After purchasing a historical print, the next task is displaying the piece while still properly preserving it. The great thing about prints is that most retain, or increase in value if they are properly cared for. Historic prints are an investment as well as a form of decor. Here are some tips to get the best framing for your artwork!

Use Glass or Acrylic Glazing for Protection:

Protection is the Priority! Paper is such a delicate material, and aged paper is even more fragile. To properly protect your paper, glass or acrylic should always be used. There are many types of glass or acrylic, but UV protection is crucial. This will keep your paper from fading more than it already may have. Sun bleaching is a huge issue, especially with thinner paper. There are many types of UV protected glass and acrylic. You can choose a non-reflective museum glass, a lightweight acrylic, scratch-resistant, static resistant, even shatterproof acrylic. There are many “conservation grade” materials to keep your paper is the best shape possible.

Always Use Acid-FreeMaterials:

As artwork ages, the materials touching the work also age. All artwork should be mounted with proper “acid-free” materials and adhesives. If you put a regular tape on your work, the acid will discolor and deteriorate the paper over time. Acid-free materials will keep your paper in the best possible condition.

Use a Museum-Grade Matboard:

If you are using matboard around your artwork, “museum-grade” is best. Matboard should be 100% cotton rag, which means there are no acidic materials in the board. Museum-grade matboard is guaranteed to have no adverse reaction with artwork for hundreds of years.

Prints Should Never Touch Glass:

Even though glass and acrylic are necessary, your paper should never be directly touching the glass. If touching the glass, the artwork can buckle or get stuck to the glazing, causing damage and making it difficult to reframe your art in the future. Matboard on top of your work is a great way to avoid this issue. If you wish to “top mount” your artwork or not use a matboard, smaller “spacers” can be added between the frame and artwork to keep the materials from touching. This option is not noticeable and is a great way to show off the historic edges of a print.

If you ever have questions or need some more tips, please email or call us at (615)472-1980.

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