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Framing History with Paul Hamer

February 15, 2020 - 3:00pm4:00pm
Oak Park River Forest Museum
129 Lake St
Oak Park, IL 60302
United States

Most people have a piece of family history they like to proudly display in the living room or to pull out from a photo album to share with relatives or friends. These pieces of family history are treasured possessions and often need special handling and care if they are to survive for future generations.

For more than 35 years, Frame Warehouse at Harrison and Ridgeland in Oak Park has been a local resource in helping residents preserve, repair, and display their photos, certificates, posters, artwork, and even textiles.  Owner Paul Hamer, an Oak Park resident who also owns a store in Evanston, has been involved in the community in many ways including past service on the boards of the Oak Park Housing Center and the Historical Society of OPRF.  He is known in music circles as the creator of Hamer Guitars.

Hamer will share stories of some of the interesting work he has done through the years and offer tips for caring for (and framing) old photos, posters, documents, and other fragile and unique items.  The presentation begins at 3 p.m. at OPRF Museum on Saturday, Feb. 15 as part of the museum’s “3rd Saturday at 3 Series.”  There will be time for questions after the talk, so bring a story about your own unique family objects that may need conservation or framing.   Free to members and $7 for adults ($5 for OPRF residents), which includes the chance to wander the museum and check out exhibits before and after the program.

Frame Warehouse has assisted OPRF Museum in its work, including museum quality conservation framing of unique WWI posters, local maps, and two “Fair Housing” banners carried in marches down Lake Street in 1966.  On Feb. 15, we will unveil two maps that document new construction in the 1920s in Oak Park and which have been stabilized and preserved by Frame Warehouse on a pro bono basis.

Hamer says acid-free cloth backing and other conservation quality materials can be used to ensure the long-term protection and conservation of your artwork.  Almost invisible to the eye, museum glass has both UV and antireflective coatings and ensures that your image will last for generations to come.  

Restoration also can dramatically improve the appearance of a poster. Damage caused by clear adhesive tape, residual stains, water marks and dirt can be easily repaired. Combining these restoration techniques with the replacement of lost paper can virtually bring any poster back to its original vibrancy.