How To Frame and Store Art

Now that I’m actually purchasing real works of art, storage and framing are something I need to be thinking about. Megan is giving us her suggestions on framing and storing art. — Meg

Chanel Getaway // Kaley RhodesChanel Getaway by Kaley Rhodes

I handle art all the time and one of my absolute top priorities is keeping the art safe and in impeccable condition. Two ways of physically protecting one’s art is through appropriate storage and framing.

art strong

STORAGE

If you are an artist, or work with art, you know the effort and expense that goes into packing work for storage or transportation. The enormous amount of bubble wrap and packing tape I used to package art to bring into my client’s homes was totally overwhelming, and I hated the waste. I did a little research and came across this amazing company Art Strong Bags who creates reusable, cushioned bags for storing art and I fell instantly in love. I ordered up a number of bags to store art in and now simply open the bag like a giant mailing envelope and am able take my art out in a matter of seconds. These bags have been an incredible solution for transporting work safely, and are a great time saver.

vogue photograph

FRAMING

A talented framer will have good taste, themselves, but equally as important, will be able to understand your style and offer suggestions for frames that will enhance your art and flow harmoniously with your home décor. A great frame will draw the viewer’s eye to the art first, highlighting its importance; while supporting it with a structure that is understated and beautiful. It’s often helpful to prepare for your visit to the framer by taking some photos of the interior where the art is meant to hang. This way, your framer gets a sense of your style as well as its place within your home.

In addition to its beauty, a frame serves to preserve the artwork for years to come. There are certain choices available to the consumer that will protect the framed art from aging and light damage. Thus, the materials your framer uses should be archival and conservation quality to ensure that the art is appropriately cared for. Whenever you frame valuable works on paper, it’s imperative that anything touching the work, such as matting or backing, be acid free. When framing this type of art, the frame should be assembled in a way that is reversible, in the event that the artist or collector needs to remove the work at any point. Works on paper are often placed behind glass to prevent damage to the work. Museum glass is an excellent choice for this type of art, however, it can be pricey at times, and if you choose not go this route then a UV coated glass should be used at a minimum.

Alternatively, paintings on canvas do not usually require a frame with glass if you choose to frame them. Typically, a painting on canvas is framed without matting and the canvas abuts the frame directly. If you choose to frame a painting, make sure the frame, especially if it is made of wood, is either treated or has an archival liner or barrier adhered to it, as wood can leach into the paint on the canvas and ultimately affect the work. Ultimately, a frame for your art should be beautiful as well as functional. Finding the right frame can really enhance the art you own and make a strong statement in your home.

Photograph above — Vogue December 1960 by Leombruno-Bodi

Megan Peter