history of frames

We all know a bit about the history of art, but how much do you know about the history of frames? Frames have existed since the 2nd century B.C. when borders were found drawn around Etruscan cave paintings.

It seems that since people have been creating art, they’ve searched for the proper way to display it. During the Middle Ages, frames were handcrafted from wood. The wooden frames were first carved out of lumber then covered in gesso and gold leaf, stunning onlookers with their beauty and attention to detail.

tabernacle frame

Most of the picture framing produced during this time period took their design cues from the architectural motifs seen in the church. An example of this was the tabernacle frame. According to art historians at the National Gallery of Art, “although such frames could provide protection from dust (or rain, if outside), their chief purpose was symbolic: to act as a shrine and elevate the image.”

frame maker

Custom frames continued through the different centuries with each framer incorporating their style and the art movements of that period. The 19th century saw a decline in handcrafted smart displays when companies started mass-producing them. One woodworking mill in Arlington, Massachusetts called the Old Schwamb Mill, operated from 1864 until 1969 when it was turned into a working museum. Today, the public can visit the mill and watch heirloom-quality oval and circular frames made with the original equipment.

Handcrafted Frames Never Go out of Style

While trends like digital photo frames may come and go, nothing compares to the fine craftsmanship and timeless appeal of custom hardwood frames. Through every visual art style, custom frames never go out of style. Although the new frames are fascinating there is still nothing more classic than when you add photos a handcrafted frame. At Church Hill Classics, we take pride in building each made-to-order frame by hand to your specifications.

frame making

Why Buy Custom Frames?

There are several reasons why you should choose to buy custom frames over cheap arts and crafts frames.

  1. Unique sizing: If you have an artwork or photograph that has an odd or non-standard size, a custom frame can be made to fit the exact dimensions, ensuring a perfect fit and a professional look.
  2. Material options: Custom frames offer a wide range of museum-grade materials to choose from, including different types of hardwood and 100% recycled wood mouldings. You can choose the mat colors and furniture finish that best suit the decorative style of your home or office.
  3. Design flexibility: Custom frames give you the opportunity to design a frame that complements the artwork or photograph in a unique and personal way. You can choose the style, color, and finish of the frame, as well as add decorative elements such as matting or fillets.
  4. Preservation: Custom frames can also be designed to protect your artwork or photograph from damage, such as UV rays or moisture. Custom framing shops can provide special glass or acrylic that can protect your artwork from fading or discoloration over time.
  5. Quality: Custom frames are typically of higher quality than mass-produced frames, which means they will last longer and maintain their appearance better over time.

Overall, custom frames offer a level of personalization and quality that mass-produced frames simply cannot match. If you have a special piece of artwork or photograph that you want to showcase in the best possible way, a custom frame is definitely worth considering.


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