Framework VII: Restoring the Boundaries

May 13 – November 6, 2011



Pietro Longhi. Italian, 1702-1785. La Furlana, n.d. Oil on canvas. Purchased with the Drayton Hillyer Fund, 1947:2-1. Photograph by Petegorsky/Gipe

Framework VII showcases this year’s results of the Museum’s frame conservation apprenticeship program.  In this program, now in its seventh year, Smith College and other Five-College students are trained by Chief Preparator William Myers and Associate Director David Dempsey in the techniques of frame conservation.  Featured in this installation is an historically accurate, Venetian-style frame created for Lorenzo Bellotto’s View of a Palace Courtyard (1765).  The frame was carved by Dimitrios Klitsas, master wood carver in Hamden, Massachusetts, and gilded by the students in the program. In addition, carefully conserved frames surround Pietro Longhi’s La Furlana (18th century) and two paintings by Régis François Gignoux, Italian Landscape (1861) and Autumn Landscape (19th century).

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 following companies are thanked for their generous support: The Decorators Supply Company, Chicago; Sepp Leaf Products, New York; and the J. H. Miller Picture Frame Company, West Springfield. The Museum is grateful to James Hume, Smith College Woodshop Technician, and Joseph T. Matteis, Jr., Conservator, for their assistance, and to Mr. Klitsas for carving the frame for the Bellotto painting.