Published: May 29, 2007
Three of the New Britain Museum of American Art’s (NBMAA) most important Hudson River School paintings have returned to the NBMAA’s Henry and Sharon Martin Hudson River School Gallery in antique replica frames that accentuate the beauty and legacy of the works of art.
The Eli Wilner & Co. framing gallery in New York City has donated replica frames for “The Clove, Catskills,” circa 1826, by Thomas Cole; “Ipswich Marshes,” 1867, by Martin Johnson Heade; and “The White Mountains,” circa 1871, by Sanford Robinson Gifford.
Each painting is now surrounded by a handcrafted, gilded frame, which is replicated in an exact manner that is historically accurate not only to the timeframe in which the paintings were created, but also to the framing choices known to be made by the artists themselves.
“These are world class masterworks that had been unfortunately framed,” said NBMAA trustee Henry Martin, who is a collector of Hudson River School paintings. “Two of these paintings were framed only with an inner liner. All the outer elements of the frame were missing, either damaged or discarded over time. We are extremely grateful to Eli Wilner for his enthusiasm and passion in assisting us in this project.”
Martin and Suzanne Smeaton, gallery director at Eli Wilner & Co., became aware of just how important it was to have these paintings reframed when Smeaton toured the galleries in the new Chase Family Building prior to speaking at the museum as a guest lecturer last fall.
“Suzanne was most impressed by the new building, and the museum’s collection,” noted Martin. “Because of Eli Wilner’s expertise and generosity, the frames for these works are now appropriate for the paintings themselves.”
All three paintings are now on view in the museum’s Hudson River School Gallery.
The New Britain Museum of American Art is at 56 Lexington Street. For information, www.nbmaa.org or 860-229-0257.
Eli Wilner & Co. is at 1525 York Avenue in New York City. For more information, www.eliwilner.com or 212-744-6521.
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