About J. Franks
The French word vertu translates: 'the condition of being rare, beautiful, or otherwise appealing to a connoisseur.'
Vertu founder, Jennifer Franks, is an Art and Design Specialist. She has researched, authenticated, and curated works of art for public and private entities, including: Christie's (New York), The National Trust (Rothschild collections, UK), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among other leading art institutions and collections in Europe, the United States, and Canada.
Franks holds a BA in European Studies, Languages and Art History (with a focus on the decorative arts). She also possesses a MA in Curatorial Studies and the History of Decorative Art and Design (Parsons School of Design). Her specialization is in European art and design (1600 - present) with a particular focus on the 18th century and its legacy in modern and contemporary art. She is currently completing a PhD at the University of Toronto, where she is exploring these intersections.
Franks has led art organisations as Executive Director, Chief Curator, trustee, and adviser throughout the United States and Canada. Facilitating international to local partnerships, her work has brought together historically divided communities through the arts. She has helped establish art careers (at the highest tier) for countless under-served students. In response to the pandemic, she recently authored a digital series on private collectors, 'Collectors at Home' (Canadian Society of Decorative Art / Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs). This series utilities objects as a means of telling forgotten stories (topics such as immigration), while also connecting Canadian artists to collectors across the world.
'Decorative Arts: Definition and Evolution' (Canadian Federation of University Women, Delegates to the United Nations); 'Complexity versus Simplicity: Historic Influences on Contemporary Art' (OCAD-University); 'Ceramics in the Digital Age' (Gardiner Museum), 'From Utility to Life: Sculptural Decorative Arts', 'A Natural History of Artist-Collectors', and the forthcoming: 'Merchand-Mercier of Paris and their Contemporary Equivalents' (The Canadian Society of Decorative Arts / Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs).
Photo of le musée Rodin by J. Franks, Paris, 2017