Bergevall Frames opened its doors in 1968 on Högalidsgatan in Stockholm by Ingemar and Ebba Bergevall as well as their daughter, Agneta. Ingemar had been employed at a framing workshop but instead, wanted to work more creatively and had many contacts in the art world. In 1973 Agneta’s husband, Björn began to work at Bergevalls. Björn came from the graphic design world and had vast knowledge of working with paper and color theory. Today, the third generation has taken over with siblings: Åse Gillhart and Mattias Gillhart Waxin.

The Museum of Modern Art, Artipelag and The National Museum are just some of our clients. But just as important are our neighbors who might need an embroidery framed or the younger generation whose become more interested in photography as well as paintings of their children.

“Quality is at the core of everything we do, but what lies behind that word – quality?”

This is the typical kitchen-table conversation with owners Åse and Mattias and their mother Agneta, who still helps out around the store. “A frame should last a lifetime and one shouldn’t need to frame every other year. And the framed item should hold its quality over the entire period.” “If someone wants to, they could just buy any old frame,” says Agneta. “It’s hard to explain the difference between us and other framers over the phone, but if you stop by, we can easily explain and show just what makes our framing special. We never compromise the quality.” “It’s all about how we attach the artwork to glass and the material we use” – says Åse who started working in the workshop with her parents right after high school in 1988. “We also have our own frame making, that dad started” – says Mattias. We have two carpenters that produce our pieces in hardwood. You can even make your own custom changes and ideas tailor-made to your liking.

Acid-free cardboard, the material most framers use today, was something that was actually introduced to Sweden with the help of the Bergevalls in the mid 1980s. “It was my husband that was very interested in the technique and material everyone was talking about in the USA” – says Agneta.

Why is acid-free so important?
Paper contains pulp and lignin, both harmful substances. Acid-free paper or more accurately, PH-neutral paper, is the best material for artwork. You’ll notice in the older framings, that the picture/paper has yellowed, has burn marks, becomes brittle and fragile because the material is harmful. “Therefore, PH-paper is very important” – Åse says. Björn was very interested in high quality paper so we began to work with it at a very early stage until acid-free paper was widely used in Sweden. For a while, we imported the acid-free paper directly from USA with an industry colleague” – says Agneta.

Another innovation that Bergevalls worked early with, is the assembly of the frames in boxes with edging. It began when Agneta and Björn saw framed artwork edging in the USA. It creates an air-gap between the artwork and the glass which protects the graphic art which was very popular during the 1980s. Framing graphic works has almost completely disappeared. On the other hand, photography has become very popular and that means it’s even more important with the distance between the glass and picture.

What’s the most exciting thing about your profession?
– “For me it’s about coming up with technical solutions to how different pictures are mounted” – Says Mattias. “And meeting all the different customers” – Åse says. “I’m actually not so interested in art, it’s the craftsmanship, the colors and shapes as well as getting the picture in focus that I’m most interested in. It’s fun to give advice and together with the customer, decide how the framing will turn out.”

“Currently, Bergvalls is also the proud owners of Sweden’s largest mounting cutter imported from Italy. It cuts 1.30 by 2.50 meters,” says Mattias. “We’re a bit niched in large mountings and cutting pieces in large format. But now there’s an even larger format on the market. It doesn’t fit in the store” – Says Agneta. “Of course it does.” Mattias responds. “I’ve already checked it out.”