NEW YORK, NY.-
In 2016, upon entering their 34th year of business, Eli Wilner & Company
is continuing their philanthropic efforts with a new outreach to museums, including the gifting of historically accurate replica frames for important drawings and paintings within institutional collections.
As of December, the Wilner gallery staff and studio craftsmen are actively working with approximately three dozen institutions across the country who have been accepted in the current gifting program. The collaborative process of choosing the right frame for an artwork involves researching historical precedence and considering the overall aesthetics of a specific collection. Thanks to modern technology, digital mockups can be created to show a painting in a variety of frames and the entire project can be worked on remotely. Once complete, the frame is crated and shipped (at no cost to the institution) to be united with the artwork by the museums technical staff.
Completed projects from this program include: a replica of a carved and silver gilded early 20th Century American frame for Marsden Hartleys Alpspitze (Alpine Vista), Mittenwald Road from Gschwandtnerbauer, circa 1933, for the Wellin Museum of Art, a replica of a 19th century European frame, applied ornament and gilded, for William Henry Hunts Portrait of Mary Bugden Hunt, 1827, for the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and a replica of a shaped and stained American frame for Isabel Bishops Double Date Delayed, circa 1948, for the Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute.
Other participants in the 2016 program include: the J.Paul Getty Museum, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Birmingham Museum of Art, the RISD Museum, the New Britain Museum of Art, the Ringling Museum of Art, the Cincinnati Art Museum, the Josyln Art Museum, the Cleveland Museum of Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Seattle Art Museum, the New York Historical Society, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Krannert Art Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York.
Wilner also recently announced the winners of their unique Museum Frame Restoration Grants which were adjudicated by prominent art world scholars. These were awarded in five categories based on specific time periods to: the Colby College Museum of Art, the Fenimore Art Museum, the Georgia Museum of Art, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Columbia University Libraries.
Previous examples of Wilners philanthropy include the 28 projects he completed for the White House, including the hand-carved and gilded replica of an original frame designed by Childe Hassam for the artist's Avenue in the Rain, 1917, which now hangs in the Oval Office.
At the Lyndhurst historic site in Tarrytown, New York, Wilner provided a gift of a pair of Gothic-style carved and gilded frames for over mantel mirrors in the reading room. Lyndhurst had period photos of these mirrors that were original to the room but that had long since been lost. Based on these photographs, Wilner craftsmen were able to craft exact replicas of the original mirrors. Also, at the New Britain Museum of Art, Hudson River landscape paintings by Thomas Cole, Martin Johnson Heade and Sanford Robinson Gifford received historically appropriate replica frames. When the New-York Historical Society mounted their wide-ranging exhibition Drawn In New York in 2008 Six Centuries of Watercolors and Drawings at the New-York Historical Society showcasing nearly 200 works from the museums extraordinary collection, Eli Wilner & Company created 19 replica frames for loan and restored 14 additional frames. Similar loans of replicas made for special exhibitions include loans to The Lyman Allyn Museum (Christopher Pearse Cranch), the Cooper-Hewitt Museum (Piranesi), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Cezanne to Picasso), the National Academy Museum (Suydam) and the Detroit Institute of Arts (Lifes Pleasures).
Eli Wilner & Company creates these opportunities in order to give back to the greater arts community by enhancing masterpieces on view to the public, and to thank the curators and directors of museums who have helped build the appreciation of period-appropriate framing over the last few decades, as well donors who may have contributed to these investments.
If you are part of an institution that could benefit from similar philanthropic support, please be in touch!