Recent Event

“If Frames Could Talk - An Insider’s View of the Art of the Edge”

John Singer Sargent in his Paris Studio, circa 1884

John Singer Sargent in his Paris Studio, circa 1884

October 7, 2019 Lecture for Lotos Club Members

Drawing on several decades working with major museums and public and private collections, frame historian and consultant Suzanne Smeaton shares many ‘behind the scenes’ stories regarding frames: how the frames were selected, who made the choices, and even how they were removed and later repatriated. Images will include frames designed by artists for their own artworks and special frames on artworks and State Dinner menus in the collection of the Lotos Club.

For more information on Suzanne’s Past lectures, view the Events page.


Reframing a 1937 Theodore Roszak gouache

Theodore Roszak,  City Forms , 1937, gouache, watercolor and collage on board; 29 1/8” X 24 1/8”. Menconi + Schoelkopf

Theodore Roszak, City Forms, 1937, gouache, watercolor and collage on board; 29 1/8” X 24 1/8”. Menconi + Schoelkopf

A gratifying recent project was the reframing of a gouache by Theodore Roszak (1933-2011) for Menconi + Schoelkopf.

Almost immediately upon seeing Roszak’s composition City Forms of 1937 I thought of a specific profile that would be perfect for the painting. The profile was designed in 1930 by the Austrian-born architect Joseph Urban for Thomas Hart Benton’s American Today mural. (See my blogpost about that project here.) 

The profile is an elegant combination of angles and a central half-round that speak directly to Roszak’s forms. Finished in silver leaf to best complement the lush blues,  the finish further affirms the modern world depicted.

DETAIL Thomas Hart Benton  America Today , 1930-31; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of AXA Equitable, 2012

DETAIL Thomas Hart Benton America Today, 1930-31; Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gift of AXA Equitable, 2012

Contemporary model of the profile designed for Benton’s  America Today  by Joseph Urban as seen in cross-section.

Contemporary model of the profile designed for Benton’s America Today by Joseph Urban as seen in cross-section.


What a difference a Frame makes...

Work with an expert in framing your fine art.
Learn why curators and collectors across the United States have come to rely on Suzanne’s scholarship and experience to present their artwork appropriately and sensitively.


"There is no one who has a greater depth of knowledge of American frames and frame history than Suzanne Smeaton. She has an incredible eye for art and an ability to bring together the perfect marriage of painting and frame. I had the very great pleasure, over many years, of working with Suzanne to reframe some of the most important and beloved American paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery. Her passion and enthusiasm for each project was contagious." 

– Helen A. Cooper, Holcombe T. Green Curator Emeritus of American Paintings and Sculpture, Yale University Art Gallery


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