Folk Art Frames

The earliest indigenous picture frame in America was the folk art frame,a simple pine molding, generally painted black, like the moldings used for framing doors and windows in colonial houses. Endless variations on this frame-type appear throughout the 19th C. Itinerant artists used them to frame portraits. They were made to surround theorems and calligraphy, samplers and silhouettes.

Folk artists used the same ochres, blues, reds and greens that we find today on 19th C. folk art furniture to embellish folk art frames. They employed stencil decorations or grain-painted faux finishes on the pine moldings to resemble exotic woods and other materials, like marble. Artisans joined the molding strips with a simple miter joint, or more elaborately, with a spline or lap-joint. Pictures hung on the wall from a brass ring. The hole from this ring, in the center of the top stick of molding, and the angular holes left in the rabbet by square-headed nails, are sure signs of a folk art frame's age and authenticity.

I use the term "folk art frame" to cover a variety of picture frame styles, from the late 18th C. to the early 20th C.: tramp art frames, constructed from many thin layers of wood, often from cigar-boxes; marquetry frames, in which different kinds of wood are inlaid to create elaborate patterns; and Adirondack or Rustic style frames, which integrate leaf and twig shapes into the moldings. Folk art frames with applied corner blocks are called "Hick's style" frames, after the painter Edward Hicks, famous for his "Peaceable Kingdom," who frequently used this style of frame for his work.

Click on the thumbnails below to view a portion of my current stock. Pause curser on thumbnail for frame inventory number.
#SK13 Marquetry #4604 Ebonized Pine #4762 #SK112 Grain-Painted Pine SK162 Corner Blocks #4772 #4817 Ebonized Pine #SK159 Grain Painted Grained #4419 Pumpkin Pine #4450 Grain-Painted Hicks #4642 #SK168 Dark Brown #4692 Grain-Painted #4725 Ebonized Pine SK107 Ebonized Folk #4841 Bird's Eye Maple Veneer #SK110 Grain Painted #4675 Ebonized Pine #SK23 Ebonized Pine #SK114 Carved Stick #SK142 Marquetry #SK143 Marquetry #SK161 Raised Corners