This Summer's NY Museums

This summer, New York museums are buzzing with new exhibitions and installations. Before the summer ends, we wanted to share with you our favorites — as we all know, there is no shortage of inspiration in The Big Apple.

Original Source: MOMA.org

Original Source: MOMA.org

MoMa — Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive

Frank Lloyd Wright at 150: Unpacking the Archive is on view until October 1 at the MoMa.  In honor of the iconic architect and designer’s 150th birthday, the MoMa celebrates a major retrospective of his work across genres.  The exhibit showcases 450 works from from the 1890s through the 1950s, including architectural drawings, models, building fragments, films, television broadcasts, print media, furniture, tableware, textiles.  It is a definite must-see this summer.

Original Source: NYBG.org

Original Source: NYBG.org

NYBG — Dale Chihuly

Artworks by world-renowned artist Dale Chihuly are now on view at NYBG in his first major garden exhibition in New York in more than ten years.  The NYBG is always a treat any time of year, but Chihuly’s signature organic shapes in brilliant colors are wonderful to see both during the day and at night. 

Original Source: TheJewishMuseum.org

Original Source: TheJewishMuseum.org

Jewish Museum of Art — Florine Stettheimer: Painting Poetry

This is a real treat for any fan of Florine Stettheimer, and a tribute to the artist’s significant role in American modern art.  The exhibit highlights the artist’s distinct personal of paining, her position amidst New York’s artistic elite and avant-garde (among her circle of close friends Georgie O’Keeffe and Marcel Duchamp).

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Bruce Museum — Spring Into Summer with Andy Warhol + Friends

his is a wonderful exhibit for any Andy Warhol fan — the exhibit takes an unusual approach by showcasing lesser known works of the pop artist's iconic bright colors. We think of his bold images of celebrities like Marilyn Monroe yet there was another side to the artist that is often overlooked.  Warhol's interest in the natural, real and intimate is on view through September 3rd at Greenwich's Bruce museum. 

And anyone who lives in Scarsdale must make a stop to the outdoor sculpture by  Simone Kestelman 

In partnership with the Scarsdale Art Council, the Brazilian multi-media artist showcases a magnificent pearl necklace in the heart of Fox Meadow.  She calls the large, ceramic orange orbs, "The Beginning" and says they signify the seven days of creation in Genesis. For her the "pearls embody wisdom acquired through experience and are symbols of faith, love, harmony and new beginnings". The seven pearls that are unattached from the others are symbols of love, endearment, the holy day of rest, creation, blessing, females and the bride. Kestelman says the sculptures are weatherproof, but also fragile and strong at the same time. For more information on the artist you can visit her website here

 

An Interview with Artist Rochelle Udell

I can easily say that Rochelle Udell is one of the most creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing. From the moment we met to discuss the possibility of a partnership with us at J. Pocker, Rochelle has been a constant source of inspiration.  I am so excited to host #WhereDoYouSitInLife here in our Manhattan gallery and share the work of such a talented artist with our clients. 

Read on for my interview with the former media, fashion, and advertising executive turned artist:

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Robyn: Tell us a little about your creative process for #WhereDoYouSitInLife and the framing process with Robyn Pocker.

Rochelle: In business, I used behavioral research and studied cultural trends to answer questions. This often created more questions, and along the way I realized that I was always asking and answering questions and observing people.  It started when I was in fifth grade, our teacher gave us a gold star for a good answer, but we got two gold stars for a good question. I learned where to find the reward.  My job has always been to raise the questions and to make those answers actionable, with words and visuals.  I always drew what was around me, my everyday objects. And, as I made more and more pictures of chairs, I realized that they were asking questions about identity, relationships and power. They were some of my everyday icons.  Drawings came first, and then I started to celebrate them in gold leaf.

When it came to framing the art, I knew that it would require a unique sensibility to complement the art without overwhelming it, so I turned to J. Pocker.  With Robyn’s leadership, her team guided me through the process of creating frames that considered the entire artist message. The result were beautiful frames that complemented the art that could be used in multiples and paired together.  I created modern art but in the old technique of gold leaf and the frames mimicked the art in classic wood in white with clean edges.

Robyn: You were recently interviewed on Debbie Millman's podcast Design Matters and mentioned that, "The strength of creative people is to be the outside observer of ordinary things".  How do you think this comes in to the play with #WhereDoYouSitInLife? 

Rochelle: I often paraphrase Italo Calvino, who said that to be creative is to be an outside observer of ordinary things. It reminds me to look at situations from many perspectives. I believe that the strength of being an outsider, so that you can see in and make visible, what without you would not be seen.

Robyn: You are a cross-genre creative with successful careers across many different industries (publishing, advertising, retail to name a few!) How does this experience factor in to your work as an artist right now? How do these collective experiences shape your work for #WhereDoYouSitInLife? 

Rochelle: I have had great experiences in business because I worked for many people who knew how to manage the creative process. They knew that the creative personality was curious, insightful, motivated intrinsically as well as extrinsically, with the energy to find solutions. As a creative leader I knew my responsibility was as a steward of that organizational energy.

Robyn: You recently posted on Instagram an incredible visual timeline "Why We Wear What We Wear" and wrote, ”For every trend there is a counter tend at the same time." Can you speak to what you think are some of the trends / counter trends happening right now?

Rochelle: Designers are responsive to many things including politics, sociocultural issues and economics. For example, today, lots of people want to go to work wearing their gym clothes and some do.  It identifies you as a person who is fit or wants to be regarded as engaged in activities or maybe a fan. How did that happen?

Here is an over simplification: we have sports as entertainment, a big part of the daily diet of information, health and wellness information driving people to participate in sports and activities. And the invention of new materials, i.e. lycra. So we have the motivation meeting the technology and overtime it yields athleisure. There have been many other events like title IX and the relaxing of dress. Take theUNTUCK IT phenomenon. And the same time, we have high heels and embellished dresses with waists. Sneakers and heels in closet. There is always a pull to edges, Hi Tech - Hi Touch.

Robyn: Where do you go to find inspiration? 

Rochelle: Inspiration is every where when you are ready to allow it. Creativity is ultimately your decision.

Robyn: And finally, where are you sitting in life right now? If you had to design a chair what would this look like? 

Rochelle: My favorite chair is the Corbusier. I feel protected in it. It swaddles me.  In a world that feels under attack, I retreat to this chair.  I have also done several paintings of my husband, Doug, sitting in the Corbu, meditating.

All of Rochelle’s work showcased in our gallery will available for sale, for inquires please contact Alison White: alisonw@jpocker.com

Maria Sibylla Merian Conference: the Mistress of Art and Science.

When the New York Times reported on the legendary botanist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian earlier this spring, I knew I had to attend the conference in Amsterdam.  With three days of scholarship from all over the globe, the conference showcased the intersection of both the scientific and art world that Merian brilliantly straddled with equal aplomb.  

As Joanna Klein writes in the New York Times, A Pioneering Woman of Science Re‑Emerges After 300 Years: Maria Sibylla Merian, like many European women of the 17th century, stayed busy managing a household and rearing children. But on top of that, Merian, a German-born woman who lived in the Netherlands, also managed a successful career as an artist, botanist, naturalist and entomologist.

In spite of the terrible dangers she had to experience herself (in 1699 at the age of 52, Merian sailed with her daughter nearly 5,000 miles from the Netherlands to South America to study insects in the jungles of what is now known as Suriname,) Merian showed a 'tremendous resiliency of character' to quote Henrietta McBurney. 

During the golden age of Exploration, natural history was a valuable tool for discovery. When Merian returned from the 1699 journey, there were at least 70 collectors in Amsterdam who were eager to share her findings, each with their own cabinet of curiosities that shared their respective riches in London and other leading European cities.

Whether by her watercolors or descriptive text, Merian understood the accuracy could only be accomplished by returning with samples, sometimes relying on the text written in the field but often times collecting specimens for doing accurate watercolor illustrations. 

Last month, “Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium” was published.  It contains 60 illustrations and original descriptions, along with stories about Merian’s life and updated scientific descriptions.

We are so thrilled to be offering a collection of 5 limited edition prints by Merian this summer at our J. Pocker Gallery (full preview of these 5 prints below).  For some behind the scenes travel snaps from the conference in Amsterdam you can follow our Instagram (@jpocker). 

If you're interested in purchasing one of limited edition Merian prints, please contact Alison White for more details: alisonw@jpocker.com.

J. Pocker at The Met — The American Wing

Whether it be the complex carved patterns of the framing style pioneered by the architect Stanford White to the delicate florals of Charles Prendergast, we are so excited about the renewed interest in American framing.  Read on for some of our favorite soundbites, tips, and takeaways from our most recent visit to the Met with frame historian Suzanne Smeaton. 

 

When you're choosing a style of frame for the sort of paintings we looked at, a sense of history is everything — weight, scale and correct finish of the period is the beginning of any conversation. 

Stanford White — even if you don't have a painting that requires a Stanford White frame, they are fabulous and important frames for custom mirrors.

The discussion of underclay is not just a topic for historical framing! While historically this was significant to the region (red clays tended to come out of Italy for instance) the clay finish is equally as important as it relates to contemporary framing. Even with a modern float frame or a more contemporary style, it's important to consider the colors of underclay and whether it should be black, blue or red.  

 

The Foster brothers, pioneers in the craftsmanship of American frames, were famous for triple gilding finishes — and as Suzanne described them "lush, buttery, and silky". 

 

Robyn Pocker at Christie's Panel Discussion for On Paper | Online

We were so honored to be a part of Christie's panel this past Sunday for a discussion and private viewing of on paper | online featuring highlights from Contemporary Edition, Post-War and Contemporary Art, Photographs and The Collection of Earl and a Camilla McGrath.  Robyn Pocker weighed in on a lively discussion with fellow panelists from Christie's, New York Public Library, Andrea Pitsch Conservatory, and photographer Marco Breuer.  

The panel discussion covered a range of related topics beginning with "Why collect works on paper?" yet the care of art acquisitions was the broader subject.   Whether you purchase or inherit works of art on paper, the owner has a responsibility for their continued care  and treatment.

Conservator Andrea Pitsch weighs in on the importance of preserving and protecting artwork on paper: 

"It’s important to preserve and protect your works on paper by paying attention to the light level in your home. As you have seen, the light levels are quite low in museum gallery spaces devoted to paper. Paper is porous and quite sensitive to the environment.

If you are considering an art purchase from an auction house, ask for their in-house condition report. Their experts there will be helpful in educating you about what they know about the print or drawing. In addition, you can consult a paper conservator to view the artwork out of its frame and give you a detailed assessment of the condition. In case conservation work is advised, you can incorporate that expense into your bidding plan.

The framing choices are centered on archival treatment and the selection of the best quality matting and glazing can be your best investment for care.  A framer who has background in archival materials as well as a broad range of frames to suggest is part of your collection strategy." - Andrea Pitsch

For more details on the exhibit, visit the live auction that is  happening now.

For the Love of French Posters

For the Love of French Posters - this weekend Alexandra Wolf and @wsjoffduty profiled the Chicago exhibit that showcases the bold, colorful work of artists such as Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec on view at the Driehaus Museum in Chicago. For more local viewing of French posters here in NYC head over to @swanngalleries. If you're inspired by these gorgeous posters fro the Belle Époque, come by post-purchase and we can show you our selection of art nouveau frames

Why Design Is Essential to Human Happiness

We always talk about design in the context of bringing happiness in to our homes.  So when our friend Janet Odgis, President & Creative Director of Odgis + Co, an award-winning, woman-owned branding firm based in New York City recently wrote "Why Design Is Essential to Human Happiness" we knew we had to share her insights. For 30 years Janet has worked with some of the world’s most prestigious corporations reinventing ways to define and express their brand.

The great Paul Rand, my teacher, once said in a critique: “The difference between a good painting and a great one is the composition.” The arrangement of positive and negative space, and the placement of the elements, makes all the difference. Most people don’t consciously realize what they perceive to be beautiful is actually a balance of great proportions, balanced in space.

For me, design encompasses the experiences of seeing, tasting, touching, hearing, smelling and feeling. If that wasn’t enough, it also filters through everything we think, remember, and repeat. To put it simply, design is no only how something looks but how it works, and what it enables.

Design affects us at all levels of consciousness; it’s what we wear, the tools we use, the food we eat, our home and work environments, our entertainment. It affects our decision-making in more ways than we consciously realize. Design influences behavior, encouraging people to develop preferences and familiarity. It creates brand loyalty. “Design is everything,” said Paul Rand.

I consider myself a highly aesthetic person, and I use my awareness of this in my work. Successful designers are, by definition, businesspeople; but first and foremost they’re creatives who operate according to a set of principles. We spend every day obsessed with design.

German industrial designer Dieter Rams is known not only for his iconic product designs for Braun, but also his ten principles of good design, which are much-cited by designers from all disciplines. (Rams had a sizable influence on a number of famous creators, including Apple’s Jonathan Ive, who crafted the look of the iPhone and iPad.) In Rams’ mind, good design:

  • Is innovative
  • Makes products useful
  • Is aesthetic
  • Makes a product understandable
  • Is unobtrusive
  • Is honest
  • Is long-lasting
  • Is thorough down to the last detail
  • Is environmentally friendly
  • Is as little design as possible

The above principles apply to some degree to all designers, whether or not they create physical products. A Website or logo has the same responsibilities as a chair or phone with regard to honesty, longevity, aesthetic quality, and innovation. Design isn’t just about how something looks; it’s how it works, by conveying a message and making things understandable.

If the designer succeeds at applying their principles to the project, the resulting design shouldn’t stand out in a way that seems off-putting; rather, it should feel inevitable and natural—as if it could have been accomplished in no other way. Or as Rams himself once put it: “Good design is as little design as possible.”

 

 

Artist Spotlight: M.F. Cardamone

New to the gallery this month is mixed media artist M.F. Cardamone, who seamlessly blends 18th and 19th century botanical illustrations with pop culture images and text to create visual narratives. Cardamone first started making contemporary art in 1980; however, it was during her time at the Barnes Arboretum School Program in 2003 when she began to experiment with botanical mixed media art. Through the use of collage, M.F. Cardamone creates playful interpretations of nature as an art form. 

Robyn Pocker: Please tell us your first love of flowers / botany? 

M.F. Cardamone: For as long as I can remember I have always had an affinity for nature.  

RP: Did you always have a 'green thumb’?  

MFC: My Thumb became greener as a result of enrolling and graduating from in 2005,   a 3 year horticultural program at the Barnes Arboretum School  in Merion, PA

RP:  What makes a plant or flower unique?  

MFC: All plants like people are unique; they all have a  history and a story to tell.

RP:  How do you select a certain species to further develop in to artwork aspects of the plants from their medicinal to spiritual properties? 

MFC: I began this body of work by researching the  native plants on my property , whichis on the outskirts of Philadelphia  This particular series was called “Plants of Pennsylvania. I explore many different aspects of plants from the medicinal to the ecological. It’s whatever interests me at that moment

RP: Tell us a little more about your artistic process?

MFC: A digital file is then created and printed . I then go back and add handwork such as calligraphy, stamps and gouache  to embellish the work.   

RP: I collect all of my  plant specimens- just like a botanist would collect for future study . You were quoted as referring to your art a visual puzzle — do you have a process for identifying certain graphical elements or a theme beforehand?  

MFC: I refer to the work as “Visual Puzzles” because I like the concept of the work evoking a sense of mystery and wonder because that’s the way I feel about the natural world

RP: We love the concept of contemporary botanical prints — how did you first explore the idea of using digital innovation and other mixed media elements combined with your prints?  

MFC: The aim of  scientific Botanical Illustrators throughout history    has  always been to portray plants as accurately and realistically    as possible to help further our understanding of them . Digital imaging is  the most state of the art process . The detail it’s able to record is  really magical .

 

  

J Pocker Restores a Piece of Irish History

J Pocker's Production Supervisor, Jane Chambless Wright, moved to rural Ireland last July. She and her husband Brian purchased a derelict schoolhouse in County Leitrim, and over the past year have renovated the old stone building. "Our nearest village is Kiltyclogher." Jane tells us. The Heritage Center in Kiltyclogher dates back to 1820 and houses the collection of artifacts relating to Sean MacDiarmada, Architect of the Easter Rising, who gave his life for the cause of Irish Freedom. 

     2016 marks the one-hundred-year anniversary of the Easter Rising - the definitive moment which created todays Irish Republic.  Jane and her husband bought the building where Sean MacDiarmada went to school - and found themselves host to quite a few visitors stopping by for a glimpse of Irish History. "We had no idea that this was anything other than an empty building when we bought it online. Because MacDiarmada initially wanted to be a teacher, he spent 14 years in the schoolhouse - which is now our home."

     A few weeks ago a generous benefactor of The Heritage Center presented them with an antique print of Sean MacDiarmada in its original vernacular picture frame.  The piece dates back to 1917. There is also a piece of newspaper attached to the back of the frame, from January 1917.  This paper backing becomes part of the artifact, and must be preserved along with the print itself.

      Jane spent several weeks attempting to locate the necessary archival framing materials in Ireland. "Optium Museum Acrylic, 100% cotton rag mat board, Coroplast acid-free substrate - NONE of these are available in this country. I contacted Robyn Pocker in New York, because J Pocker uses only the very finest quality framing materials. I told her the story, and she graciously agreed to provide the materials needed." Jane has told the Kiltyclogher Heritage Center about Robyn's very generous donation - and needless to say, they are thrilled.  "The materials are being shipped overseas from New York, and will arrive in the next week or so." Jane says.

     Jane has restored the original picture frame, much of which was damaged or missing.  "It's a unique piece of vernacular craftsmanship which seems to have been built specifically for this print. All of the frames legs have been individually carved and pieced together with animal glue which deteriorated over the years.  I was able to fit the pieces and secure them with archival glue and tiny brass screws to hold everything together again.  It's nice and solid, ready for the completed frame package."

     Once the project is completed, the restored print and its frame will hang in a place of pride at the Kiltyclogher Heritage Center. It may be the only remaining print of its kind in existence - it certainly deserves to be admired by everyone who visits during the centenary year.  A plaque commemorating the generosity and invaluable assistance of J Pocker Framing of New York, and the kindness of Ms. Robyn Pocker in particular, will hang next to the restored portrait print.

     "We are deeply indebted to the fine people of J Pocker for making the restoration possible. I can't thank them enough." 

Summer Trend Report

Summer months spent outdoors make for special memories deserved of preservation. Your spontaneous escape to a seaside getaway, the exploration of a new destination, celebrating your loved ones - bring these sentimental moments indoors to share with generations to come.

 We're looking to both land and sea for inspiration this summer - read on to see just what it is that has sparked our creativity in the showroom.

 

Personalization

Our recent acquisition of a calligraphy machine allows us the ability to custom print on any print or frame. Whether it's for a special arrival of a small bundle, or an incredible accomplishment met, a personalized framed memory is the perfect gift.

Hostess Gifts

A treasured map, reminiscent of a favorite seaside destination, memory or occasion. Take the unique route when gifting your gracious hostess this season, by presenting your classic map in an exquisite custom frame sure to be cherished for generations to come. Explore our selection of unique maps.

 

 

Bamboo

Minimal in it's shape and color, bamboo adds that perfect hint of natural texture.

Image via: Pinterest

Image via: Pinterest

 

Lucite

Visually pleasing, the fresh look of lucite allows its counterparts to take center stage, leaving a balanced composition of any space.

Image via: Pinterest

Image via: Pinterest

 

Sealife Prints

Vibrant works of colorful sea creatures, plants and marine mollusks add that perfect seasonal flair to any seaside getaway. Shop all sealife prints here.

 

Botanical

We're taking a further step by way of gardening this season in terms, by bringing our study of plants indoors. Shop our botanical prints here.

Paul Petit Custom Frame for Augusta Princess of Wales

Carton Hobbs was kind enough to give us the back story on this amazing custom frame, such an incredible piece of work to witness.

"Carved with her coat of arms (Saxe-Gotha) at the crest and her cypher, APW, at the bottom with angels, putti, and Welsh dragons throughout the rest of the frame. The portrait was given to the Earl of Warwick by his mother-in-law, Lady Archibald Hamilton, as evidenced by a document formerly attached to this painting which reads: "The original portrait of H.R.H Augusta Princess of Wales and H.R.H. the Lady Augusta, was a legacy from the Right Honorable Lady Archibald Hamilton to the Earl and Countess Brooke with an intention to have it placed in Warwick Castle in 1752." As Lady Hamilton was a close confidante of the Prince of Wales, it follows that the price had presented both portraits to her as a royal gift, which she then bestowed to her daughter and son-in-law." (Carlton Hobbs LLC, 2013

Frame craved by Paul Petit for Charles Philips' portrait of Augusta Princess of Wales. Warwick Castle.

Serendipity: Women in Business

Thank you to our friends at Serendipity, for the feature in their "Women in Business" category! We are truly humbled to talk about women in the design industry, and the positive impact their relationships have on each other.

Reflecting on 90 Years of J. Pocker: The Editor at Large

"J. Pocker Frames have been the standard-bearer on the walls of Lauren Bacall, Diana Vreeland and Sarah Tomerlin Lee, not to mention the go-to for designers. With three generations of Pockers at the helm, the brand's legacy has unfolded, elegantly, since it's inception in 1926." 

Our friends from The Editor at Large graciously interviewed our longtime friend and design partner Alexa Hampton, for an interesting discussion of framing tips and beautiful collaborations. 

Spotlight on French Frames

The Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France exhibit was an amazing display of the classical elements of French framing. In those days, ladies were only expected to paint flowers — but this show highlights Vigée Le Brun and her extraordinary work for the court of Marie Antoinette.

Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755-1842) is one of the finest 18th-century French painters and among the most important of all women artists. An autodidact with exceptional skills as a portraitist, she achieved success in France and abroad during one of the most eventful, turbulent periods in European history. Vigée Le Brun: Woman Artist in Revolutionary France is the first retrospective and only the second exhibition devoted to this artist in modern times. The 80 works on view at the Metropolitan Museum will be paintings and a few pastels from European and American public and private collections. (Metropolitan Museum of Art)

“She incorporated beautiful still life elements in to these portraits, and the frames are extraordinary, reflecting these themes (such as the ornate garland of sunflowers and morning glories all around the frame" - Robyn Pocker

Shown below, a small selection of our French styles, we are always happy to consult on your custom mirror or framing project. Visit our website for more information. 

SPOTLIGHT ON Leather Framing

Leather frames are a modern favorite, a bold addition to any print or mirror. Shown below, a leather mirror that we did for Sheila Bajaj, a 6" face 5 foot by 6 1/2 foot leather frame, that now resides in a residential home on the Upper East Side.

leathermirror2 (1).jpg

"In framing, the hard thing is to really create a texture. With the leather, you really get a surface that you want to investigate up close. A custom mirror with leather compliments the hardware and luxurious surfaces in the interior. One of the very good things about leather, is that it can be totally contemporary or it can be wonderfully traditional - very versatile," states Robyn Pocker.

 Shown below are a few examples of custom J.Pocker leather frames, please contact us directly for any inquiries, we are always happy to help.

A few photos of a Madrid Apartment tour has us longing for leather accents, via our Pinterest page.

Letting the Frame Speak for the Artist and the Era

"The art world equivalent of Ginger Rogers — in the sense of making the main attraction look good — frames have long subtly shaped the viewer’s experience while being taken for granted."

In "Letting the Frame Speak for the Artist and the Era" by the New York Times, we are reintroduced to an important element of any artwork - the frame. From antique frames to modern day styles, the art of framing comes alive once again, as a leading player in the art world.

"But now frames are experiencing a renaissance of attention and respect from both museum curators and collectors. “I don’t remember a single discussion of frames in graduate school,” said Mark Cole, curator of American paintings and sculpture at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “Now frames are increasingly seen as rich areas of study and as precious historic objects that must be preserved.”

                                                          “Twilight in the Wilderness” (1860), by Frederic Edwin Church, with a replacement mid-19th-century frame. 

                                                          “Twilight in the Wilderness” (1860), by Frederic Edwin Church, with a replacement mid-19th-century frame.