Art is so Romantic!
Dear Framing Friend,
The Summer Solstice is coming up quickly, and the June gloom that has been hanging around SoCal can't keep spirits dampened. As the temperatures rise, and the sun comes out to play, romantic days are ahead for southern California, and art can be a part of it!
So many of our great memories, romantic or otherwise, come from summertime. As you embark on the adventures of this summer, make sure that you do so with a mind for protecting, preserving, and displaying your photos, mementos, and art purchases in the way they deserve! Conservation is our specialty, and no one can beat the design experience of our expert art consultants, so stop in to any of our 9 SoCal locations to discuss the options for protecting your newest family heirlooms with one of our design consultants.
And to help you both preserve your fine art and priceless memories, and make them look the best that they can be, FrameStore will be offering 25% off the top of the line Tru Vue Museum Glass the entire month of June! With the best UV protection available and the most amazing non-glare properties anywhere, it's to forget that Museum Glass also gives the best true to life color transmission. So if you have a piece of art that deserves the best, June will be the month to get it!
We continue last month's Art Education trend with an article on the Romanticism movement and the artists who were a part of it.
And as always we bring you some of the latest gallery openings, art shows and events, and Art World news from around the globe, so don't miss out on what is happening of interest to the art scene in southern California in June!
And, 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!
Summer is just a short few weeks away, with all the fun that it brings, and FrameStore wants to help you make those memories last!
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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.
Art World News:
Nude Sculpture of Pregnant Kim Kardashian Unveiled in L.A.
You may have already seen it. Heck, you may have even rubbed it.
So imagine my curiosity when I woke up this morning to a photo of this piece of 'art' and quite the keyword rich and ever so spirited headline from LA Times writer Jamie Wetherbe... I had to repost this 'interesting' tidbit.
Read the full article at our blog:
Chris Brown Graffiti Art Drama Continues in the Hills of Hollywood
Like him or leave him, one thing you have to admit is that Grammy award winning artist Chris Brown does have good taste in homes, which is seen in his purchase in 2011 of the super sleek $1.55 million dollar super modern home in the Hollywood Hills located at 2738 Rinconia Dr. Los Angeles, CA 90068...but this good taste is most certainly NOT reflected in art.
Read the full article at our blog:
The Presence of the Past:
Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA
As part of the Getty's initiative, Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A., LACMA features The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA, an exhibition about the proposed future of the museum's campus. Swiss architect Peter Zumthor has been commissioned to rethink the east campus, providing new insight into the meaning and function of an encyclopedic museum and the relationship of architecture to its site. The exhibition begins with a detailed examination of the museum's buildings within the complicated history of Hancock Park. It then focuses on Zumthor's preliminary plans for a new building to house the permanent collection, with several large models built by the architect's studio.
The exhibition will also present key projects in Zumthor's career that are most relevant to his vision for LACMA: the Therme Vals in Switzerland, Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria, and the Kolumba Art Museum of the Cologne Archdiocese in Germany. These projects have resulted in Zumthor winning the highest accolades in the field of architecture, including The Pritzker Prize (2009) and the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal (2013). Together, these examples elucidate key aspects of Zumthor's practice - his interest in the geologic history of the site; his passion for materials, craftsmanship, and sensory experience; and his commitment to an architecture of total integration.
The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA is part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. This collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together seventeen cultural institutions from April through July for a wide-ranging look at the postwar built environment of the city as a whole, from its famous residential architecture to its vast freeway network, revealing the city's development and ongoing impact in new ways.
The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and major support for the exhibition has been provided by the Getty Foundation and Hyundai Motor America. This exhibition was also made possible in part by LACMA's Wallis Annenberg Director's Endowment Fund.
May 26, 2013 - April 6, 2014
James Turrell: A Retrospective explores nearly fifty years in the career of James Turrell (b. 1943, Los Angeles), a key artist in the Southern California Light and Space movement of the 1960s and 70s. The exhibition includes early geometric light projections, prints and drawings, installations exploring sensory deprivation and seemingly unmodulated fields of colored light, and recent two-dimensional work with holograms. One section is devoted to the Turrell masterwork in process, Roden Crater, a site-specific intervention into the landscape just outside Flagstaff, Arizona, presented through models, plans, photographs, and films.
James Turrell: A Retrospective is organized by LACMA, in conjunction with the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, New York. Major support is provided by Kayne Griffin Corcoran and the Kayne Foundation. Generous funding is also provided by Shidan and Susanne Taslimi, Mehran and Laila Taslimi, and the Taslimi Foundation and Renvy Graves Pittman. Additional underwriting by Pace Gallery, Suzanne Deal Booth and David G. Booth, Robert Tuttle and Maria Hummer-Tuttle, Gagosian Gallery, and Violet Spitzer-Lucas and the Spitzer Family Foundation, along with Mark and Lauren Booth, James Corcoran and Tracy Lew, the Charles W. Engelhard Foundation, and Pierre Lagrange and Roubi L'Roubi.
Rob Sato & Kris Chau:
June 22, 2013 - July 13, 2013
Copro Gallery presents Rob Sato & Kris Chau's "Raw Kingdom". Two friends collaborating on this special exhibit that juxtaposes both Los Angeles artists work together.
Rob Sato's watercolors layer personal, historical, and imaginary narratives into scenes of perpetual transition where the past, present and future exist simultaneously. Says Rob "Time is on the loose in these pictures, and I've been enjoying thinking of it as a living, invisible mass that is fed and mutated by human energy and perception. The subjects in the paintings are caught between shifting dimensions, living in a storm of birth, decay, death and transformation, while time moves around, against, and through them." His work has been featured in Giant Robot, Hi Fructose, Juxtapoz, and New American Paintings.
Kris Chau says."My drawings and paintings tend to lend themselves to being "pretty" which is something I can't help. So to balance that out, I want the viewer to understand that it is not all serious and in order for things to be good, there needs to be a balance of salty and sweet."
June 22, 2013 - July 13, 2013
Peter Chan's "Soliloquay" will be Peter's first solo show and first exhibit in Los Angeles! Born in Hong Kong and raised n Toronto Canada his work explores the ideas of escapism and coming back to once was. His new body of work will include oil paintings, drawings and work on paper. Peter will be in attendance at the artist reception and will have a special opening release print available.
Art Styles and Movements:
Romanticism was an artistic, literary, and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, it was also a revolt against aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment and a reaction against the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education and the natural sciences. Its effect on politics was considerable and complex; while for much of the peak Romantic period it was associated with liberalism and radicalism, in the long term its effect on the growth of nationalism was probably more significant.
The movement validated strong emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe-especially that which is experienced in confronting the sublimity of untamed nature and its picturesque qualities, both new aesthetic categories. It elevated folk art and ancient custom to something noble, made spontaneity a desirable characteristic (as in the musical impromptu), and argued for a "natural" epistemology of human activities as conditioned by nature in the form of language and customary usage. Romanticism reached beyond the rational and Classicist ideal models to elevate a revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived to be authentically medieval in an attempt to escape the confines of population growth, urban sprawl, and industrialism, and it also attempted to embrace the exotic, unfamiliar, and distant in modes more authentic than Rococo chinoiserie, harnessing the power of the imagination to envision and to escape.
Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which prized intuition and emotion over Enlightenment rationalism, the ideologies and events of the French Revolution laid the background from which both Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment emerged. The confines of the Industrial Revolution also had their influence on Romanticism, which was in part an escape from modern realities; indeed, in the second half of the 19th century, "Realism" was offered as a polarized opposite to Romanticism. Romanticism elevated the achievements of what it perceived as heroic individualists and artists, whose pioneering examples would elevate society. It also legitimized the individual imagination as a critical authority, which permitted freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a Zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas.
The word Defining the nature of Romanticism may be approached from the starting point of the primary importance of the free expression of the feelings of the artist. The importance the Romantics placed on untrammelled feeling is summed up in the remark of the German painter Caspar David Friedrich that "the artist's feeling is his law". To William Wordsworth poetry should be "the spontaneous overflow of powerful feelings". In order to truly express these feelings, the content of the art must come from the imagination of the artist, with as little interference as possible from "artificial" rules dictating what a work should consist of. Coleridge was not alone in believing that there were natural laws governing these matters which the imagination, at least of a good creative artist, would freely and unconsciously follow through artistic inspiration if left alone to do so. As well as rules, the influence of models from other works would impede the creator's own imagination, so originality was absolutely essential. The concept of the genius, or artist who was able to produce his own original work through this process of "creation from nothingness", is key to Romanticism, and to be derivative was the worst sin. This idea is often called "romantic originality."
Not essential to Romanticism, but so widespread as to be normative, was a strong belief and interest in the importance of nature. However this is particularly in the effect of nature upon the artist when he is surrounded by it, preferably alone. In contrast to the usually very social art of the Enlightenment, Romantics were distrustful of the human world, and tended to believe that a close connection with nature was mentally and morally healthy. Romantic art addressed its audiences directly and personally with what was intended to be felt as the personal voice of the artist. So, in literature, "much of romantic poetry invited the reader to identify the protagonists with the poets themselves".
According to Isaiah Berlin, Romanticism embodied "a new and restless spirit, seeking violently to burst through old and cramping forms, a nervous preoccupation with perpetually changing inner states of consciousness, a longing for the unbounded and the indefinable, for perpetual movement and change, an effort to return to the forgotten sources of life, a passionate effort at self-assertion both individual and collective, a search after means of expressing an unappeasable yearning for unattainable goals."
The Romantic Period
Unsurprisingly, given its rejection on principle of rules, Romanticism is not easily defined, and the period typically called Romantic varies greatly between different countries and different artistic media or areas of thought. Margaret Drabble described it in literature as taking place "roughly between 1770 and 1848", and few dates much earlier than 1770 will be found. In English literature,M. H. Abrams placed it between 1789, or 1798, this latter a very typical view, and about 1830, perhaps a little later than some other critics. In other fields and other countries the period denominated as Romantic can be considerably different; musical Romanticism, for example, is generally regarded as only having ceased as a major artistic force as late as 1910, but in an extreme extension the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss are described stylistically as "Late Romantic" and were composed in 1946-48. However in most fields the Romantic Period is said to be over by about 1850, or earlier.
The early period of the Romantic Era was a time of war, with the French Revolution (1789-1799) followed by the Napoleonic Wars until 1815. These wars, along with the political and social turmoil that went along with them, served as the background for Romanticism. The key generation of French Romantics born between 1795-1805 had, in the words of one of their number, Alfred de Vigny, been "conceived between battles, attended school to the rolling of drums".
The Romantic Visual Arts
In the visual arts, Romanticism first showed itself in landscape painting, where from as early as the 1760s British artists began to turn to wilder landscapes and storms, and Gothic architecture, even if they had to make do with Wales as a setting. Caspar David Friedrich and J. M. W. Turner were born less than a year apart in 1774 and 1775 respectively and were to take German and English landscape painting to their extremes of Romanticism, but both were formed when forms of Romanticism was already strongly present in art. John Constable, born in 1776, stayed closer to the English landscape tradition, but in his largest "six-footers" insisted on the heroic status of a patch of the working countryside where he had grown up, a challenge to the traditional hierarchy of genres which relegated landscape painting to a low status. Turner also painted very large landscapes, and above all seascapes, some with contemporary settings and staffage, but others with small figures turning the work into a history painting in the manner of Claude Lorrain, like Salvator Rosa a late Baroque artist whose landscapes had elements that Romantic painters turned to again and again. Friedrich made repeated use of single figures, or features like crosses, set alone amidst a huge landscape, "making them images of the transitoriness of human life and the premonition of death".
Other groups of artists expressed feelings that verged on the mystical, many very largely abandoning classical drawing and proportions. These included William Blake and Samuel Palmer and the other members of the Ancients in England, and in Germany Philipp Otto Runge. Like Friedrich, none of these artists had significant influence after their deaths for the rest of the 19th century, and were 20th century rediscoveries from obscurity, though Blake was always known as a poet, and Norway's leading painter Johan Christian Dahl was heavily influenced by Friedrich. The Rome-based Nazarene movement of German artists, active from 1810, took a very different path, concentrating on medievalizing history paintings with religious and nationalist themes.
The arrival of Romanticism in French art was delayed by the strong hold of Neoclassicism on the academies, but from the Napoleonic period it became increasingly popular, initially in the form of history paintings propagandising for the new regime, of which Girodet's Ossian receiving the Ghosts of the French Heroes, for Napoleon's Château de Malmaison, was one of the earliest. Girodet's old teacher David was puzzled and disappointed by his pupil's direction, saying: "Either Girodet is mad or I no longer know anything of the art of painting". A new generation of the French school, developed personal Romantic styles, though still concentrating on history painting with a political message. Théodore Géricault (1791-1824) had his first success with The Charging Chasseur, a heroic military figure derived from Rubens, at the Paris Salon of 1812 in the years of the Empire, but his next major completed work, The Raft of the Medusa of 1821, remains the greatest achievement of the Romantic history painting, which in its day had a powerful anti-government message.
Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863) made his first Salon hits with The Barque of Dante (1822), The Massacre at Chios (1824) and Death of Sardanapalus (1827). The second was a scene from the Greek War of Independence, completed the year Byron died there, and the last was a scene from one of Byron's plays. With Shakespeare, Byron was to provide the subject matter for many other works of Delacroix, who also spent long periods in North Africa, painting colourful scenes of mounted Arab warriors. His Liberty Leading the People (1830) remains, with the Medusa, one of the best known works of French Romantic painting. Both reflected current events, and increasingly "history painting", literally "story painting", a phrase dating back to the Italian Renaissance meaning the painting of subjects with groups of figures, long considered the highest and most difficult form of art, did indeed become the painting of historical scenes, rather than those from religion or mythology.
Francisco Goya is today generally regarded as the greatest painter of the Romantic period, "the last great painter in whose art thought and observation were balanced and combined to form a faultless unity". But the extent to which he was a Romantic is a complex question; in Spain there was still a struggle to introduce the values of the Enlightenment, in which Goya saw himself as a participant. The demonic and anti-rational monsters thrown up by his imagination are only superficially similar to those of the Gothic fantasies of northern Europe, and in many ways he remained wedded to the classicism and realism of his training, as well as looking forward to the Realism of the later 19th century. But he, more than any other artist of the period, exemplified the Romantic values of the expression of the artist's feelings and his personal imaginative world. He also shared with many of the Romantic painters a more free handling of paint, emphasized in the new prominence of the brushstroke and impasto, which tended to be repressed in neoclassicism under a self-effacing finish.
Sculpture remained largely impervious to Romanticism, probably partly for technical reasons, as the most prestigious material of the day, marble, does not lend itself to expansive gestures. The leading sculptors in Europe, Antonio Canova and Bertel Thorvaldsen, were both based in Rome and firm Neoclassicists, not at all tempted to allow influence from medieval sculpture, which would have been one possible approach to Romantic sculpture. When it did develop, true Romantic sculpture rather oddly was missing in Germany, and mainly found in France, with François Rude, best known from his group of the 1830s from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and David d'Angers.
In France, historical painting on idealized medieval and Renaissance themes is known as the style Troubadour, a term which rather lacks equivalents for other countries, though the same trends occurred there. Delacroix, Ingres and Richard Parkes Bonington all worked in this style, as did lesser specialists such as Pierre-Henri Révoil (1776-1842) and Fleury-François Richard (1777-1852). Their pictures are often small, and feature intimate private and anecdotal moments, as well as those of high drama. The lives of great artists such as Raphael were commemorated on equal terms with those of rulers, and fictional characters were also depicted. Fleury-Richard's Valentine of Milan weeping for the death of her husband, shown in the Paris Salon of 1802, marked the arrival of the style, which lasted until the mid-century, before being subsumed into the increasingly academic history painting of artists like Paul Delaroche.
Another trend was for very large apocalyptic history paintings, often combining extreme natural events, or divine wrath, with human disaster, attempting to outdo The Raft of the Medusa, and now often drawing comparisons with effects from Hollywood. The leading English artist in the style was John Martin, whose tiny figures were dwarfed by enormous earthquakes and storms, and worked his way through the biblical disasters, and those to come in the final days. Other works, including Delacroix's Death of Sardanapalus included larger figures, and these often drew heavily on earlier artists, especially Poussin and Rubens, with extra emotionalism and special effects.
Elsewhere in Europe, leading artists adopted Romantic styles: in Russia there were the portraitists Orest Kiprensky and Vasily Tropinin, with Ivan Aivazovsky specializing in marine painting, and in Norway Hans Gude painted secenes of fjords. In Italy Francesco Hayez (1791-1882) was the leading artist of Romanticism in mid-19th-century Milan. His long, prolific and extremely successful career saw him begin as a Neoclassical painter, pass right through the Romantic period, and emerge at the other end as a sentimental painter of young women. His Romantic period included many historical pieces of "Troubadour" tendencies, but on a very large scale, that are heavily influenced by Gian Battista Tiepolo and other late Baroque Italian masters.
Literary Romanticism had its counterpart in the American visual arts, most especially in the exaltation of an untamed American landscape found in the paintings of the Hudson River School. Painters like Thomas Cole, Albert Bierstadt and Frederic Edwin Church and others often expressed Romantic themes in their paintings. They sometimes depicted ancient ruins of the old world, such as in Fredric Edwin Church's piece Sunrise in Syria. These works reflected the Gothic feelings of death and decay. They also show the Romantic ideal that Nature is powerful and will eventually overcome the transient creations of men. More often, they worked to distinguish themselves from their European counterparts by depicting uniquely American scenes and landscapes. This idea of an American identity in the art world is reflected in W. C. Bryant's poem, To Cole, the Painter, Departing for Europe, where Bryant encourages Cole to remember the powerful scenes that can only be found in America.
Some American paintings promote the literary idea of the "noble savage" (Such as Albert Bierstadt's The Rocky Mountains, Lander's Peak) by portraying idealized Native Americans living in harmony with the natural world. Thomas Cole's paintings tend towards allegory, explicit in The Voyage of Life series painted in the early 1840s, showing the stages of life set amidst an awesome and immense nature.
Romanticism Outside the Arts
The Romantic movement affected most aspects of intellectual life, and Romanticism and science had a powerful connection, especially in the period 1800-40. Many scientists were influenced by versions of the Naturphilosophie of Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von Schelling and Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel and others, and without abandoning empiricism, sought in their work to uncover what they tended to believe was a unified and organic Nature. The English scientist Sir Humphry Davy, a prominent Romantic thinker, said that understanding nature required "an attitude of admiration, love and worship, [...] a personal response." He believed that knowledge was only attainable by those who truly appreciated and respected nature. Self-understanding was an important aspect of Romanticism. It had less to do with proving that man was capable of understanding nature (through his budding intellect) and therefore controlling it, and more to do with the emotional appeal of connecting himself with nature and understanding it through a harmonious co-existence.
History was very strongly, and many would say harmfully, influenced by Romanticism. In English Thomas Carlyle was a highly influential essayist who turned historian, and both invented and exemplified the phrase "hero-worship", lavishing largely uncritical praise on strong leaders such as Oliver Cromwell, Frederick the Great and Napoleon. Romantic nationalism had a largely negative effect on the writing of history in the 19th century, as each nation tended to produce its own version of history, and the critical attitude, even cynicism, of earlier historians was often replaced by a tendency to create romantic stories with clearly distinguished heroes and villains. Nationalist ideology of the period placed great emphasis on racial coherence, and the antiquity of peoples, and tended to vastly over-emphasize the continuity between past periods and the present, leading to national mysticism. Much historical effort in the 20th century was devoted to combating the historical myths created in the 19th century.
To insulate theology from reductionism in science, 19th century post-Enlightenment German theologians moved in a new direction, led by Friedrich Schleiermacher and Albrecht Ritschl. They took the Romantic approach of rooting religion in the inner world of the human spirit, so that it is a person's feeling or sensibility about spiritual matters that comprises religion.
One of Romanticism's key ideas and most enduring legacies is the assertion of nationalism, which became a central theme of Romantic art and political philosophy. From the earliest parts of the movement, with their focus on development of national languages and folklore, and the importance of local customs and traditions, to the movements which would redraw the map of Europe and lead to calls for self-determination of nationalities, nationalism was one of the key vehicles of Romanticism, its role, expression and meaning.
Early Romantic nationalism was strongly inspired by Rousseau, and by the ideas of Johann Gottfried von Herder, who in 1784 argued that the geography formed the natural economy of a people, and shaped their customs and society.
The nature of nationalism changed dramatically, however, after the French Revolution with the rise of Napoleon, and the reactions in other nations. Napoleonic nationalism and republicanism were, at first, inspirational to movements in other nations: self-determination and a consciousness of national unity were held to be two of the reasons why France was able to defeat other countries in battle. But as the French Republic became Napoleon's Empire, Napoleon became not the inspiration for nationalism, but the object of its struggle.
In Prussia, the development of spiritual renewal as a means to engage in the struggle against Napoleon was argued by, among others, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, a disciple of Kant. The word Volkstum, or nationality, was coined in German as part of this resistance to the now conquering emperor. Fichte expressed the unity of language and nation in his address "To the German Nation" in 1806:
Those who speak the same language are joined to each other by a multitude of invisible bonds by nature herself, long before any human art begins; they understand each other and have the power of continuing to make themselves understood more and more clearly; they belong together and are by nature one and an inseparable whole. ...Only when each people, left to itself, develops and forms itself in accordance with its own peculiar quality, and only when in every people each individual develops himself in accordance with that common quality, as well as in accordance with his own peculiar quality-then, and then only, does the manifestation of divinity appear in its true mirror as it ought to be.
This view of nationalism inspired the collection of folklore by such people as the Brothers Grimm, the revival of old epics as national, and the construction of new epics as if they were old, as in the Kalevala, compiled from Finnish tales and folklore, or Ossian, where the claimed ancient roots were invented. The view that fairy tales, unless contaminated from outside literary sources, were preserved in the same form over thousands of years, was not exclusive to Romantic Nationalists, but fit in well with their views that such tales expressed the primordial nature of a people. For instance, the Brothers Grimm rejected many tales they collected because of their similarity to tales by Charles Perrault, which they thought proved they were not truly German tales; Sleeping Beauty survived in their collection because the tale of Brynhildr convinced them that the figure of the sleeping princess was authentically German.
Romanticism played an essential role in the national awakening of many Central European peoples lacking their own national states, not least in Poland, which had recently lost its independence when Russia's army crushed the Polish Uprising under Nicholas I. Revival and reinterpretation of ancient myths, customs and traditions by Romantic poets and painters helped to distinguish their indigenous cultures from those of the dominant nations and crystallise the mythography of Romantic nationalism. Patriotism, nationalism, revolution and armed struggle for independence also became popular themes in the arts of this period. Arguably, the most distinguished Romantic poet of this part of Europe was Adam Mickiewicz, who developed an idea that Poland was the Messiah of Nations, predestined to suffer just as Jesus had suffered to save all the people.
c 2013 Wikipedia
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