Tools of The Trade: Frames

Updated: Aug 18

FRAMES are the fashion accessories of the art world. And just as the wrong shoes can ruin a Prada outfit, the wrong frame can ruin a Picasso. Yet collectors are often flummoxed: should the frame reflect the artist's style, period or palette -- or some combination of these?


Here are ten interesting facts about frames that I learned over time!

  1. Edgar Degas reportedly once said 'The frame is the reward of the artist'.. What does this mean? As an art lover and dealer of art, I can attest that a frame will add to the aesthetic value of your art 100% and keep prospective customers lingering longer.

  2. Walk through any gallery or museum and find your favorite style of frame! Frames are NOT copy written. There is no law to stop anyone from imitating any kind of frame, from antique to modern. Many frames have been and still are replicated to look like frames from earlier centuries.

  3. Egyptians used to carve frames for their artwork from the same piece of wood as the actual artwork and paintings themselves, so that the finished piece was all one continuos piece of work.

  4. Frames are not just used to compliment the work displayed, they are actually a key importance to preserving and protecting whatever is being housed inside. For example, I've started working in pastel and realized that my work must be preserved in a glass frame to avoid fading!

  5. Over the years custom made picture frames are becoming increasingly popular. They can be made in many different styles and colors from many different materials and can be designed and styled from the places they are to be hung, using decoration, location furnishings and style to help make them a perfect fit into any environment. At NYC Arts Empire, we help customers make decisions like these so that they can enjoy your art even more!

  6. Wealthy estates slowly began to commission works of arts so that they could be displayed in their homes. This brought a need to design functional frames that can be portable too. These were produced by furniture builders rather that the artists or architects previously. These are what we use in the modern world today. Check out our 2022 catalogue for ideas to add to your collection!

  7. Frames themselves were used as works of art. During the Renaissance, Italian frames were elaborately featured in Churches, Cathedrals and Alters to house paintings of important religious figures commissioned by the church.

  8. Dubai is home to the worlds largest picture frame. Measuring a great 150m x 93m. (Over 492 feet long by 305 feet wide !!) It stands in position as a divide so that when you look through it you can see the old and new side of the country.

  9. According to the Guinness Book of World Records: Lara Khoury own the largest collection in the world of picture frames. From the United Arab Emirates, Lara started collecting in 1992 and to date she has 2214 empty picture frames in her collection.

  10. Frames are continually changing, historic events and different eras and time periods all impact the ever changing design of the frame. Frames are something that will never become outdated, they will continue to evolve and the older frames will continue to become more and more beautiful and desirable over time.








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