Framing Native American Art


Dec 30, 2003
Beresford, SD
A customer brought in a pencil drawing. It has not had a fixative on it yet. The picture is on 14 x 17 white paper, with what appears to be a plastic coating on the back.

The customer wants something very awesome for this. There are so many elements to the drawing, teepee, buffalo skull, medicine wheel, feathers, etc, all kind of collaged together.

My creative juices are not functioning. Does anyone have an idea, or have seen a website that might prompt the creativity monster to come visit me?

Emily, If awesome includes paying for it Regence has an antiqued carved rosewood closed corner frame with a 22k gold lip, #1236. Retails for $82.00 a foot. I just did a piece of Native American art with this frame, a raw silk mat and Larson's 131912 Fillet. A natural for a rustic South Dakota ranch house.

We recently did some Native American pieces with wide 8 ply creams and white mats in Neilson's newer metals. They were out standing. Let the art speak. You might also use a tripple mat picking up on one or two of the colors.

Do a search on google and you'll come up with many NA art galleries.
Did some Terpning canvases in Roma's Monticello, the big curved guys. For paper, they have smaller profiles down to 2" which look very "native" How about Larson's Primitive? Then again, minimal metal might be cool too, a counterbalance to the Native American look
Hand painting a panel with several of the colors of the art included might help to unite the elements...
Thanks for the ideas. Do you think it would detract from the art if I were to sink a miniature medicine wheel into the mat?


For Indian works of art I have a local artist friend make me hand crafted Birch Bark Frames. She has several elements to chose from and makes all of them to order. You can see the idea on my website at The pictures change every few seconds - It's the one with the hand-beaded moose-hide pillow from the 1800's. Before anyone says anything about using red matboard let me say that I laminated the mat board before mounting the pillow cover just to be sure that no red could bleed onto the moose- hide. Also, I really wanted to trim those fringes!!!

This particular frame was made with the warmer brown of the inside of the bark facing out. She also makes them with the grey/white side up as well as a combination of both. You can't really see in the picture but there are chevrons in the corners and it is all hand laced. She can also add "schmutz" in the way of moss, lichens, etc.

If you are interested e-mail me.