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Framing "Objectionable" Material?

Discussion in 'Picture Framing Business Issues' started by Frame Chick, Sep 20, 2016.

  1. Frame Chick

    Frame Chick Grumbler

    I am curious as to how the Grumble community of framers views the framing of items that might seem objectionable. We had a client that we don't see often bring in a photo of her grandparents wedding in Germany, asking for our help in scanning the image and having a restorer complete work before we framed it. The groom appears to be a Nazi officer and the couple is walking down the aisle with soldiers on either side giving the Hitler salute with their swastika armbands in plain sight. The client said nothing about it other than she wanted the tones adjusted.

    It left me really questioning whether I should proceed or not in taking the project. It is her family history and I would assume that all of the wedding photos show his uniform. This situation has led to some interesting conversations with framer friends about projects they've run across that might cross some lines and what they are willing to take in or refuse. Not sure if this is something where a policy can be developed or if it is a case by case situation to evaluate.
    What are your experiences and do you have set policies in place for your staff to follow?
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    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Are you responsible for your ancestors?
    "All" nazi's were not horrific people. Just like "All" Confederate soldiers,Union soldiers, Japanees were not.
    My great Grandfather was a KKK card carrier does that make me a Racist because I have framed pictures of him?
    Things like this are history they should not be rubbed out.
    We are entitled to our personal views. If you want to bring that into your work that would be your conudrum.
    Unless it is illegal or would cause physical harm I will accept it. But we all have the right to disagree with it. God willing we always will.
  3. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    IMO, since she didn't say something like "My son is a Nazi so I wanted to frame this to display at his wedding; I'm so proud of my Grandfather for siding with the best man in history." or some such thing, you have to assume it is simply, as you say, a piece of family history. One that may well serve as a good reminder of how far they've come.
    Dave likes this.
  4. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    This has been discussed before. If I remember correctly, one of the threads talked about framing nudes/semi-porn and the framer doing the framing realized that the lady doing the framing was the one in the pics.
  5. cjmst3k

    cjmst3k SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I was handed something a few weeks ago from a collector of rare prints. Being somewhat different than what he usually brings in, he said "I hope this doesn't offend you". I told him "Nothing offends me".

    If we're looking at something which is in a historic context, then what can be said about it? I wasn't there. What if he had a photo of his caveman ancestor (which of course he couldn't) and what if that caveman had killed 42 other cavemen? A) It was in caveman times B) I'm not here to judge, I'm here to preserve and design a presentation. No one is asking me to put my judgements into it. Just like a doctor in an emergency room isn't asked to judge why he's pulling something unusual out of someone's privates after a strange night out (like in that TV show jacka$$). The person needs a service. I provide the service. That's about it.

    Granted, I do have principals, but an image of something isn't that thing. Its an image. Now, hopefully, its the image of the person, and not the uniform, that they are wanting to remember, but that's up to them and their psyche. Would I frame a photo of a nazi in uniform for a museum? Yes. Would I frame a photo of a nazi in uniform for an individual? Yes. The recipient doesn't change the fact that I'd frame something.
    Joe B likes this.
  6. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    "Those who ignore the past are condemned to repeat it"

    It's a family photo and also a piece of social history. If it makes you feel uncomfortable don't frame it. It wouldn't bother me too much.

    At a place where I worked there was a old chap on a machine. His face was a bit crooked due to being smacked in the face with a rifle butt
    while he was a POW. On the next machine there was another ex-POW. He was German though. Never went back after the war.
    There is always more to any story than there appears.

    btw. Larry. It was me with the saucy lady. :D
    westman 2 likes this.
  7. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    It's really none of my business what they want framed. It's my business to make it into the perfect presentation for the customer. I'd only refuse if it would get me arrested, but you should do whatever you think is best for your business.

  8. Larry Peterson

    Larry Peterson PFG, Picture Framing God

    When Correctly viewed, everything is lewd.

    Tom Lehrer

    Framar and FramerCat like this.
  9. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    I would frame it. There's a difference between something like that, which is family history, and framing current racist propaganda.
  10. simplymatted

    simplymatted SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Im with Gumby for the most part. Its their history. A label doesnt make everyone relating to that label as evil. I have once turned down a framing job. 5 posters for planned parent good. Had to say no.
    CandyB and JWB9999999 like this.
  11. bruce papier

    bruce papier MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I had someone bring in one of those canvases which they advertise with "turn your love into an abstract work of art" where you put the canvas on a suitable surface, cover yourselves with paint, and have at it. It had a certain "Ewww" factor to it, but hey, they paid me for it.
  12. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I'm super confused by this, but I'm afraid if I ask for an explanation it will turn political. I support your right to run your business however you want though.

    Framing Goddess and Ylva like this.
  13. Grey Owl

    Grey Owl SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Good timing!

    I have about 10 WW-II German, British, Japanese, USA propaganda poster reprints I am matting for one of my used book customers. [I normally only do mats and not frames, as he resells the matted prints]. Some of these images are rather disturbing.

    I told him I would do them, but only simple, single mat alpha, but not double mat rag, and no painted bevels I normally for this customer. And I am not putting my sticker on the back.

    It is important that we remember some of the bad things / images of years past, but I don't want to be associated with them. Am I being Hippocratic?
  14. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I once had a very good customer bring in a poster of Hitler, with a caption he must have found humorous (which definitely I did not).
    I refused to frame it.
    Just go with your gut, it's OK to say "No".
  15. phatgamera

    phatgamera Grumbler

    We turned down framing of an oversized (like 4 x 6 ) Nazi flag last Christmas. The only place to store it when completed was the sales floor, so we overpriced it to avoid getting the job.
  16. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    So, you CAN be bought.
  17. phatgamera

    phatgamera Grumbler

    Yes. This is retail. BTW, the flag in question was from WWII.
  18. Pointe Claire Framer

    Pointe Claire Framer Grumbler in Training

    I frame what the customer brings in, it's work, it's money, it's my job. There's a lot of stuff that people frame that I don't get - but it's not my job to get it, it's my job to frame it.
    Ylva, Joe B and prospero like this.
  19. Aaron Randall

    Aaron Randall CGF, Certified Grumble Framer

    Gloves to the rescue. I'll frame pretty much anything legal at this point. When I first started framing pictures 20 years ago, I worked for a Southern Baptist family, a lady brought in a bunch of mid-century sex toys. The look on their faces was priceless, but they accepted the job, although they didn't do the framing, our head frame guru did.
  20. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Frame it! I frame anything that comes into my shop as long as it is legal. I don't believe I have the right to push my beliefs on someone else through my business. I have framed many items, poster, pictures that I find offensive and down right nasty - I frame these items quick and get them out of my shop - I always collect 100% payment up front for those types of items just to be assured the customers comes back to pick them up. If you are in the picture framing business, unless it is illegal, frame it. You are in business to put bread on the table. Let the preachers preach morals and religion & politicians talk politics, that's their jobs, your job is picture framing. Just my thoughts, JoeB
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2016

    GUMBY GCF SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    joe is a frame whore.....................................................nah! nah! nah! nah!~
    shayla likes this.
  22. simplymatted

    simplymatted SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Some times the quote from Jean-Luc Picard works pretty good for me.

    “The line is drawn here! This far, no farther!”
  23. Joe B

    Joe B SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    :eek: Oh well, the truth really doesn't hurt!:rolleyes::):):):)
  24. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    If you mean in the sense of, "First, do no harm," then perhaps. ;) Are you being hypocritical? I don't think so. You are performing a service for your customer. That doesn't mean you have to support his views, or those represented by the items he brings in.
    :cool: Rick
    Scott Danger, Jim Miller and Grey Owl like this.
  25. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Rick beat me to it. I was going to ask if you'd taken an oath.
    Jim Miller and Grey Owl like this.
  26. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    There is a story, which has probably got mangled a bit with the telling, about the
    actor Ralph Fiennes when he was filming Schindler's List. Apparently, he and fellow
    actor Ben Kingsley took a break from filming and had a stroll around the old Jewish quarter
    in the Polish town of Krakow. In full costume. Which in Fiennes case was the full SS officer's
    uniform. I've heard and read various versions of this, but in all of them there was no animosity
    from the locals and some actually asked for autographs and generally greeted the pair with a
    friendly attitude.
  27. CB Art & Framing

    CB Art & Framing SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Not sure I understand the point of this story?
  28. artfolio

    artfolio SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I firmly believe in letting the past stay in the past. My Father was a guest of the Emperor in Singapore in WW2 and I don't think he ever entirely forgave the Japanese generally for the things he experienced there. However, to his credit, he never attempted to pass that distrust on to us and actively encouraged us to respect people of all races, including Japanese.

    Personally, I am not a huge fan of homosexuality but a goodly proportion of my regular clients were gay and I framed a lot of stuff for them which the vicar probably would not approve of. It didn't worry me - their "pink dollars" spend as well as any other money. I just took the precaution of keeping the finished items out of sight until they came in to collect them.
  29. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Well, I suppose just because you go around in a Nazi uniform doesn't necessarily mean you are a Nazi.

    Similarly if you frame a picture with Nazi associations doesn't signify approval of same.
    John Ranes II CPF GCF likes this.
  30. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As long as it's not illegal (like child porn), I'd frame it. I don't have to like what I frame. As long as customer pays, I honestly don't care. If I would have to store something in my retail space that I don't agree with or think might offend other customers, I'd wrap it up so it doesn't show.
    Charge enough for every job to make you happy.
  31. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That on its own is a good philosophy.
    ;) Rick
    Jim Miller and Ylva like this.
  32. tedh

    tedh PFG, Picture Framing God

    Boy, does this thread take me back. It was probably 1996, when a German friend brought in a photo of his parents for re-framing. Father was a German army officer, in uniform.

    We went through the design, and he wanted metal. As soon as I said "German Silver", he was hooked.
  33. Gilder

    Gilder MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I might take it might not, I don't know. If I feel it hurts my feelings in some way I probably will not take it, they can go somewhere else. I don't need money that much.
  34. Kirstie

    Kirstie PFG, Picture Framing God

    I had a difficult time thinking about something I would not frame until Yiva mentioned child porn. Not only would I turn that away, but I would call the police.
  35. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I would too. Maybe I would even pretend to take the order, get a name and number and then show it to police
  36. graysalchemy

    graysalchemy CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    But taking it into your possession could make you a guilty party in the eyes of the law. But I agree informing the police of what was brought in would be the right thing to do.
  37. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I thought of that too. However, how else would you proof it? I think a jury would let me go on this, good intent and all. If it wouldn't be in my possession, I could inform the police but without evidence and name/address, what can they possibly do? I think if I'd call right away, it does show why I took it in.

    Let's just hope it never happens.
  38. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    We had a protocol for child porn in the photo lab. Thank goodness we never had to use it.
    The same protocol applies if the cops show up at your door and want to take or view customers property.

    First, call the police.
    Do not make prints.
    Return digital media or negatives to customer if they demand, it their property not yours.
    Hopefully cops show up before customer.
    Tell cops what you saw but do not hand over the customers property, even if they ask or demand.
    Tell cops they need a search warrant.
    If the cops want to go to the file and look that's up to them, don't stop them.
    If cops want to take possession of customers that's also up to them, don't stop them.

    Your obligated to report child porn but you can get sued big time just handing over customers property. even if your intentions are good.

    shayla likes this.
  39. i-FRAMER

    i-FRAMER MGF, Master Grumble Framer

    I have framed a 4x6 Nazi U-Boat submarine flag. The guy wasn't a Nazi. Just too much money.

    It's sounds though you find it objectionable and might have some history from those day. It is therefore your choice.

    I know people who have been abused by priests of the catholic church, and then there are other religions who have wiped out entire races people, and killed and kill in the name of their religion. Although i am an atheist, i still frame wedding photos and portraits of people from different religions etc.

    Personally, i think it is better to remember these things then to brush them away and forget about them. Remembering will hopefully make sure they never happen again.
  40. graysalchemy

    graysalchemy CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Well you could start taking the guys details as if you were taking the order and then decline to do it that way you have his details but not the incriminating evidence. Or if you had cctv you could report it to the police and give them the cctv images, they might be able to identify them from that.
  41. IFGL

    IFGL SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I framed a loin cloth once, I wore my nitrile gloves and thought of other things!
    neilframer likes this.
  42. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I framed a monkey skin about 20 years ago.:eek:
    I checked it for fleas and I used hair spray on it to help arrange and comb the hair for the shadow box.:rolleyes:
    We had a hair salon next door at that time and I borrowed the hair spray from them.:D
  43. prospero

    prospero SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Tarzan killed a monkey in his loincloth once.

    How it got in he had no idea.

    shayla likes this.
  44. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Many years ago we were asked to frame a bird tail that was someone's hunting trophy. They had separated it from the rest of the bird themselves and "preserved" it with salt.
    We referred to it as the "bird butt". Working on it made me squeamish. Couldn't wait for it to leave the shop.
    :confused: Rick
  45. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Good to know. Filed under 'hope to never have to use it'.
  46. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    We have framed several Nazi propaganda posters from the 1930s and 1940s, which illustrate the hatred that the Nazis promoted. The language is usually German or Polish, but the messages are clear enough that we always keep the images covered in the shop.

    The customer is a Jewish fellow, who says he wants everyone to remember the horror of that time, so that history will never be repeated. The posters are generally large and cheaply printed, like typical movie posters. Also like movie posters, he has them restored, linen-backed, and framed as simply as possible - in black, of course.
    Rick Granick likes this.
  47. Daniel Smith

    Daniel Smith Grumbler

    Do you have a sign "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"?

    If this image offends you then don't do it.
  48. Erfellie

    Erfellie Grumbler in Training

    Ha! Ive got one of those right now! yeah.. kinda eww... but kinda cool lol
    Rick Granick likes this.
  49. Dave

    Dave SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Heck... I guess I'll frame anything. I've framed Michigan and Ohio State football pictures.

    shayla likes this.
  50. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    If we ever get in something from Stanford, I'll have to keep Hubby in the dark, lest the frame meet an untimely doom.
    Dave likes this.
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