Annotated Bibliography of Frame Publications,
1995 to 2013
By country: United States of America

See also PHOTOGRAPHS under Burns and Schneider

Adair, William B., ‘The American Empire Frame', Picture Framing Magazine, vol.10, August 1999, pp.108-17, 20 illustrations. Fully illustrated account of the conservation and reproduction of a neo-classical frame made for the North Carolina state capitol building by Horton & Waller of Philadelphia in 1841 to house a lithograph, ‘Canova's Statue of General George Washington'.

Adair, William B., ‘Max Kuehne Frames', Picture Framing Magazine, vol.12, May 2001, pp.56-62, 6 colour illustrations. Summary discussion of the life and work of Max Kuehne (1880-1968), a leading American craftsman framemaker.

Barry, Claire M., ‘Swimming by Thomas Eakins: Its Construction, Condition, and Restoration', in Doreen Bolger and Sarah Cash (eds.), Thomas Eakins and the Swimming Picture, exh. cat., Amon Carter Museum, Texas, 1996, pp.111-2, 116, repr. in colour on cover. On the rediscovery of the artist's original gilt renaissance-revival frame, of a pattern found on one other work by Eakins of the 1880s.

Bockrath, Mark, essay in Sylvia Yount et al., Cecelia Beaux: American Figure Painter, exh. cat., University of California, 2007, investigating Beaux’s sensitivity to the framing and display of her work.

Glover, Hugh, ‘A description of 19th-century American gilded picture frames and an outline of their modern use and conservation’, WAG (Wooden Artifacts Group of the American Institute for Conservation) postprints, Providence, Rhode Island, 2006, pp.21, 14 colour illustrations. A conservator’s view of specifically American 19th-century frames, in very brief points: their history; their construction, ornament, and textural materials; plaster and gesso; finishes, including gold, mecca gilding, varnish and paint; labels, glazing and hardware; and finally the treatment of wear and damage.

Gomez-Rhine, Traude, ‘Framed again: A Frederic Church landscape returns to the perfect setting', Huntington Frontiers, Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, Fall/Winter 2006, pp.4-8, 4 illustrations. On the reframing of Chimborazo by Frederic Edwin Church in a replica of its original frame, designed by Church, confirmed as the original by photographs of the painting in c.1865-70, and copied from an identical frame on Church's Vale of St Thomas, Jamaica.

Holton, Timothy, ‘Hidden in plain view: An appreciation of the oak frame tradition', Style: 1900 Magazine, Winter 2008, vol.21, no.4, pp.46-53, 14 illustrations. Discusses the historic use of oak for early portable frames, its replacement in the 17th century by fruitwoods, and its revival during the Arts and Crafts movement (quoting M.H. Baillie Scott and early 20th-century American articles). A page from a 1912 Canadian framemaker's catalogue is reproduced.

Koenigsberg, Lisa and Suzanne Smeaton, ‘Trends In Modern American Framing: The Edward Wales Root Bequest, A Case Study’, in Auspicious Vision: Edward Wales Root and American Modernism, Munson Williams Proctor Arts Institute, Utica, New York, 2008, pp.56-72. This study of the framing of pictures in Edward Wales Root’s 1957 bequest of 227 modern American paintings and drawing provides an insight into framing taste in America in the first half of the 20th century, especially for the years from the early 1920s into the 1950s. The authors group the frames into seven categories. The first three relate to historical precedents: transitional frames, inspired by 19th and early 20th century aesthetics as seen, for example, in a reeded moulding chosen by George B. Luks; frames reflecting French influence, seen on works by Morris Kantor, Raphael Soyer, Eugene Speicher and others; and early 20th century artist-designed/crafted frames on paintings by Arthur B. Davies and Maurice Prendergast. The four later groupings reveal a different set of concerns: modernist frames on works by Reginald Marsh, Edward Hopper, Arthur G. Dove and Yasuo Kuniyoshi, exploring surface, texture and tonality; later modernist frames on works by Theodoros Stamos, William Baziotes and their contemporaries; mid-century artist-designed frames by Lee Gatch; and other mid-century presentations on works by Ilya Bolotowsky, Jackson Pollock, Charles Howard and Mark Tobey. Altogether a thoughtful and well-illustrated survey.

Kornhauser, Stephen, and Ulrich Birkmaier, ‘Marsden Hartley's materials and working methods', in Elizabeth Mankin Kornhauser (ed.), Marsden Hartley, 2002, including a short section, ‘Notes on Frames', pp.274-6. Hartley's signature mouldings, developed while he was in Paris and Berlin, were used in his frames with understated, flat, softwood mouldings, similar to frame liners, usually less than 1¾ins wide and less than 1in deep. These were finished with white paint or gesso, or sometimes polychromed with a continuation of the design of the painting; three such frames dating to c.1914 are reproduced as pl.13-15, including The Aero (National Gallery of Art, Washington). From 1937-40 Hartley exhibited with the dealer, Hudson Walker, who negotiated with the artist to exhibit his works in more massive frames, which Walker provided, using the New York frame dealer, Henry Heydenryk (fig.20 shows three of these mouldings). Many of these frames were made from a wormy chestnut wood, with a grey antiqued finish, which became known as ‘Hartley Decape Finish'.

Additional to this discussion, one might add that in the late 1940s Heydenryk's published catalogue (The House of Heydenryk, 1948 or later, 36pp) gave prominence to Hartley, reproducing two frames, one a ‘Iorgy handcarved Renaissance Breughel in Iorgy finish with double insert' on Marsden's Fish (Iorgy was ‘a mellow gessoed bleached grey white finish with the suggestion of delicate tints of green and black'), the other, Model 385, a notched design in old chestnut with a textured finish, ‘sometimes called Hartley moulding because of Hartley's predilection for this design', also featuring the ‘Hartley Silver Decape', with silver flecks.

Kramer, Hilton, John Marin: The painted frame, exh.cat., Richard York Gallery, New York, 2000, 78pp, illustrated in colour throughout. Includes a brief essay on the work of the American modernist artist, John Marin (1870-1953), with quotations by Marin making up each catalogue entry. The exhibition focuses on watercolours and oil paintings which use framing devices, such as containing lines or decorative borders painted on the work, and wooden frames made and painted by the artist.

Larkin, Susan, ‘How Hassam framed Hassam’, in Childe Hassam: American Impressionist, ed. H. Barbara Weinberg, exh.cat., Metropolitan Museum and Yale University Press, 2004, pp.325-42, 23 illustrations. This well-illustrated and important essay on Hassam’s frames explores his very particular interest in frames over a long career and his concerns with the presentation of his work. Initially he used some compo frames in the 1880s and on a trip to Europe in 1897 he ordered some French frames. Like some of his fellow artists in the group exhibition, Ten American Painters, in New York in 1898, he was anxious to explore the aesthetic possibilities of framing. Hassam patronised the Carrig-Rohane business, 1904-12. This partnership, led by Hermann Dudley Murphy, settled in Boston in 1906, and included Charles Pendergast and Walford Thulin. Murphy produced cassetta frames with distinctive finely carved grillwork decoration on the outer moulding at the corners; an example is Golden Afternoon, 1908, with a frame dated 1910 (Metropolitan Museum of Art).

In 1912 Hassam started using the newly set up Milch Gallery in New York, run by the brothers Edward and Albert Milch, a relationship which endured for the rest of his life. In 1919 Hassam decided to signal his role in the design of his frames by incorporating his initial, H, within a circle, as a decorative motif on the outer mouldings of his frames, ‘an H frame’, as he called it (occasionally he used both initials, CH, within a circle). In the 1920s Hassam also used the Royal Art Framing Company of New York for some of his framing and turned to an immigrant craftsman, Gregory Kirchner, for a few more elaborate carved frames. For his painting, Long Island Pebbles and Fruit, 1931 (American Academy of Arts and Letters, New York), Hassam painted the frame himself in geometric designs using the same colour range as in the picture.

Smeaton, Suzanne, ‘Embracing Realism: Frames of the Ashcan Painters, 1895-1925’, in Life’s Pleasures: The Ashcan Artists’ Brush with Leisure, 1895-1925, ed. James Tottis, exh.cat., Detroit Institute of Arts, 2007, pp.90-105. This illustrated article concludes that there is no definitive Ashcan frame but that certain frame styles that were popular during the years the Ashcan artists were active in New York are especially well suited to their works. Several Ashcan painters designed or even made their own frames. Charles Prendergast made frames in Boston not only for paintings by his brother Maurice, but also for works by Ashcan artists William Glackens, Arthur B. Davies, Ernest Lawson and Guy Pène du Bois. Writing in winter 1908-9, Marsden Hartley recognized the particular qualities of Charles Prendergast’s workshop. Another Boston artist, Hermann Dudley Murphy also produced frames. Initially with Charles Prendergast, he created the Carrig-Rohane frame shop in 1903, producing an influential ‘cassetta’ design which was adopted and reinterpreted by the Royal Art Company of New York and the Newcomb-Macklin Company of Chicago. The Prendergast brothers moved to New York in 1914 and Newcomb-Macklin set up a New York office in 1912. Ashcan artists who used Newcomb-Macklin include Robert Henri, George Bellows and John Sloan, as for instance Sloan’s Hairdresser’s Window, 1907 (Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford). Another framemaking business, the Milch brothers partnership, active from 1916 (before that, the brothers worked individually) produced a distinctive frame, now known as a Henri frame, based on Spanish 17th-century prototypes, sometimes employing metal leaf rather than gilding. There were other particular types such as the Bellows frame, inspired by earlier reeded frames of a type used by Whistler among others, of which many were made by the framemaker, Maurice Grieve, whose company also worked for the art dealer, Joseph Duveen.

Stebbins, T.E., The Life and Work of Martin Johnson Heade, 2000, pp.84-5, 2 frame illustrations. This monograph contains a short section on frames. Heade seems to have cared about the framing of his paintings, using gilt salon frames with several bands of ornate decoration, and directing a patron that his work should not be shown without a frame ‘on any account’ but sent to his regular framer, James S. Earle in Philadelphia.

Smith, Erika Jaeger, Carved, Incised, Gilded and Burnished: The Bucks County Framemaking Tradition, exh. cat., James A. Michener Art Museum, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, 2000, unpaginated, copiously illustrated. A brief history of frames and a note on the European Arts and Crafts Movement, leading to an examination of local Arts and Crafts frames, and specific artists and framemakers working in Bucks County.

Vazquez, Anne, three articles in Picture Framing Magazine, vol.12: ‘American frames: 1900-1950', March 2001, pp.74-82, 10 illustrations; ‘American frames: The 1950s', May 2001, pp.28-32, 3 illustrations; ‘American frames: The 1960s', July 2001, pp.44-6, 3 illustrations. Summary discussion of period styles with basic information on framemakers.

Wilner, Eli and Mervyn Kaufman, Antique American Frames. Identification and Price Guide, Avon Books, New York, 1995, 228pp, numerous illustrations, 19 in colour. A popular paperback history and collectors guide, covering the period 1800-1939.

Wilner, Eli (ed.), The Gilded Edge: The Art of the Frame, Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 2000, 203pp, 151 illustrations mainly in colour, 17 line drawings. Ten essays on various aspects of framing in America, including a section on aesthetics and history, a consideration of artist designed frames such as those by Whistler, Thomas Eakins, and Stanford White, and three essays on museum framing at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Detroit Institute of Arts.

Wilson, Kristina, ‘The Intimate Gallery and the Equivalents: Spirituality in the 1920s Work of Stieglitz', Art Bulletin, vol.85, 2003, pp.765-7. On Alfred Stieglitz's photographs and the work of artists such as Georgia O'Keefe and Marsden Hartley which he displayed in his Intimate Gallery, New York. The framing and hang of these exhibitions are noted, and for Hartley's frames the reader is referred to pp.265-77 in Elizabeth M. Kornhauser (ed.), Marsden Hartley: American Modernist, Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, 2003, Yale University Press.