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Last year PPFA sponsored a weekend with Bill Adair at his Gold Leaf Studio in Washington, D.C. One attraction on the agenda was a half-day field trip to the National Portrait Gallery of Presidents, and I believe Martin Kotler conducted part of the tour.
Next time you go to Washington, D.C., try to arrange a visit with Bill Adair and see his studio. It is full of incredible frames in all stages of restoration, many of which are either from or for the national Gallery.
A few years ago there was an exhibition at our local Art Gallery titled "Monet and Japan". It explored the link between Monet's work and the Japanese woodcuts which he owned and which inspired much of his work.
The set which struck me most was a series of paintings of hay ricks with a four seasons theme. The were identical sizes and identical frame profiles but the colours of each frame were matched to the seasons each represented. The result was both understated and brilliant as the frames enhanced te art without drawing attention to themselves. (unless you are a framer)
Sadly, modern Australian artists are all about "the frame must not take away from the art" which roughly translated means " I want a limed or raw wood frame with a generic white matt as cheaply as I can get it."
Suerat painted a lot of frames to match his paintings. Unfortunately a lot of galleries got rid of them and installed his art in those hideous gold monstrosities. And now they are back pedaling like mad to try to "authenticate" the artist-painted frames. I do remember seeing one of his painted frames in the Albright Knox Gallery in Buffalo many years ago, and then they reframed it to match all the others in that collection. Last I heard they were trying to track down the provenance of the original frame.