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Eli Wilner & Company increases museum matching funding program by one hundred percent
A master gilder in the Eli Wilner & Company studio applies gold leaf during the restoration of an 18th Century Italian period frame.


NEW YORK, NY.- Eli Wilner & Company Master Framers are in the midst of undertaking an exciting array of re-framing and frame restoration projects for museums and non-profit institutions over the course of 2020, with the assistance of their ongoing program that provides matching funds for museums and other cultural institutions. For four decades, through various philanthropic efforts, the Wilner firm has assisted dozens of institutions across the country by completing framing projects that enhance their collections’ historical and cultural impact. Wilner’s most recent funding program has been so successful that it will be doubled in 2020 in order to extend the offer to even more institutions.

In late 2019, Wilner reached an agreement with the Palmer Museum of Art at Penn State to collaborate on reframing a small group of important paintings in their collection. Adam Thomas, the Palmer’s Curator of American Art, presented a number of artworks that he was aware would benefit greatly from more historically-appropriate framing treatments. They decided to begin with an 1873 painting by Winslow Homer, choosing to have the Wilner team create a replica of an elegant fluted cove style American frame dating to the 1870s, from the Wilner collection. Upcoming reframing projects for the Palmer include a 19th century American painting by Martin Johnson Heade.

As of January 2020, Wilner is pleased to announce that with the help of the funding program they will soon be undertaking the reframing of an important painting by ​Thomas Pritchard Rossiter for​ George Washington’s Mount Vernon. They also will be restoring two period frames for Lynden Sculpture Garden in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, that house paintings by ​Zao Wou-Ki and Wassily Kandinsky.

The Wilner gallery staff are reviewing new projects on a weekly basis. In addition to the creation of new historically appropriate replica frames and frame restoration services, the program has also included frame surveys and appraisals. Determining the value of an existing frame can help expedite decisions regarding restoration or reframing, and provide useful information for institutions specifically raising internal funds through collectors’ circles and member groups.

Whether creating or restoring a frame, Wilner documents the processes involved, sharing behind-the scenes images with any curators or conservators that are advising on the project. They also invite these individuals and their colleagues to visit the Eli Wilner & Company studio for a private, in-depth tour while their projects are underway.

Here is a selection of institutions and their framing projects that have recently benefited from Eli Wilner & Company’s Matching Funds Programs:

● Aiken – Rhett House Museum/Historic Charleston Foundation, restoration of two large period frames

● Allentown Art Museum of the Lehigh Valley, new replica frame for a painting by Anton Woensam

● American Academy of Arts and Letters, restoration of a period frame on a painting by Childe Hassam

● University of Denver Art Collections, restoration of a period frame on a Bierstadt painting

● Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University, replica frames for six artworks, including two carved and gilded 15th Century German altarpiece panels

● The Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art at the University of Oklahoma, replica frames for five paintings in the European department

● George Washington’s Mount Vernon, replica of an elaborate carved and gilded 18th Century Looking Glass for the Front Parlor

● Historic Crab Orchard Museum, restoration of a period frame on a circa 1840 portrait

● Krannert Art Museum at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, restoration of a period frame on a painting by Hendrick van der Burch

● Lafayette College Art Galleries & Art Collections, restoration of a portrait frame and creation of gilded and hand-lettered nameplates

● National Museum of Wildlife Art of the United States, replica frame for a large-scale painting by Joseph Wolf

● RISD Museum, new replica frame for a painting by Thomas Cole

● The Rockwell Museum, Corning NY, new replica frame for a painting by Alfred Jacob Miller

● Palm Springs Art Museum, new replica frame for a painting by William Robinson Leigh

● Woodlawn Plantation, a National Historic Trust Site, restoration of period frames on four important portraits










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January 27, 2020

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