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Gallery One's 4-Step Procedure for Framing Paper Art

Gallery One framing standards have long been recognized for excellence. Here is a summary of the procedures Gallery One follows for framing works of art on paper.

1. Art should be surrounded by white, 4-ply, 100% rag (mat) board or the equivalent. Usually, fine art should be attached with special flanges that allow for the normal expansion and contraction of the artwork. (By using such flanges, the artwork can be easily restored to an “unframed state.”)

2. Glass is necessary to protect paper artwork. The real purpose of matwork is to create a space so that the glass does not rest directly on the art. And the entire framing package (see illustration) must be larger than the artwork to allow for the expansion and contraction. Experienced framers know that matwork should be much wider than the frame. Creating the appropriate balance in measurements and in coloration is essential if the artwork is to look its best. We often recommend three mats used in conjunction with one another: The top mat should be a pale, neutral-colored rag board. A second mat showing 1/4 inch in an accent tone can further enhance the image. A third mat showing 1/4” to 1/2” of white or off-white rag or a mat identical to the top mat is used directly touching the art. If art is signed (and/or numbered) in the image, the matwork should fit just inside the image area. If it is signed (and/or numbered) in the margin, the framer should keep an unmatted border of 1/2” or more around the image.

3. Gallery One recommends specialty glass products that reduce glare, promote clarity and diminish the effects of ultra-violet light.

4. The frame must be selected with care. Metal frames should be reserved for posters and contemporary images. Most art looks best framed with wood-toned or silver leaf mouldings, one and one-half inches or more in width. Bright gold mouldings can be overpowering and should be used with care. Frames are best if they do not make an artistic statement of their own. The collector need not memorize or even understand framing design and procedures. In the hands of a Certified Picture Framer, the collector can relax knowing that the finished product will be appropriately framed relative to design and conservation.


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