Geoffrey Tyler's thoughts on framing the Collection - Ming Wang



Geoffrey Tyler's thoughts on framing the Collection - Ming Wang


Tyler, Geoffrey




Over the years in Washington, I used a number of framers. But from the beginning of my Romanian collection I found a superb framer, a Chinese American named Ming Wang. He was a dual personality. His living was made as a framer but his love was painting and as a painter he gradually gained a very fine reputation and is represented, inter alia, in the collections of the Smithsonian museums in Washington and in the Brooklyn Museum in New York. As a framer, he was recognised as doing museum-quality work and I was always happy not only with the craftsmanship of his work but also of his advice. He brought what I would call an artist’s eye to framing, rather than the eye of an interior decorator. We liked each other and became friends. I bought a number of his paintings and he gave me others. He liked Corneliu’s work and one of the pleasures during the first visit of the Petrescus to the US was a lunch he gave the three of us at a restaurant in Chinatown.

In one respect, Romanian paintings created a small problem when it came to framing them in Washington. The canvases had been stretched in Romania on centimetre stretchers. In the US, stretchers are in inch sizes and rarely coincided with those used in Romania. However, I became reasonably expert in either shaving down or adding an edging to inch stretchers to make them fit the Romanian canvases. At times, of course, I just left this task to Ming Wang, but it was in general cheaper and quicker if I could do this small task myself.

In the latter stages of my Romanian framing, Ming Wang decided that he should dedicate the rest of his life to painting. He told me that he had some Chinese antiques that he could always sell if his art sales were insufficient plus one painting by a highly-respected American painter. He was, however, anxious to look after the staff in his framing business. His solution was to just give it to them, which struck me as remarkably generous.

Some of the smaller Romanian paintings were Romanian framed. There were a few very good framers there and mostly they tended to use gesso coating with metal leaf, sometimes partly tinted with a little red and sometimes distressed. At their best, they were very fine frames but they suffered from the fault that the gesso base sometimes came loose and of course it could easily be damaged by rough contact. Still, the cost of a good Romanian frame did not add nearly as much to the selling price – and none in the case of a gift – as the cost of framing in Washington, plus the trouble of having to arrange for framing.


Tyler, Geoffrey, “Geoffrey Tyler's thoughts on framing the Collection - Ming Wang,” Tyler Collection of Romanian and Modern Art: University of Tasmania, accessed July 24, 2024,