Chelsea Frames is far and beyond New York City’s top resource for high-end framing. An operation that has been around in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan for decades, this 9th Avenue spot is the go-to for those who know their art as well as those who want to turn life’s most precious moments into hangable memories that will last a lifetime. Daniel Beauchemin, the company’s CEO, is passionate about art and has worked with everyone from New York-based clients, international clients, corporate clients and more. You can feel this in the entire process of working with Chelsea Frames, and it shows in every detail of their work.
We worked with Chelsea Frames to frame several items for The Ultimate New York Apartment. We focused on items for the bedroom, hallway and living area. From inception to completion, the process was elegant, guided and we felt like we were in trusted hands.
There were prints done by the famed Gabe Greenberg of Greenberg Editions of images we shot on various travels and safaris throughout East and West Africa – namely Kenya, Guinea and Tanzania.
An original oil painting purchased in Istanbul, Turkey and two menu covers from menus presented to passengers on flights between New York and London on the iconic Concorde.
There are antique Maasai masks purchased at a market in Nairobi, Kenya.
We spoke to Mr. Beauchemin about Chelsea Frames, his work and ethos.
IC: When was Chelsea Frames started and when did you become the owner?
DB: Originally founded in 1983, I came aboard in 1993 and became owner in 1995. This year marks our 35th anniversary and my 25th.
IC: What is the company’s motto or mantra when framing people’s art and personal items?
DB: Our goal is to provide the best custom framing solutions to meet the diverse needs of our clientele. This is our mission statement. Our philosophy is to provide excellent customer service, employ talented team members and offer a wide range of quality products and services. We believe the client always comes first and we strive to handle their artwork with care and respect while promoting a work environment focused on teamwork and honesty.
IC: Where do you source your materials for framing?
DB: Our direct suppliers are all USA and Canada based. They work with fabricators mostly form Europe or Pan Asia. We use products which are reliable and from trusted sources only. This allows us to be timely in our work and provide long term framing solutions as these products are rarely discontinued. We also provide our own selection of milled North American hardwoods which we stock raw and finish in house. This allows us tremendous flexibility as well as the ability to provide quick turn around when necessary.
IC: How do you approach each piece when it comes to choosing a frame and other materials?
DB: Respect – not only for the artist but for the client. We are stewards of the art – we must provide solutions for protecting, preserving and making it beautiful within the requests of our clients. We take the time to offer suggestions and solutions.
IC: What has been your favorite piece to frame in your career?
DB: There are so many! One stand-out was creating a plexi-box for a skull photographed and painted by WARHOL. This was purchased by one of our clients at an auction. It was an honor to participate in its preservation! I must admit though – there is nothing like the smile of a parent or grandparent when a piece of children’s art is completed. Every smile we receive from happy customers upon pick up of their finished project warms our hearts.
IC: What tips do you have for people when choosing a frame?
DB: Be clear in what you hope to achieve and please communicate this to us. Allow us to do the best we can do for your special project. Always think of the long term – the best materials to provide maximum protection of the artwork.
IC: What has been the oddest thing you have been asked to frame?
DB: Some pieces provide technical challenges, others are objects that are so precious and irreplaceable to the clients. My mantra is IF I CAN DRAW A FRAME – we can BUILD THAT FRAME! Through the years there have been objects and items that definitely presented challenges.
IC: How can people utilize your services if they live in New York City or somewhere outside the city?
DB: We are open 7 days a week. We are also always available by appointment outside our store hours – and I can be reached directly for those appointments via phone or email. We also offer in-house consultations for a fee which is refunded on the framing project when processed – we call this service our DOORSTEP DESIGN. Lastly, we will always answer inquiries via email received at our firstname.lastname@example.org account. We also offer a special program for businesses in the NYC area (or nationwide) via our corporate division – C2 Art and Framing. Through this division, we have helped businesses find art and redesign their corporate spaces to reflect their corporate branding. This service includes finding art if necessary, framing it and assisting in hanging it.
We have many clients outside the NYC area (North America and globally) who have their artwork sent to us. We then arrange packing and shipping of their finished projects.