CARING FOR YOUR FINE ART PRINTS: DISPLAYING, FRAMING AND HANGING THEM
“When people look at my pictures I want them to feel the way they do
when they want to read a line of a poem twice”
– Robert Frank
Displaying your Fine Art Print
If you have purchased a Danie Bester print, your printed image will be rich in subtleties and nuances. Think of your artwork as an exhibition piece. I strongly recommend that you draw attention to your print by adding proper art lighting.
Framing your Prints
If you have bought an unframed print and need to frame it, ensure that you use a proper framer that knows the importance of using preservation-quality materials and insist on acid-free materials and museum mounting, and if available, UV-protected glass.
I suggest keeping the framing simple as to not take away from the work of art. Frames should not draw attention to themselves, but rather accentuate the prints. In most instances, I recommend plexiglass mounts or box frames, under clear glass or plexiglass.
Hanging your Large Format Fine Art Print
Below is some sound advice by Derek from Martin Gibbs framing on how to best hang your large format prints:
If you invested in a large format framed print, your frame will come with heavy duty hangers, which (when properly hung) will give you flush hanging and a fixed level. To hang your print, you need:
- For wall-nails – a standard weight nail hammer.
- For wall-fixers – matching 5 mm or 6 mm masonry drill.
- For drywall – drywall screws <5 mm head size.
- A spirit-level.
- A 1 cm piece of Prestik.
- Measure the frame and position on your wall space.
- Mark on the wall the position of one of the hanger points and hammer the nail in firmly or drill in the fixer.
- Hang the frame from the first nail, level the frame and put the Prestik on the wall behind the hanger point of the second hanger.
- Hold the frame slightly away from the Prestik, level accurately and press the hanger point into the Prestik.
- The impression left in the Prestik marks exactly where to fit the second wall-nail or fixer.
Leave wall fixers and nails protruding 5 – 10 mm from the wall. If you need to adjust levelling slightly, you can knock the head marginally up or down to correct it.
For large and heavy frames, rest the frame on a pedestal against the wall at the desired height, to support the weight while you level it.
Caring for your Fine Art Prints
Well-preserved art retains its value better. Ensure your purchase against accidents, especially water damage. Keep a copy of your Certificate of Authenticity with your insurance company or contact me for a re-issue.
Your giclée print has been printed with archival inks on archival or museum quality papers and will last a lifetime if you care for it. After all, your Danie Bester print is a collectable art piece and will be kept for generations to come. However, even with archival prints, you should hang your print away from areas where airborne grime, dust and pollutants such as cigarette smoke can leave a discolouring residue. Most importantly, avoid long-term exposure to bright and direct sunlight as it will accelerate the natural ageing process. Some artificial lights like fluorescent and CFL energy-saving bulbs transmit a lot of UV light, which can also affect longevity.
Furthermore, avoid extreme fluctuations in moisture and temperature. Excessive fluctuations between dryness and humidity, or extreme heat and cold, can negatively affect the state of your print. If the humidity is too high, be on the lookout for mould.
Cleaning your Prints
Dust and clean your framed print with a clean, and if necessary lightly moist, micro-fibre rag. Avoid spraying water directly onto the glass as it may seep through the openings in the frame and damage your print. Compressed air works well for cleaning the frame but use with the utmost care by applying short bursts at least 30 cm from the face of the frame.