One of the best parts of working on an exhibition drawn predominantly from MoMA’s own outstanding collection is the opportunity it provides for close looking at old favorites. When my co-curator Kathy Curry and I began compiling the checklist for the exhibition American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe, we knew that we wanted to include Andrew Wyeth’s painting Christina’s World. It’s arguably one of the best-known American paintings in the Museum’s collection, and is pretty much on constant view here. But when we began to really look at this important work, and to think about how to best position it within our show, we realized that a new frame might greatly improve our experience of the painting. This can seem surprising; as Peter Perez, the foreman of the Museum’s frame shop, notes in the video above, the best frames are the ones that don’t draw attention to themselves. Even with that in mind, it’s undeniable that a frame can make a huge difference in the way you perceive a work of art. Here, Peter talks about the complex and detailed process of designing a new frame for this iconic painting. His beautiful work, together with that of Andrew Wyeth and the many other American artists, is currently on view in the exhibition.
American Modern: Hopper to O’Keeffe is on view through January 26, 2014.