Our Story

Reed’s Gold Leaf Studios began as a part of the original family picture framing business, Reed’s Custom Framing. The frame shop opened its doors in 1968, started by Micki Cavanah’s parents, Don and Lou Reed. One of the local clients stated that he had been traveling to Atlanta, GA for all of his gilding needs. Finding it difficult to turn a client away for such services, Lou decided the natural thing to do would be to learn about gilding. At that time, there were very few gilders and even fewer sources of instruction. It seemed that gilding was becoming a dying art. However, through perseverance, Lou learned the craft of gilding and restoration. She passed along her knowledge to many others through the years, including her daughter and son-in-law, Micki and Mitchell Cavanah. For more than 30 years, Micki and Mitchell have continued the fine tradition of gilding that came from such humble beginnings, even passing it on to their son, Reed Cavanah, and coordinating with other gilders and craftsmen from related fields to ensure the mutual preservation of the art form we've come to love.

Micki and Mitchell are long-time members of the prestigious Society of Gilders, of which Micki has previously served as Vice-President and currently serves on the board of trustees. Both are well-respected educators in the arts of restoration and gilding. As members of the Society of Gilders, we've had the privilege of working on famous sites all over the United States including the Louisiana State Museum, Chicago’s Glessner House, and memorials in Washington DC including the Iwo Jima Memorial and Marconi Memorial. We're also members of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works

Among our proudest achievements are gilding the Athena statue in Nashville's Parthenon, as well as restoring frames for Monet, Renoir, Van Gogh, and several other master works exhibited in the Frist Center’s “Splendid Palette” in 2006. Besides the Parthenon and Frist Center, we've worked with virtually every museum and historic society in Middle Tennessee: The Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Tennessee State Museum, Cheekwood Fine Arts Center, Vanderbilt University, Belle Meade Plantation, Two Rivers Mansion, Travelers Rest, and more. Other clients include Kentucky's Ashland and Whitehall Estates and Filson Club, the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and other historic sites all over the southeast.