By Anna Yukhananov
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — Hagop Iknaian emerges from the basement of his store, with the smell of paint thinner wafting, and carrying a large painting. It is from the workshop of Raphael, more than 400 years old, and framed in gleaming 22-carat gold. Iknaian sets the painting down and peers at the frame through his thick glasses, lightly touching the edge of the ornate mold.
“Still tacky. Ah, dust,” he says, and wipes at a miniscule dust mite. After days of work, the Raphael has been restored to its old glory.
But more work awaits. Local customers from Watertown, Cambridge, and even those as far away as Virginia and New York, come to Hagop’s Art
Studio bearing historical documents, old paintings and modern artwork requiring the perfect frame. And Hagop takes them all in.
He has been in the business for 42 years, through three recessions, nine presidential administrations, changing customer tastes, evolving communities.
In that time, Iknaian’s priorities have remained the same: preserving the past heritage for future generations.