You guys are thrifty. You know as well as me that secondhand classic, clean-lined frames are reasonably easy to come by in the 4×6 – 8×10 range. However, I rarely find frames that are bigger in size, so when I stumbled across a bunch at the summertime estate sale of a late museum curator, I gave myself permission to stock up. What I ended up bringing home was a big box full of black and silver Nielsen Bainbridge™ metal frames at just $3-$6 a piece. Nielsen frames are nothing elusive from a design standpoint–notorious for their affordability, ease of assembly, and endless size customization–but nice to have on hand. Each framed a photograph, and was fitted with a cut mat board and glass (maybe even Conservation-grade “Museum” glass), both of which had some inherent value to me. One must not pass over nice mat board and glass.
I figure that the all-in value of each of the frame kits, the mat (purchased and cut), and regular glass might have run me between $40-$50/each, so bringing them all home for less than feels like a worthy splurge, even if some of the frames sit around for a few years while I collect more art.
We’ll always been seeking out new pieces for our collection, but already had a few things stashed away awaiting larger frames. It didn’t take me long to piece a few of the kits together. One of the first missions had been to find a home for an original abstract mixed media piece by Jaime Derringer, shown hung above. It was a birthday present from Pete, and it’s layered and beautiful and definitely a statement piece that I know we’ll have and admire for along time. I don’t even think that he realized I had bought one of her prints a few years ago off Fab, but really likes her work so in addition to the original, he also bought us a print of hers from art.com scaled to 30″x30″ earlier this year when there was a 30% off offer available (of course, today prints are 40% off so if you see something you want, jump on it). The larger print will be perfect for a number of walls in our home, but we’re still working on the frame and mat needs. You’ll see it eventually.
The colorful art in the lower frame, though not intended to complement Jaime’s print so well, is an marker drawing by Julia at age 7. When good kid art happens, it must be recognized, so as much as I want to collect a wonderful amount of professional prints and paintings while we live here, there’s no doubt when I’m through we’ll have a small gallery of drawings like that to balance things out.