february 2013



Detail of Van Gogh's Sunset  

The Colors of Love

February Newsletter


Dear FrameStore Friend,   

Rain is not the only thing that has been in the air lately around Southern California! Reminders of love and art are everywhere in SoCal this time of year, so be sure to celebrate the colors of this seasonBernhard Gutmann, Lady in Pink by taking someone you adore to visit one of Los Angeles' amazing museums!
And, just because Valentine's Day 2013 has officially come to an end, does not mean the romantic memories should be forgotten! Make sure that the photographs, mementos, and most of all, the memories, of this special season spent with those you love are forever protected and preserved. Conservation is our specialty, so stop in to any of our 9 SoCal locations to discuss the options for protecting your newest family heirlooms with one of our expert designers.
Don't forget to check out the newest addition to FrameStore's commitment to our clients over at our blog. Newsletters only happen once a month, but our art blog can keep you up to date on the newest news, information, gallery and museum events as well as help educate and enlighten you on everything about art, design, and framing. So, drop over and see what we have happening at the FrameStore Blog today!
In addition, we once more bring you some of the latest news from the world-wide art scene, as well as information on new art exhibits and gallery openings around the Southland. And our In The Studio section sees the first installment of a new Education series which will showcase information on various fine art conservation topics. So check out what is new below, and in the months ahead.
Spring is coming soon, and with all the fun that brings, and FrameStore wants to help you make those memories last!
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FrameStore has been helping southern Californians take care of their photos, artwork, and mementos correctly for over 35 years.

Stop by one of our stores this week to have one of our Art and Design experts help you to turn those precious memories that will only come once into lasting and lovely art that will bring joy for decades.

Visit our website at www.customframestore.com for locations and contact information!


Art World News:


Picasso's 'Muse' Marie-Therese Portrait: Auctioned for $45 million 


A Picasso painting,  "Femme Assise Pres d'une Fenetre (Woman Sitting Near a Window), of his muse, Marie-Therese Walter from 1932 has raked in a whopping $44.9 million at a Sotheby's London auction.


Read the full article at our blog:


Record Breaking Art Sales Led by Auction Houses Christie's, Sotheby's, and Phillips de Pury's


The year 2012 was a record setting year for art sales for the major auction houses: Christie's,  Sotheby's, and Phillips de Pury's, despite the global recession. In conclusion to the year, we thought it only fitting to put together a little compilation of some of the more notable art sales for the year.  Of course we will start with the most talked about sale of the year, an arguably this decade.


Read the full article at our blog:


Getty Strikes "Illuminated" Gold: The Heroic and Romantic Exploits of Gillion
The Getty Museum has recently acquired a rare illuminated manuscript by Flemish artist Lieven van Lathem for $6.2 million at a recent Sotheby's auction in London. Van Lathem is considered to be the most accomplished painter of secular scenes in the golden era of Flemish manuscript illumination.
Read the full article at our blog:


SoCal Art Happenings -



 Robert Mapplethorpe, 'Z' collection    

Robert Mapplethorpe:

October 21, 2012 - March 24, 2013


Since the explosive controversies regarding government funding of the arts and who defines what constitutes 'obscene' works, that were set off in 1989 by his solo exhibit tour, The Perfect Moment, few can deny the impact that Robert Mapplethorpe and his photography have had on the art scene and on popular culture.


Last year, in a joint move, LACMA and the Getty acquired the archives and art of Mapplethorpe, bring over 2000 works by the renowned, but controversial artist to Los Angeles. The Getty Museum already held the collected photographs of Sam Wagstaff (Mapplethorpe's mentor and lover), so the move was appealing to Curator Paul Martineau of the Getty.


Back in October, LACMA opened the exhibit Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ, showing works from what are considered Mapplethorpe's three most influential artistic periods, featuring works from those recently acquired.


'X' is Mapplethorpe's sadomasochistic S&M themed collection that was so influential in catapulting his works into the popular culture in the 1980s. 'Y' is a collection of still life flower photographs, while 'Z' is the controversial collection of nude black male figures that many have labeled exploitive.


Open since October, this unique exhibit, running concurrently with the Getty exhibit In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe, and showing the evolution of the influential artist will be closing soon, so don't miss your chance to see this collection of American history.


And if you visit the exhibition, be sure to leave us your thoughts and impressions over at our blog over at http://blog.customframestore.com/


The Getty:

 Robert Mapplethorpe, Self Portrait    

In Focus:

Robert Mapplethorpe
October 23, 2012 - March 24, 2013


The black and white photography of Robert Mapplethorpe is hailed as some of the great photographic works of the second half of the twentieth century. Starkly simple, yet provocative and erotic, Mapplethorpe's art has made a indelible impression on the world and popular culture.


In 2011, the J. Paul Getty trust and the Los Angeles Museum of Art collaborated to acquire the art and archives of Robert Mapplethorpe through both purchases and a generous donation from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. This extensive collection is now being shown concurrently in two shows, In Focus: Robert Mapplethorpe at the Getty Museum, and Robert Mapplethorpe: XYZ at LACMA.


While the LACMA exhibit explores three of the most culturally influential artistic periods in Mapplethorpe's works, the Getty exhibit is far more expansive in scope, attempting to give visitors a view of the artist's career and life as a whole.


Beginning with his early works in Queens from the 1970s, and the formative years with his mentor and lover Sam Wagstaff and the New York gay S&M community, it follows Mapplethorpe through his exploration of portraits of many faces both famous and less so in the late 70s, into his still life and florals of the early 1980s, to the famous and controversial nudes towards the end of his life. The exhibit also explores the evolution of Mapplethorpe's self portraits from the 1970s until his death in 1989.


Launching in October of last year, this concurrent exhibit will end in March, so be sure you get over to the Getty to see this rare and historically important collection of one of the art world's most provocative and influential photographers.


Santa Monica Museum of Art:

 Miriam Wosk, About Life, c 2010   

Abundance and Devotion:

The Art of Miriam Wosk


January 19, 2013 - April 20, 2013


Born in British Columbia in 1947, Miriam Wosk began her professional career in New York as an illustrator for commercial publications, like the New Yorker and Ms. Magazine. She eventually settled in Santa Monica where she crafted many of her most memorable works until her death in 2010.


Best known for large, intricate collages that employ rich ornamental elements from crystals and pearls to glitter and starfish, her works evoke deep explorations of the natural and the spiritual with colorful landscapes and fanciful creatures.


Abundance and Devotion: The Art of Miriam Wosk is the first major exhibit of her work since her death, and is being shown through April, 2013 at the Santa Monica Museum of Art. Be sure to catch this vibrant, intoxicating show of a fascinating local artist before it is gone.


Norton Simon Museum:

 Vincent Van Gogh, Self-Portrait, c 1889   

Van Gogh's "Self-Portrait", 1889


December 7, 2012 - March 4, 2013



The brilliant and troubled Van Gogh, after famously quarreling with his friend Paul Gauguin, committed himself to the mental asylumSaint-Paul-de-Mausole at Saint-Rémy in south France, where he spent 13 months trying to calm and control his personal demons. During this period of reflection and healing, just one year before the tragic end of his life at age 37, Van Gogh painted many of his most cherished masterpieces; including three self-portraits.
Now, one of these three portraits has come to the west coast for a brief period, on loan from the National Gallery of Art in Washington, and can be viewed for a short few weeks more at the Norton Simon Museum, here in Los Angeles.
So I am working on two portraits of myself at this moment-for want of another model-because it is more than time I did a little figure work. One I began the first day I got up, I was thin, pale as a devil. It is dark violet blue, the head whitish with yellow hair, thus a color effect. (Van Gogh to his brother Theo, September 5-6, 1889)
In this passage, written to his brother Theo, Vincent is believed to be referring to the intense portrait currently on loan to the Norton Simon. It's brilliant blues and golds, seen above are classic Van Gogh, as is the intense gaze of the artist looking out at us from the canvas.
Now you have a chance to see this spectacular masterpiece and stand face to face with one of art's greatest and most tragic masters. The exhibition lasts only until March 4th.


In the Studio -


In the Studio:

Degas, Dancers in pink, c 1885  

Custom-Framing Essentials:  



What is Conservation Framing?

When dealing with the framing of fine art, the materials and design used must not only enhance the beauty of the work by continuing what the artist started, but needs to also protect and preserve the integrity and value of the artwork. Sadly, many people do not consider conservation when framing their finer pieces of art, risking potentially irreversible damage.


Framing materials come in many types and many quality levels, only some of which are designed to protect and preserve the artwork for its lifetime. Making sure the materials you frame with are conservation quality is crucial when handling any piece that has value, inherent or sentimental. This process of designing and custom-framing with museum quality materials intended to extend the life of the artwork is what is called 'Conservation Framing'.


What type of protections do paper works of art need?


Even more than those on canvas or wood, artwork done on paper is very susceptible to environmental factors and damage. The fibers in a piece of paper expand and contract with variations in temperature, humidity, and light and can be severely affected by exposure to these and other factors. Paper reacts and interacts especially easily with certain chemicals, including the acids used in production of cellulose-based papers, boards and mats.


We have all seen brittle, crumbling antique photographs and artwork that have severely yellowed, or browned (acid burns), developed dark spots (called foxing), or faded from exposure to damaging UV rays. These are the telling signs of damage to paper that results when materials and methods are used that do meet the level of 'Conservation Framing'. Sadly, most of this damage can never be undone, and what can be reversed is quite costly.


Before You Frame:


If your artwork has already suffered damage from past exposures, a conservator can advise you on your options for restoration, if possible. In many cases, the best course of action may be to leave the piece as is, and merely move forward with protecting it from any further damage through museum quality conservation framing with a qualified Master Framer, such as FrameStore. If restoration work is to be attempted, it must be completed before you bring the artwork in for framing.


It is essential that you avoid certain practices that can lead to further damage of your art, and possibly greatly reduce its value:

  • Cutting, trimming, or folding artwork is always advised against. Any artwork with value can lose that value quickly if it is altered in any form, including personal inscriptions, notations, margin marks, etc. The art exists as it was intended to be by the artist, and any alteration of the piece carries a possible loss in value.
  • Dry-mounting, or Vacuum-mounting of valuable artwork is highly discouraged. These forms of mounts may help to flatten artwork that is waving or wrinkled, but will certainly reduce or negate the art's value as the techniques use non-conservation materials and adhesives, and are irreversible for most types of art.
  • Avoid the use of any tapes or adhesives not specifically designed for conservation level mounting of fine art. Masking tape, Scotch tape, etc will damage the paper and should never be used on artwork.

The Frame:


Certain types of framings and certain framing methods can leave your artwork open to severe environmental damage, or even directly damage or reduce the value of your works. Avoid these framing methods when conserving fine art:

  • Metal frames are almost never conservation quality, and should be avoided for any work of art with value. The joints and backing on metal frames cannot be sealed in the way wooden frames are, leaving your artwork exposed to damaging environmental factors, from moisture, air, bugs, dirt and more. Valuable artwork must be sealed to protect it from exposure to such environmental elements.
  • Mass-produced factory made frames rarely ever use true conservation level materials, and thus are very likely to damage your artwork over time. Matting, backing boards, and mounts are most often made from non-rag papers that will burn your artwork and photographs and damage the fibers of the papers from the acids they contain. Additionally, many factory made frames do not use UV protective glazing, leaving your art open to permanent fading from light exposure.
  • Frames that are too small for the size of your artwork will not hold the weight of the art, mats, mounts and glass over time and will eventually fail leading to possible direct damage or exposure to environmental factors. The frame you use on your fine art must be heavy and sturdy enough to bear the weight of the entire design over the life of the framing. Structural integrity of the design is a key factor in protecting your artwork.
  • Frames that do not use mats or spacers to separate your artwork from the glazing open your fine art to severe damage caused by condensation that can form on the inside of the glass in the framing design. Mats, either fabric or acid-free rag paper are designed to separate and put space between your artwork and the glazing. This space is a key protection for your artwork against humidity and condensation damage. If for design and aesthetic reasons, you do not wish to use a mat in your framing, special spacers can be used in the rebate of the frame to lift the glazing away from the artwork.

Read more about conservation framing and methods in future newsletters and blog posts. Also, be sure to look for our coming posts on design and art theory for more help on how to custom-frame your fine works of art!


We here at FrameStore hope that you find your Valentine's Day season to be filled with love, art, family, and many memories with lots, and lots of lively colour!


Chuck Mitchell
February News
Art World News
Art Happenings - LACMA
Art Happenings - The Getty
Art Happenings - Santa Monica Museum of Art
Art Happenings - Norton Simon Museum
In the Studio: Essentials - Conservation
FrameStore Blog
FrameStore Club Mirrors
Eco-Care Frames
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FrameStore now has its very own blog, where we feature information and articles of interest to art collectors and lovers around the SoCal area.

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  Eco-Care Logo


We at FrameStore are proud to introduce our new EcoCare Collection from Nurre Caxton. This line of moulding is both 
beautiful and kind to the planet. The wood to make these mouldings is harvested from managed forests that are carefully monitored. For every tree used one is replaced.  

The new EcoCare gives you, our customer, and us a choice we can feel good about making.


 The rich colors are achieved with organic water-based stains. No oils or chemical solvents are used so that they have very low impact on our environment.