This post is an advertorial written by a company that serves the museum field. The views, opinions, and positions expressed by the authors and those providing comments are theirs alone and do not necessarily reflect the views, opinions, or positions of AAM or its employees.
As the museum industry gradually emerges from the difficult challenges of the past year, Frank Europe GmbH (Frankeurope.com) is making a commitment to the vibrancy and resilience of the US cultural community with the establishment of Frank America.
The Case for Optimism
According to Philippe Plessers, who recently assumed executive leadership as Managing Director of the Germany-based organization along with Thomas Kurz, CFO: “We believe the current moment is the right time to put in place an American company. We want to be there to support the projects that are moving to the front and to serve the pent-up demand we anticipate in the world’s most dynamic cultural market.”
In creating a US company based in New York City with a new, strategically located East Coast production facility, Frank America will provide the continued availability of the innovative, award-winning Frank Showcase Systems that its US clients have come to value. “The ability to directly communicate with our clients about their needs and our products’ features and provide a level of service that matches the quality of our cases are compelling reasons” that motivated the company’s expansion decision, according to Jonathan Evans, Frank America’s newly appointed Business Development Director.
A Quarter-Century of Innovation
It is the unique qualities of the Frank Showcase Systems that attracted Plessers and Evans, both of whom have extensive experience with premium exhibition casework technology. Those attributes are the result of a quarter of a century of product development and corporate evolution by Manfred and Wolfgang Frank. Their complementary talents in engineering and business brought Frank Europe to the international prominence it enjoys today.
While the market for Frank System products is international, Frank GmbH Europe is very much rooted in its locale in Bad Kreuznach, an historic spa town near Mainz, the capital of Germany’s Rhine-River-centered wine industry. This region of Western Germany, near Frankfurt to the East, leads all German states in exports with small and medium manufacturing enterprises like Frank Europe forming the backbone of the region’s economy.
Recently the company adapted the Frank System, initially developed for acrylic casework, to produce glass cases. In addition, an operable door option was also added in response to client requests. These advances allow clients to maintain a uniform casework aesthetic while taking into account varying display case requirements.
An Award-Winning System
The Frank System’s distinguishing innovation is its unrivaled patented slide-in connection technology. No screws or gaskets are required to assemble dustproof, airtight (standard AER 0.2-0.3) cases for the safe and secure display of collection objects. The slim extrusions that form the case’s framework are engineered to be flush with the case’s acrylic or glass surfaces to achieve the subtly elegant, award-winning look that “puts the object first.” Simply said: “It’s what’s inside that counts.”
Importantly, Frank cases are fully and easily demountable. This feature and the modularity of the system afford museum staff an ease of handling and display flexibility, characteristics that are increasingly important for permanent and temporary exhibitions today. Custom options that complete a project’s required functionality include elegant magnetic lighting systems available in a variety of finishes that match or are compatible with the showcase profile color options; variable shelving systems; passive climate control; and operable doors. Specially designed storage and transport cases are an added advantage that can be incorporated into the planning of traveling exhibits.
The efficiencies inherent in the system’s design and methods of production also allow for a comparatively short lead time from order placement to delivery and installation. Frank’s skilled technicians can capitalize on this expertise to fast-track projects.
In Good Company
The Frank System’s reputation for excellence in innovation, quality, and value quickly earned itself a following throughout the museum world. Museum professionals have chosen Frank cases as the solution to their needs in over one thousand projects. Frank cases can be found in such institutions as: Victoria and Albert Museum, London; The Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC; Palazzo Ducale, Venice; The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles; The Henry Ford Museum, Dearborn (Detroit), Michigan; Topkapi Palace, Istanbul; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest; Aga Khan Museum, Toronto; and the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
The Long View
The upheavals of the recent past have certainly disrupted our individual lives and impacted society and its institutions. At the same time, these challenges remind us in the museum community that the objects and artifacts that we interpret, display, and protect convey deeply meaningful stories that help us connect to each other and understand the continuity of our experiences through time.
The principles that govern the multiple facets of the museum industry have remained intact as the activities of the culturally and economically vibrant cultural sector resume. The case-makers at Frank companies recognize the challenges ahead and share the hope we will contribute to the resumed flourishing of our community here and throughout the world.