Whoa, Giddy Up, Back Up
Forty three years of craftsmanship &
friendly service in the Forty Acres
Ober R. Kline's frame shop on the corner of Delaware Avenue and Scott Street in the Forty Acres section of Wilmington, Delaware is one of those "great good neighborhood places" professor Ray Oldenburg writes about in his landmark book The Great Good Place. Oldenburg calls such venues "third places," describing them as "convivial community refuges from the anonymity and anomie of suburbia where "unrelated people relate . . . inclusive settings beyond home and work in which people relax in good company and do so on a regular basis."
Over the years Kline's shop has evolved into an iconic informal neighborhood destination with the same friendly ambiance as Angelo's Luncheonette, his friend August Muzzi's eatery a block away on the corner of Shallcross and Scott. Angelo's is another example of the "third place" genre The New York Times Editor's Choice book review characterized as "the heart of a community's social vitality and the grassroots of democracy." Like Angelo's Luncheonette, Obie's shop has an aura his friend Sean Whyknot describes as "a special karma that attracts good people and promotes camaraderie, creativity and a spirit of generous inclusivity. "
Kline and friends enjoy some pictures at Angelo's Luncheonette.
Kline has framed pictures for thousands of customers from all walks of life since he bought the building back in 1979 where he lives in the apartment over the shop. In addition to his reputation as a skilled picture framer, Kline is also known affectionately as "The Mayor" because of his special knack in "framing" harmonious relationships with customers and neighbors by virtue of his concern for democratic values and civic discourse that respects the common good. To promote these ideals, Kline is active in neighborhood politics and has also sponsored beneficial community initiatives such as the popular Delaware Avenue Farmers' Market he and local investment guru Jim Lee established in front of the shop in 2012.
"Calling me Mr. Mayor, as many of my friends often do is just a fun thing," says Kline, "but as a big fan of our real mayor Mike Purzicki, the sobriquet whimsically reflects my intention to be part of the collective effort to make Wilmington the great city it has the potential to become."
Framing Protocols: Customers are usually open to suggestions about molding and mats," says Kline, "so I always ask what they have in mind in terms of color, where they plan to hang the picture, and the size of the mat if needed. When they're satisfied with the selections, we price the project. My advice is to keep the process simple and choose a frame that lets the artwork make the statement."
Kline explains his Keep-it-simple philosophy to Anya Beck. Anya was a ray of sunshine when she stopped in on a rainy afternoon in the Forty Acres.
Kline collaborates with Shakira Hunt, Owner and Creative Director of Shakira Hunt Creative Studio in Wilmington. Shakira is a graduate of Moore College of Art and Design and Delaware College of Art and Design. shakirahunt.com
Kline gets a preview of new customer and friend Shakira Hunt's upcoming show at The Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts in Wilmington, June 4 through August 21, 2021.
At Decor Molding, a New York framing supplies manufacturer/distributor serving South Jersey, Delaware and Washington, D.C., the focus is always on customer satisfaction. Mary Mintz, Decor's Baltimore-based manufacturer's representative pictured below checking product stocks in company catalogs and editing discontinued moldings at picture framer Obie Kline's Wilmington, Delaware shop, says everything the firm sells comes with a 100 percent guarantee, even supplies Decor doesn't make. "We distribute products for hundreds of manufacturers of framing supplies," says Mary, "and we're known in the industry for our quick turnaround and for having products in stock 90 percent of the time." Obie Kline, standing in the shop doorway with Mary, has been a loyal Decor customer for more than 40 years. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Obie with CAELEN BIRD. Caelen and his wife SAMANTHA are owners of Trolley Square Market and Midwinter Co.
ADAM E. PETREY
LARRY CAROLL on a rare visit from Rehobeth
Tracy stops in for a visit.
Old friend JOHN "SKIP" SAILOR.
MICK and her daughter MORGAN brought in a faded Prayer of Saint Francis for reframing along with an antique photograph of Mom & Dad. Thanks ladies!
"I often think that the night is more alive and more richly colored than the day."
- VINCENT VAN GOGH
IN THE FRAME
Mary, Paul & Obie
Fred's framed picture is a reminder to "Follow your dreams."
Margot, an old friend from the good old days . . .
Saint Patrick's Day
JACK'S daughter AMELIA and crew at the shop
Obie's friend AUGUST MUZZI, proprietor of
enjoys the show . . .
JIMMY GROOME & AUGUST MUZZI at the counter in Angelo's Luncheonette
This beautiful painting by the late, great contemporary abstract artist MOE BROOKER was brought in for a frame by Moe's niece Holly. The Stanek Gallery in Philadelphia says, "His brilliantly colored abstract canvases are characterized by a varied array of mark-making and recessive space, with layered, juxtaposed patterns and a lively sense of formal invention." Check out Moe's other work on artsy.net, especially: On the Way to Somehow(US$80,000).
MARTEL NEVILLE in the doorway at the store. Thanks for stopping in, Martel!
OBIE & OBIE
JOHN MATLUSKY & OBIE at the store
JEAN, OBIE & SHARON at the shop.
Kline with Kennett Square, PA painter PETER WILLARD.
"Let the paint do the talking," says Peter.
Kline's friend TRACY SCOFIELD sets the tone . . .
MANDELL J. MUCH, JR.
"Life is not about dodging the raindrops; it's about learning to dance in the rain."
In memory of Leigh Johnstone
MARK and OBIE at the store.
BOB FORWOOD on a rare visit North of the canal
MICHELLE, my pal . . .
"To hell with humdrum,
let's break new ground."
LANCE makes a big mistake and walks into Obie's thinking it was a frame shop . . .
and comes out with a new tattoo
JACKIE showed up and fit right in to the conversation.
Great to meet you Jackie!
Our "Maine" woman
BRIDGETTE HUG gives Obie a Christmas kiss and a present from LOUISE!
Jack likes his Leica!
A "Scrumptious" Leica moment at the shop
OBIE & JEFF
DAVEY & JESS
CONOR, OBIE & KARA
KARA & CONOR with
Blue Bird of Happiness
Chadds Ford, PA
OBIE, NINA & BUMBLE
& ROBERT CURTIS
Wearing their summer issue white habits, MOTHER MARGARET & SISTER FRANCIS of The Little Sisters of the Poor drop off a print of a Catholic dignitary for framing at Obie's shop.
Sister Francis is Obie's
deceased friend Mike
Reynold's sister. In addition to vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, the sisters promise a fourth vow of hospitality, placing unconditional confidence in Divine Providence to facilitate their endeavors.
In November, now dressed in their traditional black habits with grey vails, MOTHER MARGARET AND SISTER FRANCIS with their framed picture.
According to Susie Loyld writing in the Catholic Digest, The Little Sisters of the Poor traces its origins to France in 1839. By 1868 the order had opened houses across Europe and Great Britain and are currently found in 31 countries on every continent. Their mission is to serve the elderly poor in all aspects of care.
MATT, our new Dad
in The Forty Acres
Dennis, you've been framed!
TIM FARLEY and
his daughter KAYLA
ROB McCREARY and his wife MARY are regulars at the shop.
JACK & RUSS
The world's most beautiful women end up in Kline's doorway . . . JAN ARMSTRONG STRANSKY & GINA MARSILII
W.L. Gore Engineer JASON FIGUERUA with his mother SARA and father ERNESTO
Attorney at Law . . .
JOE WRIGHT, wearing his
Books & Bagels
1139 W. 7th St.
JACK & SUSAN
Artist, City Painting thompsoncitypainting.com
REGINA & OBIE
CEO, Blue Marble
Great to see you
back in the Hood,
Ted. We missed you!
Investment guru JIM LEE who also started the Delaware Avenue Farmers Market with Obie Kline back in 2012.
Home from college
for the summer
LYNN is a
who lives in
the hood . . .
MARY JANE SIMMONS
Patron of the Arts,
and happily retired.
Funny Bone . . .
HAYES stops by
for a visit . . .
Pediatric Nurse Practitioner &
SUTTON HAYS &
doorway . . .
ALFONSO GALLO, an A.I. High School classmate and friend shows up for a visit after 28 years in the wilds of Alaska.
DR. JOHN SWANSON
Retired & Happy
Long time customers SUSAN & BILL RAHN
Delaware City, Delaware
and Belfast, Maine
Good friend and
JOAN BERNARD &
in the door at the store.
QUAKER takes JOHN and PAM out for a walk . . .
Obie & Mandy,
SUSAN & JULLIET
CHRISTINE & FRIEND
TOM & KELLY ROSS
WILLIAM, long-distance walker . . .
The iconic FRED BOURDON
Owner, Jackson Inn
I presume . . .
Another satisfied customer!
MARTIN checks in from the UK.
OBIE with his indispensable
CELESTE is the best!
TOMMY & CELESTE
US Coast Guard chopper pilot MIKE HENNEBERY stops in for a visit . . .
MIKE NIMAN is still waiting for his picture!
LARRY DINISIO contractor to the stars . . .
"The people you see when you don't have a gun!"
- JIMMY GALLAGHER
Mystery Man of
the Forty Acres
A good friend and frequent customer over the years, EVAN WILNER served as Delaware's first Public Advocate for 12 years followed by a career with Darwin & Baum law firm until his retirement in 2000. Wilner is currently a member of the Eighth Ward Democratic Committee which is an example of what he calls "ground level" democracy in Wilmington, Delaware.
Professor BILL DEERING back from France . . .
HIEP LY and the Butterfly.
SUE and JEFF DOBBS stop by for a visit on their way back to Atlanta.
LANCE is back from
Florida . . .
ROB BURRUS brings in another work of art . . .
PETE'S picture finally gets framed.
DR. ALI LUND loves her picture!
Framing Peter Ralston's work brings back memories of Obie's friend Andy Wyeth.
PETER RALSTON'S website is a great source of iconic Maine images as well as many photographs of his friends Jamie and Andy Wyeth.
The work of Maine-based photographer PETER RALSTON (ralstongallery.com), is popular among Wyeth fans in Delaware. Mr. Wyeth was a friend and frequent visitor to the shop for many years.
stops for a visit . . .
PEARCE DONNELLY, Artist
Wilmington artist CARL WILLIAMS. For more about Carl and his work click on Birds of a Feather in the menu bar.
CARL WILLIAMS with two more framed pictures for his upcoming show.
Apples & Oranges;
Apple & Rolex; Does
anybody know what time it is?