Sargent at the Met

We recently visited John Singer Sargent at the MET for an afternoon of inspiration, leaving us with a profound feeling of curiosity into the avant-garde world of John Sargent. A celebrated American painter, and truly one of the greatest of our time, Sargent was known for his lifelike portraits of artists, writers, actors, and musicians, many of whom were his close friends. 

Because these works were rarely commissioned, he was free to create more radical works than for those in which he was paid. He often posed his subjects informally, creating a steady theme of movement. "Together, the portraits constitute a group of experimental paintings and drawings—some of them highly charged, others sensual, and some of them intimate, witty, or idiosyncratic." (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

While the collection of paintings was astounding, it was the anchoring of ornate frames that caught our attention. Working not against, but alongside these classic portraits, the frames help to tell each and every story, leaving us with a profound feeling of curiosity into the avant-garde world of John Sargent. 

 

Ellen Terry as Lady Macbeth, 1889 in a famous performance of William Shakespeare's tradgedy Macbeth.

 "The story of the subject is so romantic. A true celebrity in her day, and this dramatic frame celebrates everything about her. It's bold and a bit brazen in its forceful carving just as the subject was." 

"This style for portraiture is very reminiscent of Stanford White, who was widely acknowledged as an innovative and talented designer of picture frames. The frames he designed for important portraits for his clients, romantic delicate and powerful at the same time."

The exhibition Sargent: Portraits of Artists and Friends, which opened at The Metropolitan Museum of Art on June 30, brings together about 90 of these distinctive portraits, including numerous loans from private collections. It will also explore in depth the friendships between Sargent and those who posed for him as well as the significance of these relationships to his life and art. Read more on the fantastic works of Sargent shown at the MET here.

House Beautiful, The September Issue

Our friends over at House Beautiful asked us for a few framing tips for their September issue and we happily obliged!  Check out their "Color Lover" September Issue where Robyn shares her wisdom on selecting the right frame. From mat color to frame style to the 3D effect - Robyn's insight proves just what it takes to get that perfect piece, a lifelong investment.

"Match your frame to your art's roots" she insists - assuring us not to stray far from the original piece itself. "If it's a Dutch still life, choose a frame with Dutch heritage. Your framer can help." At J. Pocker, your framer takes every step along the way with ease and precision, as every project has significant meaning. 

Contact us today, to schedule a consultation at jpocker.com, or stop by any of our locations in person, we would love to meet you!

Sardi's: AN ICONIC Gallery Wall

Incredible displays of framing genius can be found all over New York City, and we're looking to tour some of our favorites - as part of a new #JPockersNewYork series. 

To this day, Sardi's restaurant on W. 44th Street in the heart of Times Square, is considered a Broadway institution.  The restaurant's  walls are lined with over 1,300 familiar faces, documenting decades of talent and for many years, Sardi's was the location where the Tony Award nominations were first announced.  In 1947, the owner, Vincent Sardi Sr. (a client of J. Pocker!) received a special Tony Award, for "providing a transient home and comfort station for theatre folk at Sardi's for 20 years." 

Many artists have contributed to this wall, and trust quickly faded with the death of their most recent visionary. "On the day Jimmy Cagney died, his caricature was stolen from the Sardi's wall. Since then, when drawings are done, the originals go into a vault, and two copies are made. One goes to the lucky subject of the caricature, the other up on the Sardi's wall. This way, potential thieves won't have their moment!" exclaimed Judy Katz. (Playbill)

In 1979, Vincent Sardi, Jr. generously donated his collection of 227 caricatures from the restaurant to the Billy Rose Theatre Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.  With each and every framed caricature, this restaurant offers a most epic gallery wall, the true definition of an iconic ambiance.  Vincent Sardi was a name found in the J. Pocker ledger several times as a constant client, who valued the framing process.



Manhattan Sideways: Behind the scenes of J. Pocker

Manhattan Sideways, an insider's guide to exploring NYC and discovering the side streets of Manhattan, made their way up to 63rd and Lexington, where we have been for over 30 years.  We were thrilled to share our history and reflect on what it means to be in business in NYC after 89 years on the Upper East Side.  Read an excerpt from the interview below and watch the video for a sneak peek behind the showroom with the full interview from Robyn here.

“In a family business, everybody works,” Robyn Pocker announced when I first met her. She went on to tell me that her first job as a little girl was making paperclip chains in her family’s framing establishment. Over the years, she was promoted through the ranks, learning to wrap packages with bakery string, how to please customers, and simply to absorb advice from her parents,  until she became a full employee, fresh out of college. Robyn went on to say that she feels “very rooted on 63rd Street.”

Quickly gaining respect over the course of their New York City tenure, their more notable clients are always first to protect this family of merchants. " When the F train came to the city, they wanted to take our building by right of eminent domain - my father had a lot of influential friends, including the Rockefeller family, and they protested until my father was allowed to remain in business in the same building, but just around the corner."

With a ledger housing ink of those most influential during the mid century, it gives you a vivid sense of the business many decades ago. "The old days, the 60's, that show us who the clients really were back then: the older Roosevelts, the Rockefellers, you get to see a little slice of old New York!"


The Ledger Series - A Look at Sarah Tomerlin Meet the woman who pioneered luxury design

The Ledger Series - A Look at Sarah Tomerlin: Meet the woman who pioneered luxury design 

We are so honored to have served the New York City area for over 89 years, establishing fantastic relationships with some amazing talents along the way. Our ledger is chock full of influential artists, actors, and designers, and we are lucky to consider most of them lifetime clients of J. Pocker.  Last week when we came across Sarah Tomerlin Lee's name in the historic J. Pocker ledger, who was a famous fashion editor and interior design,  who left a prominen mar on the design industry-  I knew we to share her story. 

 

Sarah Tomerlin Lee made her way to New York City in 1936 and quickly gained momentum in the fashion. For about 30 years, she shuttled between the advertising world, where she worked alongside some incredible visionaries: Helena Rubenstein, Elizabeth Arden and Leona Helmsley.  She then went on to become an iconic magazine editor, where she became a colleague of major fashion figures, including fellow J. Pocker client Diana Vreeland, and Carmel Snow.  She was also an editor at Vogue Magazine, and then managing editor at Harper's Bazaar. Her book: American Fashion: The Life and Lines of Adrian, Mainbocher, McCardell, Norell, and Trig 'Ere relives some key moments in her career as well as an overview of American mid-century fashion design.

Following her career in fashion, Sarah was head of the interior design division of the architectural firm of Beyer Blinder Belle from 1993 to 1997, the design firm responsible for restoring major New York landmarks such as Ellis Island and Grand Central Station. Under her leadership, the firm took charge on the interior design of over 40 hotels and inns all over the country, including the Helmsley Palace in Manhattan, the Willard in Washington and the Bellevue in Philadelphia. Other projects ranged from Canada to Australia.

 These projects eventually led her to J. Pocker (here she is pictured in our store on the Upper East Side) where she worked with Marvin Pocker and our team to oversee all her custom framing, mirror, and design projects. We've heard her personal art collection was legendary! A true visionary and innovator in hotel design, Sarah definitely changed the standards for what we now consider a "luxury stay". 

 


3rd Generation Family Story

When Robyn Pocker’s grandparents started their frame shop in 1926, they could not have imagined that it would become New York’s premier source for the finest in custom framing. Eighty-seven years later, with their granddaughter Robyn at the helm – J.Pocker is taking their long-standing reputation for excellence into the twenty-first century. 

Growing up in her family's custom frame business, Robyn Pocker's vast breadth of knowledge, dedication to creating quality design work, and sharp business acumen has led the company for the past 89 years.  Robyn credits her father, Marvin Pocker, for her strong principles and her ability to tackle a challenging economic landscape with ease. Under her leadership, J.Pocker now has four locations in the New York metropolitan area.   For J. Pocker's 89th anniversary, we captured the story of their legendary framing business in an interview with Robyn -- watch the video for a glimpse into the world of J. Pocker here.  


Gallery Walls at the Beach House

This month we're taking inspiration from the beach with both seasonal prints and ideas for framing.  Whether you're on a beach in New England or the California Coast, the notion of a beach house represents a special kind of freedom, comfort and escape from the busy lives that we all lead.  A constant source of inspiration, some of our favorite projects during the summer season is working with interior designers and clients to bring their artwork and family memories to life in their escape by the sea. We even have a Pinterest board devoted to it.

The archive of prints in our gallery offer plenty of places to start!

As Robyn points out, "A summer gallery wall is perfect for the bits and pieces you may not have space for otherwise."  She also recommends unifying a gallery wall using one thematic tie in, such as a grouping of shell or coral prints, but then adding in a sailboat or a watercolor to keep it fresh and interesting. 

Whether you're just starting out, or have a collection even the sailors would envy, our unique prints of sea life, and our custom framing experts are here to help make your beach home, a home.

A look back at some beach inspiration this past year:

"Perfect for the beach house. I love dramatic framed art for the entryway."

"This is Vicente Wolf's home in Montauk and I love the relaxed style of framing - it's the perfect balance of rustic white for a beach!"

"We're loving this white faux tortoise on summer vintage lake scenes and colorful corals in purple and sea green!"

"This is what "living outside all summer " means. In my single days I always took a Hampton Beach rental. Long summer Sundays and the day at the beach went on forever... the outside patio was the living room similar to this photo. A beach house is the perfect place to include special art."

 

 

Method Lighting: The Professionals Tips and Tricks

There are many elements to be considered when your goal is to feature a specific piece: the frame, the art itself, size of the piece, and the lighting fixture used. Through our countless interior projects, we've mastered a few tricks in the lighting department, and we thought we'd share!

For highlighting a specific piece there are usually  four types of light: mantel light, spotlight, track light or recessed light. We always go with a broad-based fixture, as it covers the entire work, (especially perfect for medium to larger scale pieces.) 

For every project, we always recommend using halogen lighting, as they cast the purest white light. Used by museum curators for decades, they are perfect for any work of art. The heat they exude can be intense, so always make sure the fixture is placed far enough away where it can't melt or distress the artwork. 

"We recommend LED light sources, as it contains no heat or Ultraviolet or Infrared light which can be damaging to you artwork" exclaimed Elizabeth Levin of American Lighting Brands. She shares some of her insider tips below, we find her to be a wealth of knowledge.

House of Troy LED picture lights are also:

·         line voltage, so may be plugged into a recessed outlet behind the artwork, thus eliminating the unsightly cords.

·         dimmable-being able to control the light output on your art adds a whole new dimension to your art enjoyment.

·         2700K, 90+CRI so light color and clarity are good.

·         Energy efficient

One thing to really remember - your electricity! "Consider your power source; plug, recessed outlet or junction box. Then choose your picture light style. Plug in style for outlet/direct wire style with backplate to cover j-box. Battery operated, only if you have no other options." 

 If the distance of the fixture is a problem, then go with incandescent lighting. Used with more colorful works, this type of lighting warms up most colors, causing the piece to come to life. "When sizing a picture light for a piece of art, we measure ½ to 2/3 of frame width as your picture light length suggestion. ½ for a bulkier classic style, and 2/3 for a slim linear style. When choosing a finish, consider and match the artwork style, frame finish or room décor."

We get asked a lot about fluorescent lighting, as a lighting method. While fluorescent lights give off an incredible effect on their own, we never recommend these for any framed piece. It distorts the colors, and can ultimately fade the piece, causing irreversible damage.

One of the more difficult projects? Properly lighting an oil painting! Any direct light can cause an unflattering glare, taking away from the piece, leaving it only partially visible from a distance. A broad-based light source is best, flattering the entire frame, no matter its width.

One of the easier projects? Acrylic paintings are great in that they don't contain any gloss, you don't need to worry about causing a glare with your choice of lighting, you can use whatever fixture you'd like! 


Custom Mirrors: A J.Pocker Classic

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Every project stems from an idea, a story, a memory. Our passion for frame design lends perfectly to custom mirrors, a blank canvas for our experts, who take the time in each and every consultation to assure a unique product.

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Since 1926 we have been known for our custom framing, eventually becoming New York's premiere framing institution. But what you may not know is that our custom mirrors are just as intricate and thoughtful as our bespoke framing process.

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Our expert staff have been assisting Manhattan's top interior designers, architects, and private tastemakers for decades, creating spectacular framed mirrors for some of New York's most exclusive addresses. 

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Our framed mirror services include: contemporary mirrors, antiqued mirrors, beveled and plain mirrors. We offer an infinite selection of tones and materials to match your aesthetic and needs and work hard to design a special piece with a wide range of creativity. 

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To discuss your framing project with one of our expert staff please contact us at 212-838-5488 or info@jpocker.com.

 

Images via our Pinterest

Framing the American Flag

A sentimental process, one of respect and courage, as some flags (if properly framed) can stand for decades,  going from family to family, home to home. We take great care with every project, and can ensure a precious token for years to come at the hands of our framing professionals.

All photos via our Pinterest page

Another incredible piece for Independence Day, the architectural plans for the Statue of Liberty - a favorite of Robyns! We think that this gorgeous plan would look stunning in a number of our custom frames, what do you think?



"Checkmate!" A Twist on Traditional

A pair of custom JPocker frames were found on display in the entryway of a fantastical summer home featured in this month's Traditional Home magazine. The classic botanical pieces anchored an upholstered bold green gingham settee by Theodore Alexander, back dropped by a whimsical floral wallpaper  - all working together to create a serene yet lively setting. 

Floral prints can be an incredible addition to an already styled space, leaving an imprint wherever they go, "A lovely botanical watercolor can mix in a salon style wall just as easily as it can be a statement over a sofa" says JPocker owner, and lifelong framing extraordinaire Robyn Pocker.

Always go with your gut, when dreaming of  your ideal framing scenario: "There are no rules about framing - French mats, silk mats, and modern or traditional - it’s all about the effect you want in the space."

 

So Haute Design: Tilton Fenwick Feature

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This year's 43rd Annual Kips Bay Designer Show House proved to be a visual feast as the revival of an Upper East Side townhouse underwent 8 weeks, 10,000 square feet, and 22 genius designers and architects. Our collaborations span the house and gave us the chance to work on some truly incredible spaces. We were lucky enough to be featured in several rooms, and are always thrilled to be helping the Kips Bay Charity.

Tilton Fenwick (composing of Suysel de Pedro Cunningham and Anne Foster) gave this “butler’s pantry” an otherwise relaxing feel – making us long for a post dinner Moscow mule. Their pairing of prints enlarged the otherwise awkward shape, turning this area into one of both function and design. Read more about this space, and see the before and after pictures on SoHauteStyle.

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Photos by Anthony Crisafulli

 

Displaying your Diploma: From PlexiGlass to Paper Preservation

Without a doubt, your diploma will be the most expensive piece of paper you will ever own. Your hard work and dedication deserves recognition: from your friends, your family, and most importantly - your custom framing consultant.

For anything of this value, you'll want to make a few decisions before taking the plunge.

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Most people assume the process of lamination to be a reliable one, and it is, but not for this occasion. Most clients that have chosen to laminate their diploma piece usually regret that choice later. Once a piece of paper is laminated, it's there forever unless it cracks and peels. 

You want your diploma to be framed accordingly, so that down the road, if need be, the process can be reversed. Our rule of thumb, if anything is worth preserving, it's also worth taking that extra step. Pairing a contemporary frame with the classic black and white of the classic diploma is absolutely stunning! A clear plexiglass wards off any unwanted glare, you'll want to choose an option with conservation properties that filter out 97% of damaging light to be sure. Once the signatures are faded, they are gone forever, and there's no reversing this process.
                                                                                                                                  
Every diploma deserves to be displayed and preserved, stop by one of our locations to consult with a specialist today! You can also view a selection of our custom frames here.

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Images via our Pinterest page

Blank Space: The 2015 Milestone Kips Bay Designer Show House

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This year's 43rd Annual Kips Bay Designer Show House proved to be a visual feast as the revival of an Upper East Side townhouse underwent 8 weeks, 10,000 square feet, and 22 genius designers and architects. Our collaborations span the house and gave us the chance to work on some truly incredible spaces.

In his book 40 Years of Fabulous: The Kips Bay Decorator Show House, Steven Stolman notes that this particular convention of polite society, as arcane perhaps as white gloves, made its debut at the very moment contemporary interior design had turned its back on everything swagged, tasseled or fringed. There are no such accoutrements in this year’s house, but a good-humored effusiveness still prevails." (The New York Times)

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Philip Mitchell's "Stairway Design to Heaven," as coined by Habitually Chic, served as the centerpiece to the home. "The walls were layered of the elliptical staircase with nearly 300 works of art, both fine and merely decorative" recalls Architectural Digest

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Bennett Leifer stopped by to pick up his J. Pocker custom gilded mirror, (as shown with Robyn Pocker below.) You can see our collaboration in his breathtaking butler's pantry/back stair in all of its golden glory here, and a selection of our mirrors here.

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Tilton Fenwick's relaxing space made us long for a post dinner Moscow mule. Their pairing of prints enlarged the otherwise awkward shape, turning this area into one of both function and design.

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We were honored to take on these exciting challenges, as this year marks the 100th anniversary of the non-profit organization. The roundup was selected by our longtime friend Bunny Williams - you can see Sarah Sarna's beautiful round of introductions here. Located at 58 East 66th Street, the show house is open to the public until June 11th.

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Thank you so much to everyone involved, and for helping us in our efforts to raise money for the Kips Bay Kids! 

Designs by Philip Mitchell Design, Bennett Leifer and Tilton Fenwick. Images via Architectural Digest, New York Times Fashion and our Pinterest page.

On Trend: Treillage

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I've always been a huge fan of latticework and was so thrilled when the editors at House Beautiful highlighted treillage as a trend that is being translated into current design trends. Known simply as the latticework for vines, this beautiful design has helped stage greenery for centuries, more recently making its way into wallpapers, windows, and art. Historically used outdoors, a single piece can be used up against a wall, freestanding, on a terrace, or used as a gate; decorative treillage immediately adds depth to any interior or exterior space. 

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Some of our prized prints shadow the curvature of architecture, working perfectly within an ornate frame, making this stylish combo the perfect piece for an office or study! You can view a small selection of our architecture prints online here and our frames here. We love to document the journey of man made design work through the ages, as we will always be a family owned, custom frame and mirror staple in the New York City interior world.

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Images via our Pinterest page.

The Curious Mister Catesby: An Event at the Grolier Club

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Mark Catesby, great naturalist of the 17th century, began his artistic journey in the United States. After leaving England to feed his curiosity, he lived in Virginia for seven years. He returned to his home with paintings of the plants and animals he had documented, and it was then, that he began his great venture into naturalist painting, eventually cataloging "the flora and fauna of the Carolinas and the Bahamas by gathering seeds and specimens, compiling notes, and making watercolor sketches" (The Catesby Commemorative Trust).

Last Friday night, we were honored to take part in a fantastic night celebrating the imprint of this legendary artist. Our framed prints were front and center as guests entered the Grolier Club, making the initial imprint. The discussion was lead by Leslie Overstreet from the Smithsonian Libraries, who discussed the production of the three editions of Catesby's Natural History of Carolina, Florida and the Bahama Islands. Dr. Charles Nelson then went on to discuss his new book, The Curious Mister Catesby; a "Truly Ingenious" naturalist explores new worlds eventually ending with David J. Elliott, the Executive Director of the Catesby Commemorative Trust, on Mark Catesby. We were honored to be a part of this momentous occasion, and were thrilled to make some custom works for the event.

View a selection of our Catesby prints online here or please visit one of our store locations for the full collection. You may also enjoy Before Kermit, There was Catesby by Jessica Pigza.

On Trend: Asian Frames & Dragon Motifs

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We've collaborated with the industry's top interior designers on projects since 1926, so it's no surprise we are always fascinated with the direction of design and how current trends always find a way back into art and framing. A lot of our inspiration comes directly from our consultations with clients, who love to take advantage of our wide range of styles, from Spanish to Asian, modern or French -  we're always curious to see what comes next!

This year's predictions as shown in the April edition of House Beautiful aligned perfectly with several of our favorite frames and prints, pictured above. The bold elements of our custom Asian frames give strength to its paired architecture print, making a stunning piece. View a selection of our Asian frames here and architectural prints here.

Known for their positive energy, and colorful textiles, Asian prints and motifs have always had that clean sense of beautiful minimalism, evoking tranquility. We love the mix of the creamy neutrals with the fiery reds, cool blues, and crisp whites, hues sure to transcend the limits of design.

The rise of the dragon, who are known as the legendary creatures in Chinese mythology, have been used in the home for centuries, recently making their revival into the interior design world by way of fabrics, dinnerware, and wall decor. The dining chairs shown below, while classic, work wonderfully in this serene outdoor space designed by Kelly Wearstler. She allows the chairs to stand out, mixing similar colors and prints, anchoring the space with an ornate Asian chest. Influential interior designers and photographers are taking note, and these bold trends might be here to stay.

Whatever your style, we are here to help you find your way, our custom framing experts are highly experienced in making a unique experience, as we consider our clients, family.

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Images via our Pinterest page