Caring For Your Art
There are two main reasons to care for your art: enjoyment and value.
Art that can be protected from damage and kept in as close to its original state as possible will be enjoyed much more
than a piece that has become damaged.
There is a direct correlation between the condition of a piece of art and its value. For any given artwork, the better the
condition the higher the value.
Artwork can be damaged in a number of ways. Three of the most common are improper framing materials, excessive exposure to
light, and extremes in temperature and humidity. Examples of these are shown below.
Acidic framing materials can cause damage to art on paper as seen in this photo. Make sure you always frame your art with
acid-free materials. We recommend Bainbridge’s AlphaMat or AlphaRag matboard.
An example of mat burn, a brownish border around the image, which was caused by an acidic window mat.
Excessive exposure to light can cause damage as seen in this photo. Make sure you do not display your art where it will
get direct, or bright indirect, sunlight. Also, make sure your art on paper is framed with UV (ultraviolet) filtering
glass. We recommend Tru Vue’s Conservation Clear or Museum glass.
Removing the window mat shows how this print has darkened due to exposure from light. The white around the edges is the original color of the paper, which was protected from light by the mat.
Extremes in temperature and humidity can cause damage as seen in this photo. In rooms where you display your artwork, try
to keep the temperature between 65° and 75° and the humidity between 45% and 55%. When the humidity in a room gets above
65% there is a chance for mold growth on artwork.
The spotting on this print is an example of mold on paper.
For more information on caring for your art, pick up a copy of The Art Owner’s Handbook.
This 43 page illustrated book covers the following subjects:
Environment and Display
Dealing with Water Damage
The book is available at FrameMakers, ART Gallery, Ltd. in New Bern, Gallery C in Raleigh (www.galleryc.net), Hodges
Taylor Gallery in Charlotte (www.hodgestaylor.com), and through University Products in Holyoke, MA (www.archivalsuppliers.com)