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The Art of Twisting and Turning Reality as We Know It

ART TALK TUE APR 12, 2011 Host:  Edward Goldman

Strolling through the sprawling, meticulously maintained gardens of the Huntington Library always puts me in a very special mood. It makes me feel as if I am walking through the elaborate set design during a grand performance of a Shakespeare play: King Lear, Twelfth Night, or maybe The Merchant of Venice? (Listen/Read here.)


Artist reveals hidden world at the Huntington

March 13, 2011 | Art | San Marino
By Lauren M. Whaley

John Frame’s characters are not meant to live under glass.

The Southern California artist has created a world from wooden and found objects that seem to whisper to audience members as they step into the darkened gallery. His show “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame,” opened Saturday at the Huntington Museum, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.

The Boone gallery displays more than 30 characters and dozens of other pieces of found and carved objects. Most characters have moveable hands, jaws, feet and eyes. They range in height from three inches to almost three feet. Individual figures seem alive under glass on pedestals and posed in a group on a theater stage. Frame also captures their movement in photographs and in a stop-motion animated film with an original music score. (continues at




John Frame Came Down from the Mountain with a Dream      Off-Ramp: Host John Rabe

The artist John Frame has come down from the mountains with a new exhibit that came out of a dream. “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale” is at the Huntington in San Marino until June 20th. It blends found objects, dozens of eerie hand-carved mannequins, stop-motion animation, and the sets the movie was filmed on. Off-Ramp host John Rabe met Frame at the Huntington. (Radio Interview.)




John Frame: The Intuitive


John Seed, 03.28.2011

“Fine art is that in which the hand, the head, and the heart of man go together” – John Ruskin

On the opening day of “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame,” on view through June 20th at the Huntington Museum and Gardens, I emerged from the darkly lit Boone Gallery into the bookstore to find a nicely dressed older woman looking at me expectantly. “Are YOU the artist?” she asked.  (Read More Here.)


Artist John Frame Installing Characters from his “Lost Tale” at the Huntington Library
Photo: Carey Haskell


A Balladeer’s Dream: John Frame at the Huntington

By Mel Malmberg

john frame crippled boy 300x220 A Balladeers Dream: John Frame at the HuntingtonThe Crippled Boy, by John Frame 

There are many amazing things about the beautiful, intricate and strange John Frame gallery show, Three Fragments of a Lost Tale, at the Huntington. I could list his intense dedication, artistry and craft; describe the surreal, quirky, Bosch-meets-steampunk-and-the-Williams (Blake and Morris) aesthetic of the exhibit; go on about the intimacy and grandeur of his enigmatic figures and the film they were made for, all in the service of the true artist’s vision that John Frame had about four years ago. (Read More.)


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Los Angeles Forum: Magical exhibit at the Huntington in San Marino: John Frame

Apr 16, 2011, 5:04 PM

For visitors who are thinking of visiting the Huntington Gardens, Library and Gallery in San Marino (near Pasadena)— and for locals who haven’t visited in a while:

In addition to its usual treasures (finest gardens in Southern California, interesting art collections and world-class library, AND yummy treats at the tea room), the Huntington is showing an amazing exhibit of sculpture by Southern California artist John Frame. Like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Magical, otherworldly, strangely alive and spiritual small figurative sculptures/puppets, inhabiting a mysterious world of their own. Part of an ongoing project that will include a film and a “story”, some of which can be seen as part of the exhibit. My friend and I were just blown away; I can’t wait to take other family and friends to see this exhibit. (Read More.)

It is there til mid-June; recommended for all ages (I think children will love it); tucked away in a hard-to-find location in the very back building, so ask if you can’t find it.












John Frame’s ‘Three Fragments’ brings Theater to Art


Jana Monji: LA Theater Reviews Examiner


John Frame brings the theatrical to art in a whimsical, thought-provoking way with steampunk-ish articulated puppets on their very own stage and at the Huntington Library and Botanical Gardens in San Marino (Pasadena area), his sculptures are set in their own spotlights, a cast of the curious. His tales invite you to dream. (Read More.)


Pasadena Weekly

A Lost Tale


Southern California sculptor John Frame creates an animated world of tarnished antiquity for a new exhibition at The Huntington.

By Lynne Heffley 03/01/2011

New works by John Frame, a Southern California sculptor whose small figurative works can inspire large ruminations on human existence, are showcased in “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame,” at The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens from March 12 through June 20 in the MaryLou and George Boone Gallery. (Continues here.)

Huntington Highlight: The Haunting World of John Frame

By Grace Farag

In a rare collaboration with a living artist, The Huntington hosts a new exhibit featuring the work of John Frame.

Last Friday, I had the privilege of attending a preview for the new John Frame exhibit, “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale.”  This fascinating show is unusual for many reasons, one being that it highlights the work of a living artist—quite rare for The Huntington.

Frame, who has been developing his unique sculptural art for the past 30 years, was on hand at the preview to answer questions from journalists, but one topic Frame didn’t, and wouldn’t, discuss was the issue of interpreting the work. “When you ask, what does it mean, you’re already pushing it away,” he said, adding, “Meaning is always essentially non-linguistic for me.” (continues at

Los Angeles Times

March 10, 2011|By Jason Kehe, Special to the Los Angeles Times
John Frame and his sculptures get moving at the Huntington Library

Los Angelos TimesA burst of inspiration got John Frame out of his year-long slump. Five years later, that inspiration can be seen in ‘Three Fragments of a Lost Tale.

By early 2006, John Frame had given up on art. He had whittled away the year before in silence, as static in his work as the motionless sculptures that populated his cramped Wrightwood studio. He couldn’t start a single project. Everything seemed wrong. (continues)

The Huffington Post

Edward Goldman

Edward Goldman

Art Critic, NPR-Affiliate KCRW 89.9 FM


The Art of Twisting and Turning Reality as We Know It



Strolling through the sprawling, meticulously maintained gardens of the Huntington Library always puts me in a very special mood. It makes me feel as if I am walking through the elaborate set design during a grand performance of a Shakespeare play: King LearTwelfth Night, or maybe The Merchant of Venice? (Read More.)





Video break: “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale”

March 18, 2011 by Marianne Combs


In March, the Huntington Library in Pasadena opened an exhibition of the sculpture and animation of John Frame. His work is haunting, beautiful, and dreamlike, which makes perfect sense since this latest project came from a dream. I’ve included three videos in the post – first, the animated film “Three Fragments of a Lost Tale”, second, a video of the making of the sculptures and animation (filmed by Johnny Coffeen), and third a story by Southern California Public Radio which includes images from the exhibition. Enjoy!(Read More Here.)


The Huntington

Three Fragments of a Lost Tale: Sculpture and Story by John Frame
March 12–June 20, 2011

MaryLou and George Boone Gallery
Since 2006, California sculptor John Frame (b. 1950) has been working toward the creation of a stop-motion animated drama [read more]

Los Angeles Times

Art Review 2005
“A theatrical world strangely like ours” At John Frame’s “Enigma Variations” exhibition in Long Beach, pieces challenge viewers to discover their secrets. [read more]

ArtSCENE January 2005

January 7 – April 10, 2005 at Long Beach Museum of Art, Long Beach
To look at the sculptures and assemblages by John Frame is an encounter with a true individualist, the very thing an artist, ideally, has been and should be. [read more]

Daily Tribune

January 13, 2005
“John Frame’s meaning of life” [read more