For the person who has just picked up their freshly framed piece who wants to put it in pride of place, there are a few things to consider when hanging your artwork.
For me, I have had the privilege of hanging pictures for people, from high end contemporary works in architect designed homes to gallery exhibitions through to sales display posters. It’s a challenge to get the right balance of practicality and aesthetics right, with differing ceiling heights, furniture and at times, awkward angles. So for the person at home, let me share a few things to assist you to get it right.
Start out by asking, “Will this be in one place forever, or will we want to change things around from time to time?” If you want to alter things, consider a gallery hanging system where an adjustable thick nylon line, hangs down from a strong rail, mounted at ceiling height. This way you can make adjustments to the art without having to fill holes in the wall with traditional fixings.
If the work will be in place for a long time, or if you don’t care too much about filling and painting when you change things about then consider standard attachments which will put a hole in your wall, either in the form of a screw, or a nail. Most artworks can readily be hung on plaster walls, ideally you want to get the fixing into a stud if the work is heavy.
In an ideal world your Friendly professional picture framer, fitted 97% UV block out glass or UV acrylic to your work, but if that was not quite in your budget, then keep the work out of direct sunlight or strong ambient light to assist in minimising the UV fading on some works. Come to think of it, even with UV glass, your works should be well away from strong UV light sources…
Museums and galleries across the world often hold true to hanging small and mid sized works at 1550mm up from the floor to the centre of the artwork, if it’s good enough for them, then we can do the same. If you are not sure, about the positioning of works or clusters of frames, then you could cut out pieces of brown paper or light card to the same size as your artworks, then use Blue tac or similar to position the works first and adjust accordingly to suit your furniture, home layout and height requirements.
Create a gallery wall
Clusters of separately artworks can look interesting, especially if they are small. While there are no set guidelines on how these should be hung, you could try cutting out pieces of paper the same size as the images and try various placements with Blu Tac or similar. You can then explore the stronger images (perhaps the ones with deeper tones, either in the image, the frame or both) and consider how they might overpower the display.
If all else fails…
Consider calling in your friendly picture framing professional, either for advice or simply to do the whole job for you.
Regards Steve Gray
The Picture Framing Shak