Framing Exeter's Heritage: How Picture Frames Preserve and Showcase Our City's History

Liv Butler
Authored by Liv Butler
Posted Thursday, November 23, 2023 - 11:47am

Nestled in the heart of Devon, Exeter resonates with echoes of a storied past, where every cobblestone and corner tells a tale. Imagine strolling through the historic Quayside, where the air still whispers of ancient merchants and mariners. In such moments, the importance of preserving Exeter's rich historical tapestry becomes strikingly evident. Integral to this preservation are frames, not merely as decorative elements, but as guardians of Exeter's visual memories. Through their quiet presence, these frames capture the city's stories, turning every photo and painting into a window to the past.

The Art of Memory: Picture Framing Through the Ages

Picture framing, a practice dating back to ancient Egypt, has evolved remarkably over the centuries. Initially, frames were integral to wall paintings, serving as a boundary rather than a separate entity. This concept transformed during the 12th and 13th centuries in Europe, where frames, then primarily found in churches, became distinct, carved wooden structures. The Italian Renaissance marked a pivotal shift as framed art extended to the residences of wealthy nobles. Subsequently, the art of framing flourished. These developments mirrored societal and artistic progress, transitioning from simple designs to the more refined, intricate styles seen today. This evolution highlights the frame's role not just in art presentation but also in historical and cultural representation.

Preserving Personal Histories Within Four Corners

In Exeter, frames are more than mere adornments, they are vital keepers of personal histories and cherished memories. Residents of this historic city utilize frames to immortalize moments of joy, achievement, and love, effectively turning their living spaces into homes brimming with narratives. Within these frames, old family photos that portray past generations are given a new lease of life, ensuring the perpetuation of ancestral stories. These frames also act as daily reminders of personal milestones, ranging from triumphant academic graduations to unforgettable journeys and adventures. Their role extends beyond mere protection and display of memories. They allow these precious moments to become an integral part of daily life. As more than just decorative items, frames symbolize a celebration of life’s significant journeys and moments. Thus, every framed image in Exeter stands as a heartfelt proof of the city's rich tapestry of enduring personal histories and connections, weaving a visual story that resonates with both the young and old.

The Craft of Choosing the Perfect Frame

Selecting the perfect frame for historical items is a blend of aesthetic sensibility and material awareness. Antique frames often suit historical documents best, providing an elegant look that aligns with their age. It's essential to use archival framing materials, as acidic components can cause irreversible damage. For contemporary art, the choice of frame depends on the artwork’s style. Modern pieces like Op Art or Pop Art pair well with minimalist, gilded frames, enhancing their modernity. In contrast, expressive styles benefit from frames with a richer patina, complementing their depth. Key in this selection is the frame's finish, especially in gilded options where lap marks should be minimal and consistent. This careful consideration ensures the frame not only showcases but also preserves the art's value. In addition, the right frame can transform an artwork, elevating its presence and impact in any setting. Ultimately, this meticulous framing process weaves together the past and present, offering a visual narrative that enhances and protects our cherished historical and artistic treasures.



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