Whether finishing a remodel, completing new construction or just wanting to display a piece of artwork, custom framing has the ability to be transformative in any room. Art and collectors items showcase personality more than almost any other piece in a home. It might be a rare painting from decades ago, a hard-earned diploma, a signed baseball jersey or even a perfectly captured photograph you took yourself. Whatever it is, it should have the best display possible.
Established in 2002 and recently expanded, the experts at Masterpieces Fine Art and Custom Framing, which has locations in Narberth, Newtown Square and Wayne, have been helping individuals elevate their artwork and collectibles through custom framing, ensuring they fit each person’s aesthetic and last a lifetime.
Once a client has decided on custom framing, they typically bring their art into one of Masterpieces’ three convenient locations, where their team discusses options. That ranges from the type of framing most suitable to the piece and the room it will be displayed in, to what matting will be used to complement the piece. A member of Masterpieces’ team can even go to the client’s house for a similar consultation.
They frame everything from traditional art, like paintings, watercolors, pastels, charcoals, posters and prints, to documents, like diplomas, to more unique memorabilia and collectibles like sports jerseys and balls, hockey sticks, swords and even rugs. Nothing is off limits.
“We lay out the art and start choosing mats and frames based on the piece,” says owner Mike Minasian. “Most of the time clients rely on us to choose for them because we have the experience.” Minasian’s trained eye means textures and colors are complementary and suitable to each piece, making sure it looks as beautiful as possible.
Whatever the piece, he has one hard and fast rule: “We always frame the art, and not the room. If the client ever wants to move the art in the future, then the frame still works with it,” he explains.
Equally important, artwork never leaves their facility, unlike at big box stores, which frequently send work out to a factory. “Clients’ art stays within our stores and the employees who work on the art are also the ones the clients work with. Because of this, we have a personal connection with the client and their art,” he adds. That’s all the more comforting for those leaving especially valuable pieces. Their new, larger space in Newtown Square also means each part of the framing process has its own workstation. “We are more efficient and are capable of handling individual framing and volume framing,” says Minasian.
When doing custom framing, Masterpieces Fine Art and Custom Framing wants to ensure that the complete product not only looks great, but will protect the art. To achieve that, they only use archival mats and foam board. “We preserve the art to last a very long time,” Minasian explains. Further protecting the art is special glass. Clients have the option of UV glass, which protects from UV damage from the sun, preventing fading, and museum glass, which protects against UV rays, but has a greater clarity. “When clients see my sample on the wall, they can’t believe the picture has glass on it,” he explains.
Frame options are extensive. Most are wood, with a small percent being aluminum. They also have one of the largest selections of finished corner gold leaf frames and specialize in period framing. That means historic and antique pieces will have an authentic time-period frame to complement the art.
Beyond framing, Masterpieces offers multiple types of restoration: digital, paper photo and art. Digital restoration is used to enhance a photo that’s been damaged, like decades-old family photos. The print is scanned at high resolution then painstakingly cleaned up on a computer. It is then printed on the type of paper the client prefers and can be displayed, while the original is safely stored in an acid-free sleeve. They can also restore the original photo with paper photo restoration, but most clients opt for digital restoration.
Oil paintings, watercolors and signed prints can also be restored. The original piece of art is carefully brought back to life, fixing damaged, worn, or torn spots. The finished product is like new. “Clients bring in their old paintings to be restored and are truly amazed after the restoration process is completed. Once completed, we frame that painting too,” says Minasian.
Masterpieces Fine Art and Custom Framing
67 S. Newtown Street Road
Newtown Square, PA
238 Haverford Ave.
161 W. Lancaster Ave.
By appointment only