picture frame conservation

Restoration an conservation of frames

Restoration studio Marjan de Visser specializes in the restoration of paintings. Unfortunately we are NOT specialized in picture frame conservation. But when a painting with a frame arrives in the studio, we certainly assess both. After all, they belong together. That is why we also discuss the frame with the client in the restoration plan. And if the frame also needs treatment, we assess how and who carries it out. Small restorations are possible in our workshop. However, with serious treatments, a frame restorer and / or wood restorer will be asked to carry out this for us. We work together with Brigitte Taal, Aldo Manzo, Tamara Venema and Josien van der Werf . All very skilled professionals with their own specialization.

Some nice examples about frames and paintings

the duo frame & painting, cleaning picture frame, restoring the ornamental frame, Handmade frame by Brigitte Taal, restoration of frames and climate frames

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The duo frame and painting

Picture frame conservation

There are many good examples of a beautiful duo frame & painting. Especially from artists who make frames for the paintings themselves. A good example is the artist Dirk Smorenberg. He not only made the painting, but also a matching frame. Each frame is unique, while other artists wanted a very simple frame for their works. The Cobra painters and the Ploeg painters for example.

Cleaning picture frame

Picture frame conservation

The frames are often just as dirty as the paintings. That is why cleaning tests are carried out on both the frames and the paintings. Naturally, the finishing layers are completely different. So we take this into account in Restauratieatelier Marjan de Visser. Sometimes frames from the 1930s but also in the 1970s were made with a chalk layer. For this, we have devised a nice technique and method for cleaning.

Picture frame conservation

A short impression of how an intern from Sint Lucas College cleans a list (December 2019).

Ornamentenlijst herstellen

Picture frame conservation

Ornament frames often show damage to the ornaments. Chipped pieces, worn finishes. These ornaments can be copied with another ornament. Because we make a mold from it and cast a new ornament. This piece can then be healed and coloured. Unfortunately, the small flowers on the frame of a painting by Raaphorst had broken off. Fortunately we were able to place it back as part of our picture frame conservation. In this way the frame will form a beautiful whole with the restored painting.

Picture frame conservation

Cleaning a dirty frame

It is wonderful to be able to clean a beautifully made frame from nicotine, dirt, insect secretion and soot. Of course, just as with paintings, first research is done into the layers present. Because they must be preserved. With ‘The MCP’ we can not only clean paintings but also the frames. A good example is this beautifully made ornamental frame with silver metal and a brown patina on top ot if to look like gold. First the patina has been cleaned and then the frame was polished in beeswax. A successful picture frame conservation.

Handmade frame by Brigitte Taal

A customer wanted a white oak frame for a painting by Jannes de Vries. He had seen this frame at the Avant-Garde exhibition in Groningen about the Ploeg painters in the Groninger Museum. With the help of photos, wood and furniture restorer Brigitte Taal has milled the desired shape from a solid piece of oak. Then she took the exact measurements of the painting and put the frame together. Finally, the frame is mounted around the artwork. A very accurate job. The customer was very satisfied and happy to make his wish come true.

Picture frame conservation
This is the old frame that the owner did not like, so he wanted to have it replaced. 
We have had a new oak frame made by Brigitte Taal of his choice.
Picture frame conservation
A new oak wooden frame around a painting by Jannes de Vries

Restoration of frames  

Picture frame conservation

Restoring a gold-plated frame is a specialist job. This requires knowledge of the structure of the layers. The conservator must also know whether it concerns a poliment or oil gilding. In addition, there are many different colors of gold for sale. Multiple types of carat gold leaf, or just hammered metal? Gilding with gold leaf is not for everyone. That is why we leave the restoration of gilded frames to the specialist. In 2017 a beautiful boy portrait came into the studio, with a gilded frame. This list had undergone many changes. She had been resized twice and had all kinds of fillers and overpaint on it. Josien van der Werf restored this lily frame for us and gilded the damaged spots again with Moon gold!

painting with frame, photographed before and after restoration. This is a portrait of Edzard Jacob Tjarda van Starkenborgh lord van Verhildersum in Leens painted by M Grevenbroeck.

Picture frame conservation
during application of the gold leaf

Climate frames

Another example of Picture frame conservation. Aldo Manzo provides climate frames for us. These frames have a completely closed interior. In this way, vulnerable objects remain better protected against climate changes. Think of the climate during transport. But also in areas where a stable climate cannot be guaranteed. For example, we provided a climate frame for a vulnerable panel for the Muiderslot . Even measuring equipment have been installed. Namely in the frame and outside the frame behind it on the wall. This way we can monitor climate changes. We do this with digital measurement tools that work with an app. in your phone. They are very small tools and the brand is called Sensor Push.

Picture frame conservation

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★ I like to share my knowledge of paintings and love for conservation with colleagues and clients ★

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