Ms. Suzanne Smeaton, AAA Certified

Suzanne Smeaton LLC

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Period Frames

Member Type

Certified Member


Charitable Donation; Insurance

Appraiser's Statement

Expert in antique picture frames of all periods and origins with an emphasis on 19th and early 20th century American frames. Suzanne advises public and private clients, and conducts comprehensive frame surveys of public, private, and corporate art collections. A pioneer in the study and scholarship of Period Frames, Suzanne has framed fine art for museums and collectors for over 40 years, curated frame exhibitions and presented at numerous symposia. For some 27 years, she was employed at the noted frame gallery of Eli Wilner & Company in New York City. An author on the topic of frames and American frame history, she conducts ongoing research and has written articles including those in American Art, Smithsonian Institution, The Magazine Antiques, and Picture Framing Magazine. (See selected publications below.)

Suzanne teaches a one-day frame intensive as part of the CASP program for the Appraiser’s Association of America (since 2018) prior to having been an adjunct professor for the NYU Appraisal Studies Program for 10 years.

Suzanne has lectured at numerous museums and for art appreciation groups across the country as well as for Christie’s, Sotheby’s American Arts Course, the Appraiser’s Association of America, the International Society of Appraisers, and the American Society of Appraisers. Suzanne continues to teach and lecture frequently on American picture frames.


Professional Affiliations

Suzanne is a Certified Member of the Appraiser’s Association of America, a member of the Board of Directors and an instructor for the CASP program.

Member of Art Table, a national organization for women in the arts, since 2000.



“I wanted to thank you again for organizing and presenting such a marvelous class. You are an extremely engaging lecturer and really made the material both exciting and accessible. I look forward to visiting museums again and applying what I've learned about framing!” – Katie B.

"There is no one who has a greater depth of knowledge of American frames and frame history than Suzanne Smeaton. She has an incredible eye for art and an ability to bring together the perfect marriage of painting and frame. I had the very great pleasure, over many years, of working with Suzanne to reframe some of the most important and beloved American paintings in the Yale University Art Gallery. Her passion and enthusiasm for each project was contagious." 
– Helen A. Cooper, Holcombe T. Green Curator Emeritus of American Paintings and Sculpture, Yale University Art Gallery

“We have known Suzanne for close to twenty years. Suzanne has worked on the framing of our collection from the beginning, and we found each choice has honored the artwork and enhanced the integrity of the artwork itself. Suzanne is the consummate professional as well as a person who has never ceased to work on our behalf.”
–Karen and Kevin Kennedy 

Selected Recent Lectures

One-day Intensive on Picture Frames  Comprehensive Appraisal Studies Program (CASP) Appraisers Association of America New York, NY. 7.13.23

Recognizing Picture Frames of Value and Importance Appraisers Association of America. New York, NY. Live Webinar 5.16.23. A recording is available on the Education page of the AAA website or by searching "Recognizing Picture Frames" on the AAA website. 

The Known and the Unexpected: Georgia O’Keeffe’s Frame Choices. Cut, Cast, Carved and Coupled: Perspectives on Women in American Art Presentation. Initiatives in Art and Culture (IAC) 27th annual American Art Conference, New York, NY 11.16.22

If Frames Could Talk Presentation. The often untold and invisible story of frames on works of art in museum collections. General Society Library, New York, NY. 3.9.2021

A Deeper Look: Frames Designed By and For Artists Webinar. American Society of Appraisers, 9.10.2020


Selected Publications

On the Edge of Change: Artist-Designed Frames from Whistler to Marin in The Gilded Edge: The Art of the Frame ed. Eli Wilner, Chronicle Books, 2000

Embracing Realism: Frames of the Ashcan Painters, 1895-1925 in Life's Pleasures The Ashcan Artists' Brush With Leisure 1895 – 1925 Detroit Institute of Arts/Merrell Publishers Ltd., 2007. pp 90-105.

Setting a Jewel: Re-creating the Original Frame for Washington Crossing the Delaware in Washington Crossing the Delaware/Restoring an American Masterpiece in the Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Fall 2011

Modernist Frames: A Unique and Divergent Chapter in American Frame Design in Picture Framing Magazine, May 1994. pp 10-14

American  Frames of the Arts and Crafts Period, 1870-1920, The Magazine Antiques, November 1989. pp 1124-1137

Within Gilded Borders: The Frames of Stanford White, National Museum of American Art: Smithsonian Institution, Spring 1993