Treat your art like it belongs in a museum [part 2]

Presentation and Conservation

 I insist on acid-free mats. If I can’t cut them perfectly myself, I have them done by a professional.

 I use frames on all of my canvases. [Yes, I realize that frames might interfere with your aesthetic, but even a strip frame can help prolong the life of a painting and keep it from needless scuff marks and “bruises,” particularly if you work in large scale.]

 I keep works on paper (including fiber) out of bright light and protect them with UV-filtered Plexiglas or glass.

 I never attach “gallery lights” (common in home decorating stores) to the top of my paintings. I realize this heat source will dry out the painting surface.

Excerpted from The Artist-Museum Relationship (e-book and one-hour CD).

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3 comments to Treat your art like it belongs in a museum [part 2]

  • Just want you to be aware, as careful as you might be it’s not that simple. I took a body of work my husband created for framing. I was very specific as to the use of acid free materials and how to hinge in case they had newbies working there. I don’t take much for granted. Well the watercolours looked beautiful. My husband the artist hates frames, The show was up and close to the end of its run, he came out of his sick bed and just started to take them out of the frames. ( don’t ask) thats not what this is about. Well, They had glued the water colours to boards. I was just dumbfounded. No hinges, and what shoud have been acid free boards were foamcore presentation boards.

  • AnnaMarie: That’s horrible! I guess it’s up to us to ask a lot of questions and see samples before agreeing to anything. Unbelievable.

  • Tim

    And just because they say that a mat is “acid free” it doesn’t mean the core is acid free – it might be only the face papers. Only 100% rag and alpha cellulose are truly acid free according to a recent article in PFM (Picture Framing Magazine). If the mat core yellows it has acids.