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avatar for William Adair

William Adair

International Institute for Frame Study
Gilding Conservator
Washington, DC
William Adair worked for the Smithsonian Institution's National Portrait Gallery for 10 years as a frame conservator. First trained as an artist, he then developed an expertise from Henry Heydenryk, in frame history and gilding techniques as practiced in European workshops. In 1982 he formed his own company in Washington, D.C, Gold Leaf Studios, specializing in historic frame making, conservation and restoration of gilded antiques. Through the years he developed the company to an international staff of specialists trained in the tradition of frame making and conservation. Adair was curator for the 1983 exhibition, The Frame in America, 1700-1900, sponsored by the American Institute of Architects. In 1995a subsequent exhibition, The Frame in America: 1860-1960, was on view at the Federal Reserve Board in Washington D.C. and then traveled to museum venues throughout the country. Since that time, he has been conducting research, lecturing, and giving workshops on frame history and gilding techniques. He founded the Society of Gilders in 1985, an international organization dedicated to promoting the art of gilding. In 1991, he was awarded the Rome Prize in design by the American Academy in Rome.