Sometimes custom framing a simple, inexpensive print or poster winds up costing more than the art itself. A basic reproduction of famous art like American Gothic can be purchased for a few dollars. Custom framing that same print can be many times the original cost of the art. If you didn't spend that much for the art, why would you spend more on your framing? Here are some of the reasons it is hard to compare the cost of art to framing.
- Material - It's wood! A natural product takes time to grow and process. Hardwoods, softwoods, veneers, and pressed woods will all cost different amounts.
- Location of origin - Was the frame made in the USA, Italy, or China?
- Production - Has the wood been hard carved or machine milled.
- Frame Finish - Has the frame been hand finished and/or gilded in gold leaf?
- Quantity - This frame was ordered especially for you.
- Glazing - Is there glass or plexi? A non-glare finish? UV protection?
- Labor - This one-of-a-kind frame package was specifically designed for your art and put together just for you. That takes time and care!
Grant Wood was an American painter best known for his paintings depicting the rural American Midwest. American Gothic was painted with oils on wood in 1930. The painting won 3rd place in a contest hosted by the Art Institute of Chicago, who then purchased it. The iconic house is in Iowa and is referred to as "The Dibble House." Wood intended the characters to be father and daughter. The man was actually modeled after Wood's dentist and the woman is Wood's sister. The general reception was very favorable, but Iowans felt it made them look dowdy.
A Grant Wood landscape painting sold for $7 million in 2005, so you can imagine what American Gothic would fetch if it sold today.