Framework VI: Restoring the Boundaries

May 14–November 28, 2010

Framework VI showcases the latest results of the Museum’s frame-conservation apprenticeship program. In this program, now in its sixth year, Chief Preparator William Myers and Associate Director David Dempsey train Smith College and other Five-College students in the techniques of frame conservation. This installation features an historically accurate reproduction frame created for Paul Gauguin’s The Market Gardens of Vaugirard (1879). In addition, carefully conserved frames surround Willard Leroy Metcalf’s Great Diamond Island, Casco Bay, Maine (1879); John Smibert’s Mrs. John Erving (Abigail Phillips, 1702–1759), c. 1733; and The Student in the Laboratory (1890) by Mary Norton (d. 1922), which usually hangs in the Smith College chemistry department building.

These students participated in the frame project during the 2009–2010 academic year: Michele Metta-Kahn (AC, class of 2007); Mary Michaud (AC, class of 2010 J); Samantha Lord Fisher (class of 2009); Olga Alekseeva, Makana Hirose, and Keri Miyoko Kimura (all class of 2010); Shereen Choudhury, Caroline Fidel, Erin King, Grace Kim, Susie Kwon, Olivia Mohler, and Stella G. Schwartz (all class of 2011); and Sophia Ong (class of 2012).

This project is an outgrowth of the Museum’s long-term effort to study and conserve the frames in its collection, supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and by the Friends of the Museum who contributed to a special annual appeal, “The Frame Project: Conservation and Restoration of Museum Masterpieces.” The Museum would like to thank the following individuals for their assistance: James Hume, Smith College shop supervisor/technician; Joseph T. Matteis, Jr. conservator; Jenni Sussman; Judith Wopereis, Smith College biological sciences laboratory instructor; Paul Mitchell and Lynn Roberts of Paul Mitchell, Ltd., London; Jacob Simon, chief curator, National Portrait Gallery, London; John Anderson, conservator at Tate Britain; and Isabelle Cahn, conservateur des peintures, Musée d’Orsay, Paris.  The Museum is grateful to the following for their generous support: John Meingast at The Decorators Supply Corporation, Chicago; Sepp Leaf Products, New York; and the J. H. Miller Picture Frame Company, West Springfield.