Lowy has the honor of reviving, conserving, and framing marvellous works of numerous fine art collectors, aficionados, and patrons. Throughout our history, we have served notables such as Armand Hammer, Norton Simon, Ahmet Ertegun, Saul Steinberg, the Rockefellers, Wrightsmans, Fords, Hearsts, Taubmans, and recent private clients include Ron Baron, Sheldon Solow, J. Tomilson Hill, Elie Hirschfeld, Charles Butt, David Abrams, Alain Wertheimer, Steve Martin, Paul Simon, Tom Freston, Ronald Lauder and Tom Kaplan.
Read our featured client stories below:
Conserving a Family Heirloom
"The portrait looks as beautiful as it probably did when it was first created. Perhaps one of my nieces or nephews will inherit it. Preserving my family history was important to me." - Eric Pike, New York
Eric Pike had a lifelong fascination with an unsigned portrait of Daniel Webster, the noted early 19th-century Massachusetts lawyer, Congressman, and Secretary of State, as well as Pike’s distant relative. When Pike received the 19th-century American School portrait—which hung in his childhood home and then had been stored away for nearly 20 years—it was severely damaged, with major tears, discoloration, severe cupping and cracking, flake losses, and embedded dirt. Pike called upon Lowy to rehabilitate the painting.
Our conservators, led by senior paintings conservator, Bill Santel, first completed the structural work necessary to ensure the painting’s stability and remove the badly applied and heavy handed oil paint used for a previous restoration the painting had undergone approximately 75 years earlier. The portrait was then ready to be treated with humidity to remove the distortions in the paint layer, lined onto a new linen support, appropriately cleaned, re-stretched, re-varnished, filled in, inpainted, sealed, and softly finished. The result? A stable portrait that will remain so for years to come and a satisfied client, happy to have his relative back hanging on the wall.
A Bold Approach to Framing Contemporary Art
Portraits of Daniel Webster before and after conservation.
Many collectors tend to select simple gilded frames for their contemporary art. Some contemporary paintings, however—particularly those done in more expressive styles—can be best enhanced by using more traditional frames that complement the style and personality of the artwork. Lowy is always ready to advise collectors who prefer this less conventional approach to framing contemporary art. The benefits of this approach shine through our collaborative work with a longtime client on dressing up a painting by Sean Scully, Maroon Pink White. Scully is considered an abstract painter, but his seductive, painterly grids and irregular-edged, brick-like masses are imbued with a Romantic emotional quality that extends beyond pure abstraction. His highly expressive style therefore lends itself to frames of equal expressive strength.
"Maroon Pink White" by Sean Scully, reframed by Lowy in a 17th century broadly carved Italian style giltwood frame.
To honor our client’s wish to draw attention to the presentation without diminishing the artist’s intent, we created especially for this painting a 17th-century Italian Bolognese-style frame based on an example from our extensive inventory of antique frames. The frame has a receding profile that appears to “push” the painting forward into view; a dazzling, carved, continuous acanthus leaf ornament; and a rich, glowing finish that enhances Scully’s subtle, carefully chosen colors. Together, these elements lend drama to the painting, complementing rather than overshadowing it, and help our client achieve a personal framing statement that enhances the artist’s personality, sensibility, and purpose.
"Naz Carrot" by Jean Dubuffet, reframed by Lowy in a 16th century Spanish style cassetta frame with faux petre-dore panels
The Lowy Legacy
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Every now and then a work of art comes back to Lowy like a long-lost old friend.
We had this experience a few weeks ago, when a beautiful illuminated manuscript, (Southern Netherlands, c.1530), framed by Lowy in 1969, returned to our workshop. The stepson of the original owner saw our label on the frame and asked us to examine it before he handed it over to Christies for an online auction. The sight of this extraordinary piece instantly transported me to 1969, the year I graduated from Brandeis -- and the year before I joined my father, Hilly Shar, in the Lowy family
business -- and I experienced a rush of memories and emotions.
"I think the whole package (leaf and frame) is such an attractive offering that it's bound to do well" -- Christie's expert when piece was sent for evaluation.