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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 assisted in the exhibition of works of art for public and private clients / entities, including:  Christie's (New York), The National Trust (Rothschild collections, UK), and the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among other art institutions and collections in Europe, the United States, and Canada.


Franks holds a BA in European Studies and Art History and a MA in Curatorial Studies and the History of Decorative Art and Design from The New School, 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 pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto.

Art Leadership

Franks has led art organisations as Executive Director, Curator, trustee and adviser throughout the US and Canada.  She recently authored a digital series on private collectors, 'Collectors at Home', which she is curating on behalf of the the Canadian Society of Decorative Art / Cercle canadien des arts décoratifs (CSDA / CCAD).

Recent Lectures

'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

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