This was a unique and challenging custom framing design. The napkin is fragile, and the drawing has faded. I had to frame it so it would look special but still maintain the artwork as a focal point. Inspired by the history of innovation at Oliver Brothers, which invented the first vacuum press for re-lining paintings in 1933, I worked with Prisma Frames (Bella Moulding) to devise a cutting-edge method for floating two seamless acrylic frames.
The outside floater frame is solid sawdust in color, while the inner frame contains a barely visible pattern of the same color. Both frames are adhered together through solid acrylic backing plates. A wide Crescent museum rag mat completes the monochromatic design, with a seamless gilded moon-gold fillet adding a sophisticated classical appeal. The napkin itself is hinged to a Crescent Museum Framing Art on a Napkin rag mat substrate, and the overall piece is glazed with Optium Museum Acrylic for maximum clarity and UV protection.
The result is a minimalistic contemporary design that leaves the artwork as the undeniable focal point. Two Prisma frames offer an architectural gravitas that pays homage to more conventional layered framing. The airiness of the acrylic, however, softens the overall feeling of the piece, allowing for a larger frame and mat while also highlighting the smoky delicacy of the image. Finally, a slight reddish rub was applied to the fillet to complement similar tones in the portrait’s ink, which has begun to oxidize with age. The combination of frames, mat, and fillet present clean lines that invite the viewer to linger without being distracted, ultimately drawing the eye to the image at the center.