Frame and Artist: reconsidering the frame for visual artists

Gertrude Stein and her boys rejected framing as an unnecessary convention exerting an undue influence on viewer's experience of the painting. The Kitchen Sink movement (UK) in the 1950s continued evaluating the role of the frame in art as a necessary or unnecessary boundary for the picture. This re-evaluation of the frame in Post War Art had both positive and negative results. Positively it led to an unprecedented era of pictorial freedom; negatively encouraged an unfortunate disposal of historical frames, many of which not deserving such a fate.

After more than half a century of experimentation and changing tastes, picture frames have enjoyed a wealth of study, preservation and collecting, and record sales at auction. Visual artists should reconsider the value and importance of framing when marketing their artwork for three reasons.

Proportion. Usually a ready made frame is a good economical and time saving choice. Potential drawbacks to ready made frames is being at the mercy of odd proportions finding the  artwork's appearance diminishes against poor finishes under gallery lighting.

Preservation. Aesthetic appreciation contributes directly to the value of the artwork. Patron's  can hesitate to purchase artwork that requires the added expense of choosing a custom frame.

Marketing. Artists such as J.S. Sargent and F.E. Church regarded framing as the finishing touch in their marketing strategies and not leaving framing choices to the whims of convention or the substandard compo mouldings churned out during the Industrial Revolution.  It's better for the artist to maintain control of how their artwork is presented. Custom framing, even basic packages with correct proportions is a highly important step to bring your art to market.