180 Atlantic Ave., nr. Clinton St., Cobble Hill; 718-875-6150
The Atlantic Avenue mainstay has been in business since 1978, but has been under new ownership since 2010. They still provide the basics: closed-cornered cut-and-join frames made on-site from sustainably harvested African wood, running about $350 for a standard size. But the shop switched to archivist-approved materials—like matting made entirely of cotton and removable rice-paper hinges—that allow for more-ambitious projects. Since a customer brought in a piece of a vintage Pink Floyd pig balloon to be framed ($300), the store has steadily made a name for itself as a go-to for turning much more than just pictures into wall art. The team recently tackled a piece of North Korean barbed wire (in a rustic wood shadow box that provided depth; $200) and a salvaged section of the Hindenburg (in a welded-steel square; $550). Customers feel comfortable leaving prized, emotionally valuable objects at the store. The patient and meticulous staff (many are art-school grads), are known for their hour-long consultations with equally detail-obsessed customers, be it on the merits of a specific type of wood grain or floating versus dry mounting.
Best Outré Framer
From the 2014 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).