Monthly Archives: April 2011

One person’s treasure in another person’s art carved out of money

To round out our week of money-as-art, we want to introduce you to the work of Tattoo Artist Scott Campbell. He carves into stacks of currency, using images commonly associated with tattooing. This would be a good time to re-iterate that we do not condone work like this – it’s a criminal act. We certainly thought these were worth a look, tho’. See more at the site, if it’s hip, it’s here.


I’ll give ya $2 for that frame

A few weeks ago, a customer brought us a sheet of uncut $2 bills. It was a birthday gift for his son’s 32nd birthday (there were 32 bills). We designed it with a suede mat on top and an Alpharag mat underneath (so that the bills were sandwiched between archival materials). Then we topped it off with some museum glass – natch! – and a waxed-finish frame that the founding fathers would’ve been proud of.

The USA still makes $2 bills. They and the $1 bill were created in the late 1800s. The $2 bill was the $5 bill for it’s time. As prices went up, the $2 bill lost use and the $5 bill gained popularity. The $2 bill was discontinued in 1966. However, after much interest, it was brought back in 1976 for America’s 200th Birthday aka the Bicentennial. Since 1976, the $2 bill is printed randomly. They’re only printed when the Government runs out of them, but there are over $1,000,000,000 worth of $2 bills in circulation right now.

Our customer had purchased the money with a sheet explaining all the info that’s printed on our nation’s currency. Granted, these aren’t the numbers you’re most interested in when counting out those greenbacks, but it’s interesting nonetheless.

The first letter in the serial number is a reference to the series of the note:
A = Series 1996
B = Series 1999
C = Series 2001
D = Series 2003
E = Series 2004
F = Series 2003A
G = Series 2004A
H = Series 2006
I = Series 2006 (Newest designs)

The second letter refers to which Federal Reserve Bank branch issued the note:
A = Boston
B = New York City
C = Philadelphia
D = Cleveland
E = Richmond
F = Atlanta
G = Chicago
H = St. Louis
I = Minneapolis
J = Kansas City
K = Dallas
L = San Fransisco

-The letter in the second row is always the same as the second letter in the serial number, and the number after it is the number of the Federal Reserve district (A is District 1, B is District 2 and so on).
-In the lower left corner, there is a letter and number that indicate the position of the note within the sheet of 32 that it was printed in. The letter is the column and the number is the row, so A1 is the upper left note in the sheet and H4 is the lower right hand note in the sheet.
-In the upper right corner there is another letter and number. The letter is always the same as the one in the upper left, and the number is the number of the printing plate. If there is a tiny ‘FW’ in front of it, that means the note was printed at the BEP facility in Fort Worth, Texas instead of Washington, DC.

Whew! Got all that? Good – now yer ready to stimulate the economy and drop some serious knowledge on that unsuspecting cashier at the grocery store.

You can take this art to the bank

Who woulda thought that doodling on a dollar bill would go beyond just that? C’mon, it’s not only ruining your hard earned cash in tough economic times, it’s also a federal crime, people! Such is the price of art – but uh, that doesn’t mean we condone any of these shenanigans. Thanks to the handy-dandy world wide web, these 2.61″ X 6.14″ works of art aren’t hard to find. Uproxx recently posted a collection of sites that feature everything from our nation’s father as Lady Gaga to Queen Elizabeth as Frank the bunny.
Lady Gaga money by Craig Gleason.

These last ones are from JakeW.

What have you ever drawn on a dollar bill?

Hey, before you finish that chocolate bunny…

Most of us participated in an Easter celebration of one kind or another yesterday. But how many of you know where those traditions originated from? Well, like the Christmas tree, the Easter Bunny and colored eggs were brought to America by immigrants from southwestern Germany in the 1700s. This drawing is from that period and it’s believed to be one of the earliest depictions of an Easter rabbit. It also represents a Pennsylvania German tradition of decorated manuscripts known as fraktur, which include birth and baptismal certificates, family records, writing samples, and book-plates. It was recently acquired at the Pook & Pook auction house in Downingtown, Pennsylvania by the Winterthur Museum. It will be on display through the Easter holiday and Mother’s Day, after which it will be taken down and treated by the museum’s conservation staff to remove dirt and grime from the paper. Thanks to Art Daily for sharing it.

These put the “Oh, wow!” in framing

Well, despite the on-again-off-again weather, it is spring. So we felt it was time to turn over a few new leaves and freshen up our Big Picture frame collection. There’s plenty here for all tastes – simple, intricate, flat, carved – you name it. For instance, the Brownstone frames have a unique, gently aged texture and classic architectural detail. Any of these would be a beautiful way to showcase your canvases, photography, prints, and posters. What easier way to breathe new life into your home in this new season than with a brand new piece of art on the wall?

How to treat a Sleeping Venus

Let’s be honest, nobody likes doing house chores. But if you’ve got 750 original masterpieces of priceless art, you’re probably going to wanna make sure they don’t get dusty. We discovered these pics of what goes on behind the scenes at the Old Masters Picture Gallery in Dresden, Germany. Above, Giorgione’s “Sleeping Venus” is getting vacuumed. In addition to cleaning, certain works and even the frames themselves have to be restored or repaired. Here’re a couple of frames getting the royal treatment. Those’re a little bigger than even the Big Picture Framing staff is used to.

Shouldn’t that be on the floor?

‘Looks like this has been a good month for stacked frames. We wanted to share another impressive job that our Shrewsbury staff put together. It’s a Roma frame in the center with the same Big Picture Collection frame on either side. In a case like this big rug, the stacked design not only enhances the look, but it helps to make the whole package sturdy enough to support it. Plexiglass was used for safety reasons. The rug was sewn onto a fabric suede mat – that’s the reddish color directly behind the rug. You’ll notice how the rug isn’t quite even all the way ’round – that’s common when an item has been created, even partially, by hand. The chances of all four edges of that rug being square with the four straight edges of the mat are slim to none. In the end, it becomes part of the piece’s character – it’s the nature of a one-of-kind, custom item. A second mat, a black fabric suede, was used around it to help keep the plexi up off the rug. Even tho’ these mats come in the oversize 40″X60″, two of each had to be spliced together!

That’s definitely a rug ya don’t wanna wipe your feet on. Way to go, Shrewsbury!!

A museum of hidden animals

Do the works of Van Gogh put you to sleep? Has the history of Feudal Japan become old news? Do sea aquariums tick you off? Well, it’s time to visit the world’s only fully public cryptozoology museum. Located in Portland, Maine, The International Cryptozoology Museum is dedicated to the study of “hidden animals.” Director Loren Coleman brought a lifelong dream to fruition in 2003 when he opened the museum that features a collection he’s amassed over 50 years. It includes a life-size, 8-foot-tall Bigfoot representation; a full-scale, six-foot-long thousand dollar coelacanth model; 100 Bigfoot, Yeti, Yowie, and other footcasts; fakes like jackalopes, the Feejee Mermaid & furred trout, along with such Hollywood cryptid-related props as The Mothman Prophecies’ Point Pleasant “police” outfit, the movie P. T. Barnum’s authentic 3+ foot tall Feejee Mermaid, the TV series Freakylinks’ 22 foot wide “Thunderbird”, and some of Magnolia’s falling frogs.
So start planning this part of your summer vacation now, before it’s discovered that any of these creatures are real.

Hey, there’s a hair in my museum!

In Avanos, Cappadocia, there’s a pottery shop run by a Turkish potter named Chez Galip. Sometime over 30 years ago, one of his girlfriend’s had to leave Avanos and gave him a lock of hair to remember her by. Since then, women who visited the town and heard the story have followed suit, as well as including their address with each piece of hair. So, over the years Galip has collected over 16,000 locks of hair, from women all around the world. He used them to create this unique museum underneath his pottery shop. Every surface – walls, ceiling, shelves – are occupied by the hair with each woman’s address.
The point of the addresses is this: twice a year, 10 locks of hair are chosen and the not-yet-quite-bald winners are awarded an all expenses paid week-long vacation in Cappadocia. They even get to take Galip’s pottery workshops for free. Thanks to Neatorama for posting this. The ladies on our staff have already started growing out their hair.

Hey, nice stack!

We’ve talked about stacked frames before. A stacked frame is a design involving two or more frames put together to create a truly custom look. When the proper frames are chosen, they no longer look like separate frames, but an entirely new frame of its own. Recently, our Shrewsbury staff did a job that is definitely one of the most impressive combinations we’ve ever seen. It’s three Roma frames and a fillet on the inside edge. Roma is a line of beautiful, hand-finished Italian frames we offer. We asked the staff about how this design came about.

“Well that Tabacchino stack was amazingly sold on art from Home Goods. It’s some very generic artist’s image, reproduced and canvas stretched. We’ve actually framed a lot of stuff of theirs from Home Goods. Just a flavor of the month in the reproductions world, but people eat it up! As for the customer, she just loved it! Nothing sentimental, not a vacation bargain, just something that caught her eye. She was hanging it in a formal living room with high ceilings, over a very large fireplace. She loved the image, and thought it would be perfect in that room. She had dimensions she was trying to bring the size up to, so we started showing her stack combinations right away to meet her vision. (It was already oversized as it was too!) She just fell in love with that Roma stack. She got so involved in the design with stacking and trying fillets that she actually came up with the idea for the black fillet herself. She was thrilled with the way it turned out!”

Assistant manager Chris approves! Way to go, guys!