American frames were greatly influenced by English and French styles in the 18th and 19th centuries. Although frames were frequently mass produced in the 19th century and gilt ornamentation was usually cast in plaster or ‘compo’ instead of hand-carved, many beautiful designs originated from this time in America. The Hudson River School frames and the frames designed by Stanford White are exquisite examples. In the early 20th century, American frame makers of the Arts and Crafts movement returned to the art and tradition of their craft by hand-carving, gilding, and signing their frames. The firms of Carrig-Rohane and Newcomb-Macklin as well as frame makers in Taos and Bucks County created some of the most beautiful American frame designs of this movement.
Taos – The artists of Taos, New Mexico in the early 20th century were inspired by their European and American East Coast heritage and Native American influences. The frames that they used resemble other early 20th century gilded Arts and Crafts designs, but were ornamented with Native American motifs and were more rough hewn. These southwestern frames became popular and were made by several frame makers including the Newcomb-Macklin Company and the J.H. Miller Company. The artists Couse and Sharp are known to have designed their own frames.