Anyone who thinks framing is just a matter of putting a picture in a frame should talk to Hull's frame designer Barbara Hawes. From color-matching to mat material to stylistic coordination, Hawes' expertise (she has an art degree) makes each framing job a complex and unique process. It's this deep thought and care put into each project that Hawes and Hull's manager Stephen Kovel credit with the store's success. "Each piece is an investment. If done correctly, it can last 100 years," Hawes says.
It's not just Yale students' posters and Mom's family Chagall that Kovel's store takes on. Among the list of memorable pieces they've framed are a 300-year-old document from Maine, a collection of antique postcards of New Haven, an old fabric weaving that had to be sewn into the matting for preservation and 30 woodcuts by a controversial Guatemalan artist.
"What we see on the frame table is very unusual because of our clientele and customer base, which come from so many countries," Hawes says. What comes out is also unusual, thanks to the artistic talent of Hull's staff.
Not surprisingly, the store's hat of choice would be an artist's beret--"for viewing the world artistically."