Exhibit Design

High quality picture and mirror frames of such distinct beauty, that they are art forms in themselves, can be custom made to your specifications to protect and enhance your collectibles. All styles are available, from contemporary acrylic boxes and metals to medieval European; Oriental to American in a wide selection of finishes: 22K gold, white gold and silver leaf, paints, stains, and veneers to suit every need.

Faithful replicas of antique moldings and frames, detailed re-creations of important designs from major periods, with the look and feel of original antiques and museum pieces at replica prices.

We combine the finest traditional materials, old world craftsmanship and aesthetic sensibility, with state of the art archival methods to provide truly museum quality frames for a broad range of artwork. Our frames are preferred by most leading curators, collectors, and designers.

Framing for Museums

Presenting a work of art in its correct historic context and setting is an important part of the interpretation that a Museum can provide. Selecting a frame based purely on aesthetic concerns, considers the needs of an artwork only partially and can potentially convey an unintended message.

Frame styles are a sub-set of architectural and design elements of a historic period in a given geographic location. The same prevailing cultural influences would have also influenced the artist in the creation of his oevre and it is logical to suggest that presenting a work of art the way it would have been presented at the time of its creation, provides an ideal context for the work.
This is the very reason, that period picture frames are so highly prized. Not only for their intrinsic value as hand crafted antiques, but also because the aesthetic, historic and documentational value of a period painting in a suitable period frame is far greater than the value of the painting plus the value of the frame as two separate objects.

We at ConservArt, are continuously involved in the study of period picture frame styles. Every opportunity is seized to further our knowledge by documenting original period frame designs.

Our frame conservation department provides ethical conservation treatment for period frames, consolidation, cleaning, removal of over painting, replacement of missing ornaments and compensation of surface finishes.

We also make replicas of period frame designs with such realism, that on more than one occasion the client was unable to distinguish the new copy frame we made, from the original antique we copied. Replica frames are far less costly, than antique period frames and are an excellent way to present significant paintings in a correct interpretive setting.

Since we are conservators of fine art we are keenly aware of the damage that the use of incorrect methods and inappropriate materials can do to cultural property. Consequently we use state of the art archival conservation methods in our framing treatments.

Micro-Climate Vitrines
Age and condition of certain works of art or objects require special protection in order to slow down their deterioration. In some instances fluctuations in relative humidity levels must be kept within strict control at a certain predetermined level, in others, normal oxygen content in the air can accelerate the deterioration of the artifact. Micro-climate vitrines were conceived to address the physics and chemistry of the decay of artifacts brought about by environmental factors: heat, humidity, pollution and light.
At times a work of art that is scheduled to go on tour needs to be protected to prevent damage from environmental conditions or organisms. In all these cases, an air-tight enclosure needs to be built around the artifact which is filled with an inert atmosphere and/or chemical substances to control oxygen content and/or humidity level and maintain these levels regardless of the ambient conditions outside the enclosure. We can think of this as a micro-climate within the glass faced enclosure or vitrine, a kind of space suit for artwork.

There are many considerations when designing a micro-climate vitrine. Ambient temperature changes result in changes on the relative humidity and pressure inside the containment. Atmospheric pressure variation caused by weather or changes in altitude, outgassing emenating from the art object itself, are just some of the most obvious issues that need to be taken into account. Additionally, we must consider the aesthetic and stylistic requirements of the work as well and provide a micro-climate vitrine that provides a protective housing.

In instances when the existing frame dates from the same period as the artwork and is stylistically appropriate, we retrofit this existing frame, turning it into a micro- climate vitrine. This practice produces virtually no change in appearance and is preferable from an interpretation point of view to an industrial enclosure.

Enclosing a work in a micro-climate vitrine is justified when one needs to display a work of art in venues with unpredictable ambient conditions, or when a work will need to be shipped by air or ocean freight where temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure will vary unpredictably.

Micro-climate vitrines are essentially air- tight enclosures that provide stable humidity levels (via preconditioned desiccant bulk) to the artwork housed in them in a sealed atmosphere. There are usually molecular sieves enclosed as well to absorb any out-gassing from the artifact. Usually, the cavities are filled with an inert gas like Argon and are fitted with a diaphragm which allows for the atmospheric pressure inside the vitrine to equalize with the ever changing ambient pressure. This feature eliminates any pressure differences and minimizes the possibility of atmosphere exchange. In rare cases we provide temperature control as well, however this feature requires access to a reliable source of power. Visual indicators are always enclosed to enable the monitoring of the micro-climate. Advanced data loggers and wireless sensors can be added to provide for remote monitoring.

Each art object has different needs according to its composition, construction and condition. Improperly engineered enclosures can actually damage their contents by trapping moisture condensation and harmful out gassing from the object. The object needs to be accurately acclimatized to the desired relative humidity at the planned display temperature, prior to insertion into the vitrine and all this necessitates fairly complex procedures and handling.

Consult us for all your special needs!

Framing for Art Galleries & Dealers

Art galleries and dealers rely on ConservArt for ethical conservation treatment, for conservation grade framing, as well as for the examination and documentation of artwork. We understand the importance of staying on schedule and within budget. Our Exhibit Framing System provides an economical means of displaying consigned artwork in a professional setting without the need of investing in custom framing.

Framing for Collectors

Collectors benefit by our years of studied connoisseurship in selecting archival framing treatments that are in context with the period, geographic location and age of their treasured artwork.

ConservArt routinely replicates period designs and conserves, rehabilitates and refurbishes existing period frames. We also custom make French mats with toned panels or marbleized paper appliquees of all kinds.