Bark Frameworks

Notes on Framing

Notes on Framing

In 1982 we found that many collectors were interested in learning which framing practices would best preserve the artworks in their collections. We published our “Notes on Framing” to set out the methods and materials that best serve this purpose.

The edition of “Notes on Framing” that we are reproducing here was published in 1987. All the practices remain as valid today as they did twenty-five years ago, though a few comments and updates are called for:

·    To frame a work on paper, the Japanese paper hinge with starch paste is still the best method. Alternatives are now sold, such as “archival” pressure sensitive tape, but conservators recommend the traditional method. Pressure sensitive tape should not be used on works of art.

·     Our preferred backing material, behind 100% cotton fiber (rag board) mats is now archival Coroplast, which is waterproof. Acid-free corrugated board is usually a good alternative, though not waterproof.

·     Glazing that blocks ultra-violet light is generally recommended, though it should be noted that even protected from UV, framed works are highly vulnerable to damage from sunlight. We now have access to non-reflective acrylic glazing. Its coating also renders it non-static, a decided advantage over conventional acrylic.

Fine art conservators developed the standards for preservation framing that have guided our practice for decades. In the beginning it was texts by Anne Clapp and Christa Gaehde that formed the basis of our work in this field. Merritt Safford, Conservator of Drawings at The Metropolitan Museum, and Antoinette King, Director of Conservation at The Museum of Modern Art, were of great help and encouragement in those early years. “Notes on Framing” represents a capsule account of principles and methods we learned from these conservators as well as our own experience in putting them into practice.

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