Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Replica Frames For Great Art of The Americas

Eli Wilner & Company is a resource for antique American and European frames. As a specialist in period framing for nearly 40 years, Eli Wilner has completed over 15,000 framing projects for collectors and museums. The gallery is held in high regard by both institutions and private collectors for our expertise, extensive inventory, and superior quality of craftsmanship. This regard and confidence is evidenced by customers such as The White House, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Detroit Institute of Arts, Yale University Art Gallery and many private individuals.

Replica frame prices typically range from $3,500 to $125,000 except for unusual requests. Replica frames can be even more expensive than period frames based on the labor involved in creating them. As an example, to replicate the frame for Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze would cost $2.5 million.

Washington Crossing the Delaware
by Emmanuel Leutze at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Eli Wilner & Company's most-known project is the hand-carved and gilded replica of the lost original frame for  

Washington Crossing the Delaware by Emanuel Leutze. 

This frame is the focal point of the renovated American Wing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The frame's opening size is over 12 x 21 feet, and is surmounted by an elaborate construction twelve feet across displaying an eagle, flags, pikes, a banner and other regalia.

Eli Wilner re-creates a lost original frame for the New-York Historical Society

Eli Wilner & Company had the privilege of becoming part of the history of the New-York Historical Society's monumental painting,  

Return of the 69th Regiment, by Louis Lang.

The painting depicts the "Irish Brigade" of the New York State Militia returning to the city during the Civil War on July 27th, 1861 after a 3 month tour of duty in Washington, DC. Ranks of soldiers fill the midsection of the painting having just disembarked from the steamer John Potter, which is seen in the distance docked at Pier 1 on Bowling Green, with a view of the bustling New York harbor beyond.

Along with the decision to have the painting expertly conserved, the New-York Historical Society examined in detail the only documentation of the original frame: a partial view of the painting captured in a stereoscopic image of the Great Central Fair in Philadelphia in 1864. Though not a detailed image, it was clear that the frame was a wide molding of dark wood with a gilded sight edge. The New-York Historical Society wanted to re-create the original frame as closely as possible, and so they turned to Eli Wilner & Company.

Working together the NYHS curators and Wilner frame historians deduced that the original frame had an angled mahogany panel, with a reeded top rail and a strap motif at the corners. The width of the frame was determined to be a massive 14 ½ inches.

In preparing to handle such a large frame, the NYHS requested that the frame be created in such a way that it could be separated at the corners and re-assembled repeatedly by museum technicians. Wilner's craftspeople installed specially-designed support blocks and removable bolts at each corner to enable the miters to be joined securely. The corner elements were carved separately in mahogany so that when installed they cover the seam at the corner. Lang’s painting now hangs in the Eli Wilner replica of the original mahogany frame. This video, from PBS's Treasures of New York series, details the project:

The White House Selected Frames

One the company's most important projects was the framing of twenty-eight paintings for The White House, including artworks by Martin Johnson Heade,  William Merritt Chase, John Singer Sargent, Severin Roesen and

The Avenue in the Rain by Childe Hassam

that hangs in the Oval Office.

More White House art framed by Eli Wilner & Company:

Albert Bierstadt

Storm Clouds

Alfred Bricher

Castle Rock, Nahant, Massachusetts


Christie's Selected Frames