Framework IX: Restoring the Boundaries

May 10, 2013–February 9, 2014













Framework IX showcases this year’s results of the Museum’s frame conservation apprenticeship program.  In this program, now in its ninth 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 frame created for Childe Hassam’s Headlands at Appledore (1907), a bequest of Smith alumna Priscilla Mason (class of 1935). Two frames were also carefully conserved, an English frame surrounding Robert Smirke’s Scene from Cibber’s “The Provoked Husband” (late 18th century), and the American frame for Albert Bierstadt’s Echo Lake, Franconia Mountains, New Hampshire (1861).

The students participating in the frame project during the academic year 2012-2013 were Breana Latty (class of 2011); Allison Keiter (class of 2013); Tatiana Shannon (Hampshire College, class of 2013); Candace Kang, Emily Kim (both class of 2015); Ashley Kosa (Mount Holyoke College, class of 2015); and Isabella Galdone, Talia Halpern, Bronte Marsteller, Clara Patrice Rosebrock, Geneva Strauss-Wise (all class of 2016).

This project is an outgrowth of the Museum’s long-term effort to study and conserve the frames in its collection, initially supported in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. The Museum would like to thank Jacob Simons of the National Portrait Gallery, London, for historical advice on the Robert Smirke frame. For the Childe Hassam frame, thanks go to Lisa Wyer of Lowy Framing and Conservation for her assistance; to James Hume, wood shop technician, for carving instruction and direction; and to David Dempsey, for the mill work. Thanks are also due to Janna Singer-Baefsky (class of 2015).

Image credit: Childe Hassam. American, 1859–1935. Headland at Appledore,1907. Oil on cradled panel. 25 1/4 in x 30 in; 64.1 cm x 76.2 cm. Bequest of Priscilla Mason, class of 1935. SC 2012:20