In the August issue of InStyle, Jonathan Adler offers tips for hanging art. One thing he likes to see is a modern abstract in an Old World ornate frame. If you've seen many films from the 1950s and 60s, or studied vintage design books, you know this was a popular mid-century look.
Case in point: the dramatic black-walled, black-floored gallery in the Santa Barbara home of collector Wright Saltus Ludington, as seen in The World in Vogue.
Ludington's collection includes works by nearly every modern era master: Picasso, Braque, Dufy, Modigliani, and Miro, just to name a few. Apart from the ornate frames chosen for the art, other contrasts in his home include pale painted French and Venetian antique furniture set against sleek, masculine black walls. The architecture of the residence is modern with expansive views of the California hills and the Pacific.
If you come across an abstract -- perhaps a Picasso-inspired piece -- at a student art show or flea market, try framing it in a chunky, unexpected heavy frame. It can be very eye-catching.