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 & Design Specialist. She has curated, researched, authenticated & exhibited works of art for public & private clients & entities, including:  Christie's (New York), The National Trust (Rothschild collections, UK) & the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among other leading art institutions and collections in Europe, the United States & Canada.


Franks holds a BA in European Studies & Art History & a MA in Curatorial Studies & the History of Decorative Art & 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.  She is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Toronto.

Art Leadership

Franks has worked as Executive Director & Chief Curator. She has also supported the arts via board & committee leadership in the US & 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).


Franks has lectured for museums, universities, art organizations, collections & galleries. Her recent lectures include: "Decorative Arts: Definition & 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, Toronto), "From Utility to Life: Sculptural Decorative Arts" and the forthcoming "Fashioning Old into New: A History of Artist-Collectors" (CSDA / CCAD).