15.30 - 16.45 GMT


Twenty-seven years after the UK's first exhibition devoted to picture frames was held at the National Portrait Gallery, Lynn Roberts and Paul Mitchell, authors of Frameworks, Form, Function & Ornament and A History of European Picture Frames are joined by the National Gallery's head of framing, Peter Schade, for a critical look at the ways in which the fashions for frames have changed wildly - and with dramatically varying results - over the course of the past half-millennium. They will refocus our attention on the part of a picture often invisible to our gaze, and discuss the role of historic frames as bearers of meaning fundamental to how artists throughout the centuries have conceived their pictures.

With Paul Mitchell (Paul Mitchell Ltd - Antique and handmade replica frames), Lynn Roberts (The Frame Blog) and Peter Schade (The National Gallery).

Moderated by Matthew Reeves, Director of Sam Fogg.

This panel is presented as part of the LAW 2023 Symposium held on Tuesday 5 December at the National Portrait Gallery in partnership with The Burlington Magazine.

Paul Mitchell, Paul Mitchell Ltd

Paul Mitchell combined reading Architecture and Fine Arts degrees at Cambridge and The Courtauld Institute whilst working in his father's Bond Street art dealership - John Mitchell & Sons - having responsibility for framing. Virtually eclipsed by art historians - this critical all-embracing subject was truly 'The Elephant in the Room.'

On a self-teaching mission he began creating a photographic archive of pictures having original or contemporary frames in museums, galleries, and exhibitions worldwide. The unique breadth of this ever-expanding resource, combined with amassing a very substantial inventory of European frames has enabled his company to become a leading frame consultant and supplier to museums, private collectors, dealers and auctioneers globally. 

Paul has lectured widely in American Museums and produced pioneering online frame catalogues for The Yale Centre for British Art and The Royal Academy of Arts, London.

Lynn Roberts, The Frame Blog

Lynn Roberts is an art historian specializing in the history of picture frames, of all periods from the 13th to the 21st century. She has worked for Paul Mitchell Ltd, the National Portrait Gallery, and currently The National Gallery, London; she also founded and edits The Frame Blog, an online magazine devoted to the study of antique and interesting modern picture frames. 

Peter Schade, The National Gallery

Peter Schade is Head of Framing at the National Gallery London since 2005. He is  responsible for the re-framing of about 300 paintings of the permanent collection. Originally from Berlin where he trained as a woodcarver, Peter has been working almost exclusively with antique picture frames since he came to London in 1990.

Matthew Reeves, Sam Fogg

Matthew Reeves has worked in the art world for more than 15 years, starting out as a journalist, critic, and curator of contemporary art, before specialising in medieval art during his studies at the Courtauld Institute in London. He is a director at Sam Fogg, the world's leading dealer in the art of the European Middle Ages, and over the last 10 years has managed the gallery's busy program of exhibitions and publications, both at its Mayfair home and through a series of biennial travelling shows mounted in collaboration with Old Master and contemporary galleries in New York. His own area of research focuses on the patronage of the Valois courts in late-medieval France.

Before and after.
Virgin and Child, by Domenico Ghirlandaio. c.1480-90. Tempera on panel, 88.9 by 57.8 cm. (National Gallery, London; © National Gallery).

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