Guest curated by renowned master framer and gilder, William B. Adair, Frames: The Forgotten Art presents a globe-trotting selection of American and European hand-carved frames covering a span of more than five hundred years.

The seventeenth-century framers of the Dutch Old Masters preferred dark woods and strong geometric patterns. The grand paintings made for English country houses and Italian baroque churches required magnificent examples of the carver’s and gilder’s art.

One of the masterpieces in the exhibition is a towering baroque mirror frame with sculpted figures of gamboling putti on all four sides. This work, which once adorned the entrance hall of an Italian palazzo, has been lent to the show by the famous author and Virginia resident, Mark Helprin.

Before the plain white molding was invented, modern artists delighted in designing their own frames for their own paintings. Frames: The Forgotten Art contains three original frames designed especially for distinctive work of famous artists: the German Franz Stuck, Diego Rivera, and Thomas Hart Benton.