Plenty of frame shops will attach a wire to the back of your family portrait. But when a 6-foot-tall, 200-year-old, 23-karat-gold-leaf–gilded Florentine frame falls from a wall and breaks into pieces, Anatoly Petrov is the pro you call.
The Russian-born artisan owns Petrov Frame Atelier, a full-scale shop in SoBro. In addition to custom framing, he offers museum-quality work—and it’s important to know the difference. “A museum-quality frame will appreciate or at least keep its value,” says Petrov, who learned the trade at New York’s esteemed Lowy Frame and Restoring Company (whose clients include the Kennedys, the White House, and New York’s major museums) before settling in Indianapolis, his wife’s hometown.
In his studio, ringed with Soviet art from Moscow’s Surikov Art Institute and filled with books that contain his work, Petrov hand-carves extravagant replicas, restorations, and repairs, some of which, like the Florentine frame one customer wanted to save, go for as high as $50,000, especially when gilding is involved. Gilding is a rare and lost art, and one that Petrov is proud to offer to Indianapolis. “All of the great cities have a museum-quality frame shop,” he says. “You don’t have to go to New York for those services. They’re here.”
In His Workshop
Anatoly Petrov uses old-world techniques to create frames with intricate closed corners that conceal joints. The gilding process is also authentically Russian. He mixes his own gesso, a smoothing base material for the gold leaf, from all-natural ingredients—like garlic—to preserve the frame’s wood.
Custom framework, $100 per hour.
5172 N. College Ave., 317-293-2122, petrovframe.com