William Scott Harder is on site for your fine art needs
Ever since he was 14 years old, William Scott Harder has been passionate about art. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, at an early age Harder knew that art would eventually be his calling in life and in business. As an illustrator and art student with a Bachelor of Arts from Chico State University in painting and art history, Harder was consistently dedicated to his work. He was selling his art and always painting as much as possible. Harder is an avid art history aficionado and he eventually settled in Ketchum, Idaho, where he found his niche with the local art galleries, hotels, and office buildings as a fine art framer and also in consulting and producing artwork. With a growing business, Harder eventually founded Scott’s Frame and Mat, originally located on Varigold Lane in town. He reveals, “I first started the business in 1985 with a small gallery. I moved to my current location in 1987 where I continue to specialize in hand-finished custom framing as well as work outside of Sun Valley. I’ve been very fortunate with supporters in all of my years in business. Art is economy-rooted and, in my business, I have been able to ebb and flow with it.”
“Everyone needs the mobile service in some capacity. Nobody wants to walk around with their Picasso; it’s easier to go to someone’s home to take care of their art.”
No job is too big or too small for Harder, who is regularly contacted by clients in New York City and Seattle as well as Texas and California, and by many others around the country year-round. “A great deal of my work travels, which is a big consideration when I am designing and producing because it not only has to be durable enough to make the trip, but there are also variables with humidity and temperature that affect the framing,” tells Harder. “Otherwise, I won’t be able to do it. Much of the repair work that I do is a result of those factors. I do service installation in-person and on-site. Essentially, I’m a one-man army.”
With a broad skill set, Harder refers to himself as a general practitioner for art, otherwise known as the Art Doctor®. On January 1, 2016, Harder resurrected the old idea of the Art Doctor to fulfill another niche service he believes people want and need. “I wanted to do this service in the ‘80s, but it was ahead of its time,” he explains. “Today, it works. The Art Doctor operates in each location differently. Everyone needs the mobile service in some capacity. Nobody wants to walk around with their Picasso, it’s easier to go to someone’s home to take care of their art. I paint, create finishes, and handle chemistry as well as inform clients as to what they have. I make it more interesting for them, and they have the comfort of knowing that the foundation behind the aesthetics of my framing is sound.”
10 Tips from The Art Doctor:
- 1. The picture frame is not just an embellishment; it’s meant to protect your art.
- 2. If you inherit or receive framed art as a gift, take it to your framer, conservator, or the Art Doctor for inspection.
- 3. Always use UV glazing. Even indirect or reflective light can damage your art.
- 4. Always use conservation-quality mat board and backing.
- 5. Make sure that there is air circulating behind and around the art on your walls. Felt pads or bumpers provide that space.
- 6. Frame corners should be tight and the dust cover should be intact.
- 7. Never use ammonia-based cleaner on your acrylic glazing and use a soft cotton pad or microfiber when cleaning.
- 8. Like your skin, art contracts and expands, and it also becomes fatigued. Pay attention to cracks in paintings or cockling in paper.
- 9. Have a professional installer such as the Art Doctor hang your art rather than doing it yourself to save money.
- 10. Love your art. If you don’t, get rid of it.
Harder has discovered that being “on call” is a necessary and important asset to many art collectors and other art needs that arise from a variety of clients. The concept behind the Art Doctor is to provide fine art picture framing, installation, consultation, restoration, and repair with picks-up and deliveries. Harder’s intent is to have a fleet of Art Doctor vans because there’s a great demand and a need in so many different areas, especially in the Northwest. As Harder says, “People will take photos and send me images of their art, and with that information, I can make a house call and eliminate a client’s extra trips to the frame shop. Quite frequently art collections move across the country or to different states, and condition reports are required. As art increases in value, these reports are essential. What I do is experience-based, and I’m like the family doctor who used to come to your home.”
Harder’s skills and availability are what make the service so valuable. As the Art Doctor becomes a household name to those who own and maintain art collections, they will appreciate the importance of having an expert like Harder to call on. “It has become an important part of first and second homeowners’ lives,” says Harder. “The Art Doctor is like having the shop when you need it, and not worrying about valuable works of art but enjoying them.”