In the beginning (i.e., a few decades ago) there was the word, as the Internet enabled anyone with a computer to become a writer and critic.
Now dazzling breakthroughs in speed and storage capacity have helped usher in the age of the image, allowing almost everyone to become an artist.
In 2006, only a few million photographs were uploaded and shared around the world each day. Today, that ever-growing total stands at well over two billion per day, or tens of thousands per second, according to various estimates.
The explosive growth of photo-sharing sites such as Pinterest and WhatsApp (both founded in 2009), as well as Instagram (2010) and Snapchat (2011), are fueling this boom.
Eli Wilner, the New York framer of priceless works of art whose clients include the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Sotheby’s and Christie’s, said that he believed that something crucial was missing from this trend: museum-quality frames. “Throughout the history of art, frames have been essential to the presentation of pictures,” he said. “In the digital age, as more people take and share photographs, it’s important that we not forget how great frames can also enhance pictures from their wedding, honeymoon or bar mitzvah, and make them special.”
People may cherish shots of their children at the beach, or the sleeping lion they captured on safari in Kenya, but Mr. Wilner knows that few would be able to buy one of his antique or hand-carved frames; they usually sell for $10,000 to $250,000.