Today when we think of frames we think of an object used to hold pieces of art, photographs or documents, however, they were once considered to be a vital part of the piece they were holding, and sometimes even a work of art themselves. Emphasis was often put on matching a frame to the architecture and style of the space where it would be placed rather than solely considering the artwork it would hold. Often frames were actually built before they had a piece to be put in them, and then the art work would be created to the perfect size. Today, in contrast, people normally do not want the frames to take any focus away from what they are displaying.
Origins of the Photograph Frame
‘Framing’ is not a recent concept and has in fact been practice since the Greeks and the ancient Egyptians. During these periods however, framing took the form of painting a border around a piece of art on a wall in order to separate different scenes.
One of the earliest examples of a solid frame was located in an Egyptian tomb; it is thought to be dated around 50-70 AD and is crafted from wood. Both the frame and the portrait it held were perfectly preserved.
It was during the 12th and 13th centuries that hand carved wooden frames started to make an appearance. These types of small panel frames were commonly used in churches and made to separate various scenes and paintings. They were originally made from a single piece of wood, but this was a very expensive method. Due to this it wasn’t long before mitred stripes were pieced together to construct the frames.