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A Quick Look at the History of Picture Frames

photo printing services

There are many reasons why people seek out photo printing services. There are a lot of things that you can do with your printed photos, from collages to photo albums to fridge magnets. But possibly the most common thing to do with a photo is to put it in a frame to display it in your home or office.

But how long have we been using frames to hold pictures so we can hang them on the wall or place them on a shelf? Not everyone wonders about the origins of everyday objects, but we do at Flash Photo from time to time.


Picture frames are commonplace items today, but they didn’t start out that way. Let’s take a look at their history.


The Ancient World

Picture frames date back to the ancient Egyptians and Greeks, who used them as framing borders in their artwork. The frames weren’t separate from the art but rather a way to separate the sections or scenes within a painting or to differentiate a wall painting from the rest of the wall.


Frames Take Shape

We start to see frames that resemble those we are familiar with today during the Middle Ages. Frames were separate from the art, but they were only found in churches and were features of the architecture. Frames were ornate and designed by the artist, creating a border for them to work within. A few centuries later, during the Renaissance, wealthy patrons could afford to have framed art in their homes. Frames became portable, but they were still large and elaborate. In time, the design and construction of the frames moved from the artists to furniture builders and carpenters, leading to their eventual mass production.


Modern Designs

During the Industrial Revolution, architecture and interior design styles became simpler. People could often afford to buy art to hang in their homes, but ornately carved frames were expensive, so a demand for simpler frames took over. Simple designs that would put the focus on the art—while also protecting it—were the preferred style. Today, the design of picture frames hasn’t changed much, outside of adding protective glazing glass.


Photo Printing Services and Frames at Flash Photo

Preserve your memories with photo printing services at Flash Photo! And while you’re here, you can pick up some frames to showcase your pictures throughout your home.


Visit us at 277 Newport Road in New London for photo printing services, packing and shipping, and more!