Frame shop celebrates 30 years

April 24, 2015
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Jameson and Thompson Fine Art Services celebrated a milestone anniversary last month—30 years in business. Dwight Jameson and his original business partner, Bill Thompson, first opened at 15 Greenview Ave. off Centre Street in March 1985.

Current and former employees and loyal patrons convened at the shop for an art show and event that raised $700 for JP’s Neighborhood School.

Jameson and Thompson has continued to operate in the same location—an old brick loft-style building behind Southern Jamaica Plain Health Center, which the Gazette visited this month—for 30 years. Jameson and Thompson designed the interior to include a gallery and woodshop on the second floor and studio space on the lower level. As the business grew, the studios were transformed to accommodate fitting and storage rooms.

The large windows keep the large, occasionally dusty, space well-lit even in the dreariest of days—which is helpful for viewing the art the shop has on rotation.

“It’s been a great place to be all these years,” he told the Gazette during an April 2 visit.

When the shop first started, it focused on totally custom frames, but they’ve expanded to include pre-finished frames that the shop just assembles to size.

A resident of Jamaica Plain since 1977, Jameson told the crowd that when he and Thompson opened, there was very little market for custom frames in JP—most of their clients were based in New York or Maine. Their trusty van would do continuous rounds between the artists and the shop.

Thompson left the business around 1989 to focus on his art, Jameson said.

These days, Jameson and Thompson has six full-time employees and another couple of part-timers, Jameson said, down from an all-time high of 12.

“The economy has a lot to do with it,” he explained. But he did mention that a lot more of his clients are JP-based these days.

That means their clients include artists, collectors, museums and corporations. Jameson showed the Gazette an enormous piece framed in near-invisible acrylic for a corporate client.

As for the most unique item the shop has ever framed, Jameson’s eye glints with pride: the only known authenticated photographic image of Billy the Kid.

Jameson explains that the actual 19th-century tintype was never in the shop. Its precise measurements were sent from the Lincoln County Heritage Trust in New Mexico. Jameson made three frames, for the original tintype and for two duplicates.

“It was bulletproof, basically, when we were done,” he said.

The tintype was sold in 2011 for $2.3 million.

Over the years, Jameson and Thompson has employed many people from the JP community and art students from Massachusetts College of Art and Design and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

It’s had some notable visitors as well, such as Norm Abram of the PBS TV series “This Old House” and “The New Yankee Workshop.”

Jameson and Thompson provides conservation framing, art installation, appraisals and other art-related services to artists, galleries, museums and collectors in the Greater Boston area and throughout New England.

Jameson and Thompson is open Tuesdays-Fridays, 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays 10-5. For more information, see jamesonandthompson.com or call at 617-524-1805.

Jameson and Thompson staff members at the local shop: Front row: Kim Faler, Brooke Dinda, Bonnie Bastien, George Donovan.  Second row: Dwight Jameson, Mary Chatowsky Jameson, Adriaan van Stolk, Kreston Johnson (Courtesy Photo)

Jameson and Thompson staff members at the local shop: Front row: Kim Faler, Brooke Dinda, Bonnie Bastien, George Donovan. Second row: Dwight Jameson, Mary Chatowsky Jameson, Adriaan van Stolk, Kreston Johnson (Courtesy Photo)

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