Thinking inside the box

Whether hanging original artwork or displaying a family heirloom in a shadow box, Elaine Johnson believes the art of framing should not be taken lightly.

“You’re dealing with people’s most cherished possessions,” says the veteran framer.

After 12 years in the business, Johnson has just opened her own store, Frame Fatale, on home turf in South Philly. “I started framing in the ’90s, and within a month I was obsessed. I was dreaming about it and reading all the trade magazines I could find,” she says.

In an area teeming with artists, it seems Frame Fatale will fit in nicely with its surroundings. Not that the clientele, of course, should be limited to people framing their own work. Johnson explains that she works with customers who need a mat in their Ikea frame as well as families preserving nostalgia.

“I work with businesses and individuals,” says Johnson, who excludes no job big or small and carries a full range of mats and moldings. If you were ever doubt­ful about what a difference a decent frame can make to a piece of work, just stop in the shop and take a look at the selection. Better yet, chat up the four-corner wonder woman herself.

Frame Fatale
1813 E. Passyunk Ave.

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