the more expensive journals are on a par
for bad taste. There is no reason to suppose that any of the suggestions they
make today are any improvement basically over those advanced fifty years ago.

Just as all decorative art continued in the doldrums until the influence of the
“modern” art of the Paris Exposition of 1925 was felt, so picture framing had
its minor ups and downs in design.

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