Framing History

History comes alive with framing!

Old documents and historical prints tucked away for years have potential to become art, but require knowledgeable custom framing approaches.  When Marty Mitchell, owner of Mitchell Family Funeral Home, brought us a cover page of a 150+ year-old newspaper, we knew it was time for some careful planning.

Not only was the document old, it declared the assassination and passing of Abraham Lincoln on Saturday, April 15, 1865.  Dramatic and solemn, this type of document needed to be honored both with the method of mounting and the style of the frame.

A favorite Larson Juhl molding called ‘Anvil’ came to mind almost immediately. It has the appearance of rusted, hammered metal — an industrial age look – and could pass as something stored in the attic for several generations.  Of course, it’s top grade wood from Larson Juhl’s reforestation program.

The key question was how to mount a tissue-thin piece of history without tape or adhesive!

A perk of being a member of the Professional Picture Frames of America (PPFA) is access to experts who are happy to pass along their advice.  Two key tips were offered: first, use acrylic glazing instead of glass to avoid any possible condensation and add electrostatic cling; second, sandwich the paper between a fiber backing and glazing.

Voila! A mat covered with a tawny-colored burlap gave just the right grip and prevented a bleed of type from page 2 of the newsprint. Museum quality acrylic and stacked Anvil moldings finished the desired look.

The remaining pieces of this project were three prints stored for decades in a file folder.  The artwork is by local artist, Sandy Vas, known for renditions of architectural icons of Marshalltown and their history.  We selected a subtle framing style, with single Anvil molding and monochromatic mats, making them artful and interesting for years to come.


Out of storage and onto the wall . . . another way to “bring art to life”!

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