George F. Of Framed Portrait

George F. Of Framed Portrait

A model holding a clutch of flowers photographed in a studio setting is displayed in its original vintage quarter-sawn, stained oak frame made by the important New York City framer George Ferdinand Of. Scanned photograph shown as composite with glass removed from frame.

George F. Of : 1843-1905


United States online Census records reveal George Ferdinand Of was born in Germany in February, 1843 and immigrated to the United States in 1867. He became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1872. Of’s son George F(erdinand) Of Jr., (1876-1954) an artist as well as a framer, succeeded his father in the business. George F. Of died Sept. 1, 1905 and is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx.  (1.)

Mentions in primary sources make no distinction between the senior Of or his son in relation to business dealings, as they are almost always listed with the same name. It may however be safely assumed Of Jr. joined his father when old enough in the very late 1880’s or early 1890’s after receiving enough apprenticeship training from him or another framer. Of Jr. was also an accomplished exhibiting artist later in the 1890’s who likely attained a higher education than his father which may have enabled him to have a more hands-off approach to the business after his father’s death while still employing other capably-trained framers to run it. The following timeline indicates known business addresses in New York City and other details for this important framing concern.

George F. Of : Two-Generation New York Picture Framer


1873: Establishes business in New York City at unknown address. (source: advertisement: Tenth annual Exhibition catalogue of the New York Water Color Club from 1899.

1883: Charles Of,  George Of’s brother, an engraver by profession as listed while witness to his brother’s 1872 Naturalization ceremony, lists 4 Clinton Place as a student address while attending City College in their annual register, giving credibility to the idea George Of had used 4 Clinton Place as a place of business in 1883 or before.

1884-1899: Of listed in numerous publications as doing business at 4 Clinton Place in New York City, located on 8th St., one door west of Broadway.

1899: George Of (Jr.) who eventually became a member of the New York Water Color Club, exhibits two works in their annual show as listed in their Tenth annual catalogue:

25. Old Farm House.  $50.00
84. Monastery, Hunt’s Point.  $100.00

Of, considered an avant-garde painter for his day who is known to have collected the work of Henri Matisse, is additionally listed as an exhibitor in the Water Color Club annuals for multiple years.

1900: physical address for business does not change but numerically 4 Clinton Place now listed as 66 East 8th St.

1901: The Photographic Times mentions the business:

An Artistic Frame-Maker.—It may interest our readers to know that Mr. George F. Of, of 66 East Eighth Street, New York, is the manufacturer of the frame reproduced in our frontispiece. Mr. Of has long held the reputation of being something more than a mechanical frame-maker. His artistic judgment can always be relied upon.

1904: Concern now doing business at 3 East 28th St. in New York.

1905: George F. Of (Sr.) dies Sept. 1. Son George F. Of Jr. succeeds him.

1907Camera, a photographic journal, mentions the business: All prints intended for this exhibition should be sent express prepaid or by mail to Photo-Secession, 291 Fifth avenue, New York; or Alfred Stieglitz, care of George F. Of, 3 East Twenty-eighth street, New York. Send to no other address. June: p. 231

1913: Business now located at 274 Madison Ave. in New York, although it may have moved here earlier. November advertisement this year in Arts & Decoration: George F. Of: Good judgement in selection of frames with exceptional quality in workmanship insure satisfactory service. George F. Of. Picture Framer.  274 Madison Ave.  New York.

1916: Alfred Stieglitz does a formal portrait of George F. Of,  and one of his paintings is shown at the 1916 Forum Exhibition of Modern American Paintings at the Anderson Galleries in New York.

1923: At some point before this year his business was incorporated, and he continued for an unknown number of months at 274 Madison Ave., New York as indicated on a label adhered to the frame of an Alfred Stieglitz photograph taken in 1923. A Sotheby’s description of Of in a 2008 auction catalogue states: “George F. Of was the preferred frame-maker for Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O’Keeffe, and a number of other artists and Photo-Secessionist photographers.”

1923: Moves business to 126 West 57th Street: From the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum website:

The exhibition installation photographs of O’Keeffe’s first solo exhibition in 1923 at the Anderson Galleries document the earliest frame profiles authorized by Georgia O’Keeffe. These frames were fabricated and finished by the Manhattan artist and picture framer George F. Of, whose shop was located at 126 West 57th Street, New York. (2.)

1927: Henry B. Goodwin photograph in PhotoSeed Archive with original printed white paper label on frame backing board:

GEO. F. OF, Inc.
126 West 57th Street

1940’s:  From Alfred Stieglitz | The Key Set Vol. 1: p. 265: “Of made frames for Stieglitz, O’Keefe, and others associated with his galleries well into the 1940’s.

1954: George F. Of Jr. dies on unknown date.

print notes: verso: several numeric dimensions in graphite; the surname Moore$3.10.

frame notes: verso: Pasted on upper part of frame is an original printed George F. Of Framer paper label with his New York City address for 4 Clinton Place. | 8th St. – 1 Door W. of Broadway.

1. U.S. Census records: Family Search online resource accessed July, 2015

2. Frames of Preference: A brief summary of the picture frames designed and used by Georgia O’Keeffe: Dale Kronkright, Head of Conservation, Georgia O’Keeffe Museum. article accessed April, 2017

George F. Of Framed Portrait

Image Dimensions17.9 x 18.9 cm spot-glued to corners

Support Dimensions28.3 x 31.2 cm gray/olive moderately thick art paper framed within embellished oak frame: 42.0 x 1.8 x 45.0 cm