All drawings, paintings on paper, prints or photographs that are not in
storage should be framed to protect them from direct sunlight, humidity,
moisture, dust and heat. The frame should compliment and enhance the
work, not overpower it. Consult with a professional framer to choose the
appropriate frame and ensure that the art will be preserved in its original
condition. Request archival, acid-free material when framing artwork to
prevent work from fading and deterioration.
Frames usually contain a mat that aids in protection and presentation.
Mats are made of matboard and provide a barrier from airborne pollutants,
moisture, acids and other damaging impurities that can impact the life of the
framed piece. The two most common techniques for matting artwork are float
mounting and over matting. Float mounting presents the work so the artwork
“floats” on top of the mat, with the edges of the paper exposed. Over matting
presents the work under a mat, so the edges are totally covered and the work
is viewable through a cut window. This method adds depth and texture to the
appearance of the framed artwork.
UV-coated Plexiglas or UV-coated glass is recommended for the frame to
protect the work from sunlight. Plexiglas is more popular because it is lightweight
and safer to ship and handle.