Designers, collectors and museums are making use of the Lowy company's internet framing service at www.lowyonline.com.
Developed by third-generation Lowy family member Brad Shar in conjunction with IBM, the Lowy Scan allows a client to "try on" frames for a particular work of art. Clients provide Lowy with a picture of a painting, whether in the form of a transparency, photograph or digital image, which is scanned into a computer. After being assigned a password, the Lowy client has access to a vast selection of antique, modern and reproduction frames in the company's inventory. Lowy will help match a work of art with a frame from an appropriate period, country or style and will provide high-quality prints illustrating the painting in a variety of frames to assist the client in making a choice.
Since the Lowy Scan was set up, the venerable fine-art service company has united many frames and paintings online, including works by Zurburan, Tiepolo and Homer. While many people prefer to see frames before purchasing them, the New York-based Lowy has sold a number of frames online to out-of-town clients. Shar views the Lowy Scan system as a technological complement to existing services provided by the framing company, which was founded in 1907 by Julius Lowy and is dedicated to old-world craftsmanship. He predicts, "The website will draw clients from the internet, rather than people finding out about us through referrals or advertising."