Museum Quality Framing

Custom Framing Performed to the Highest Standards

Fine Art Framing

Finished-Corner Gold Leaf, Wood, and Metal Mouldings

99% UV Protection on All Glazings

As conservators of works of art, we are committed to archival, museum-quality framing. We will not frame a work of art any other way. Our niche in the framing industry is to offer our clients the best quality available without compromise. In addition to strictly adhering to the use of archival materials and techniques, we provide superior attention to aesthetic qualities and details.

We specialize in finished-corner moldings. Many framers routinely refer to themselves as custom framers because they simply cut pre-finished moldings to size and join them together. Joel Oppenheimer, Inc. frames are truly custom finished and sized individually for every picture and every client. Because the frames are finished after they are joined, the miter at the corners is not readily visible. The period moldings we offer are exact replicas of antique frames and are constructed of the identical materials and in the same manner as the antique frames were. We also offer a large selection of modern frames, contemporary moldings, floater frames for paintings. Our framing services are available for your works of art and family heirlooms.

How is a gold leaf frame made?

We begin with raw hardwoods that are hand carved, cut to size, spline joined and sanded. The frame is then coated with gesso(a plaster-like material) and a clay layer of either red, blue, black, or yellow color is applied. This clay layer becomes a smooth surface to which the gold is applied and also serves as an under color that influences the color of the final gold finish. Then, gold leaf is applied to the clay surface. The carat content of the gold determines its color of gold. What we refer to as an antique silver finish is actually white gold. Most yellow gold finishes are 22 carat, although desirable affects can be achieved with 12-, 16-, and 18-carat gold. The gold layer is then burnished by hand with a tool that has a small stone head. This laborious process gives the gold finish its unique luster. The gold is then rubbed away to varying degrees revealing the clay color beneath. On a period frame, additional antiquing and distressing can add a final touch.

How is a hand-painted french mat or silk mat made?

A 100% rag (cotton fiber) board is cut to size. The window opening is then cut. Imported 100% rag watercolor paper of a selected color is wrapped by hand around the rag board mat. A design is drawn in pencil on the rag board or wrapped mat. Then, colors for the decoration of each mat are mixed individually using the finest quality watercolor pigments. The lines are drawn with traditional ruling pens. Watercolor washes are applied with sable brushes until the desired color is achieved. In addition, silk can also be wrapped by hand around rag boards. Varying the color of the boards under the silk can achieve subtle nuances in silk colors.

What is archival framing?

Use of an ultraviolet filtering glazing material is imperative to protect a work of art. We offer glass, Plexiglas, and state-of-the-art optically coated museum glass and acrylic, which substantially reduces reflection. All have ultraviolet inhibitors that effectively filter up to 99% of UV light. Behind the matted picture is an acid-free thermal layer, which minimizes temperature differentials. A polyethylene-coated waterproof paper is also affixed to the back of the frame. This offers limited protection to moisture exposure. Spacers are then put on the back of the frame, allowing air to circulate between the artwork and the wall and discouraging mold growth because it permits excess humidity to escape from the frame. Artwork that is framed properly is well protected and can be enjoyed for generations.

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