Display of Affection
You've bought the artwork of your dreams, but now what? Let the art itself--its medium, style, material and size--dictate its treatment and display.
With photographs, drawings and prints, think framing first. Use an acid-free mat to prevent the glass from sitting directly on the surface of the work, says Linda Cowan, owner of Pucci’s Gallery & Custom Framing at the Hilldale Shopping Center.
Opt for ultraviolet-protected, non-glare glass, says Gary Milward, who owns Gary’s Art & Frame Shop in Middleton and Milward Farrell Fine Art in Madison with Brian Farrell. For very large or heavy artwork, he recommends one-eighth-inch ultraviolet-protected plexiglass.
Oils, however, need to breathe, so Cowan says to forego the glass for oil paintings. Do have a painting professionally stretched around bars and placed in a frame to prevent warping, she advises.
Tip: Consider colors, textures and styles of walls, floors, drapery and furniture near the artwork when selecting framing and matting, Milward says. “Do we want it to match the couch?” he asks. “Of course not. But we want it to be comfortable with it.”
To display sculpture or other three-dimensional art, find a protected spot. Shelves, cases and freestanding pedestals in low-traffic areas are all good options. Tip: You may want to skip the custom plexiglass box. It protects the art, Milward says, but it also adds a sense of formality that may not suit casual settings. “It gives it a very museum-quality look,” he says.
Don’t Forget the Sunscreen
No piece of art should be hung or set in direct sunlight, and even some indoor lighting can be harmful. Cowan likes dramatic spotlighting, but only when protective glass or plexiglass is used. Halogen is the best bulb option, according to Milward, who recommends a dimmer switch that allows you to adjust the lighting for different moods.
Trial and Error To find the best placement, Milward suggests trying different options until you find one that balances with the room and yet demands attention. “Just lay it all out, move it around, and when it looks good to you, you’re more than likely on the right track!”
Madison Magazine - May 2007