The Thanhardt-Burger Corporation had its beginning back in 1927 when Mr. Henry Thanhardt came to La Porte, Indiana, to start up his business. Mr. Thanhardt had come from Austria with a supply of fine arts from the Old World and was looking for a place to have them properly framed. The presence of Indiana Moulding and Frame, a reputable framemaker which was situated in La Porte, Indiana, drew him out of Chicago to La Porte. His business was organized to begin with under the name of The Leader Manufacturing Company; in very little time, he was beginning to manufacture his own frames. He was joined in 1928 by Mr. Walter Burger and these two gentlemen guided this company for its first years. In 1933, the company was incorporated under the name of The Thanhardt-Burger Corporation, and they moved to the present location at 1105 Washington Street. At that time, they used only a small fraction of the plant which today houses only The Thanhardt-Burger Corporation and W.T. Burger Company, Inc.
The purpose of the company was to select quality decorative art works from many sources in this country and in Europe, frame them well, and wholesale them throughout the United States. Special efforts were always make to select only the best and most usable art works and to frame them beautifully using Old World traditions and skills.
In 1946, the W.T. Burger Company was founded. This was to handle specifically the growing demand for original art; and since that date, the two companies - The Thanhardt-Burger Corporation and W.T. Burger Company, Inc. - have cooperated in a common purpose to offer the finest in art, both original and reproduced, in the best possible custom-made frames.
Starting in the early 1950’s, annual buying trips were made to Europe to personally select the finest works that European artists could offer. In the 1960’s, we also began to deal very seriously with a growing group of talented American artists and many of these associations have continued for 15 to 20 years.
We have been extremely fortunate in our business to have had the services of many people for long periods of time. It’s not unusual to have had a craftsman who has worked for our company for 30 to 40 years. We have had the same pleasure in dealing with many artists so that acquaintances are of long standing and paintings are available to us and of the highest quality.
In 1979, the Newcomb-Macklin Company of Chicago, Illinois, a maker of fine historically accurate frames since 1871, was purchased by our companies; and we have added their styling, history, and know-how to our framemaking abilities. In the meantime, we have grown a new crop of in-house artisans who have replaced some of the 30 and 40 year people who grew up with a young business. Many of these people have now been with us 20 to 30 years and form the nucleus of the second generation of quality-minded, skilled workers who are dedicated to making frames of the highest quality and historically accurate styles. This together with your personally selected art work enables us to offer some of the finest art available in the United States.