Framing the Right Way: Archival Framing Methods

Jane Weis, an expert in archival framing, met with us on May 21 to explain the materials and techniques that are safe for art work. The emphasis in archival practices is on long-term preservation of the art work, which includes making sure that everything done is reversible.

Focusing on watercolors and other works on paper, Jane took us step-by-step through the types of mats, backing, and glazing that protect art from damaging acidity and ultra-violet light rays. She shared a handout listing safe materials.

Jane also showed us sample hinging papers, corners, and hanging rings while answering many detailed questions such as hinging vs. adhering mats to backing, precautions when floating artwork, and using spacers with pastels.

Jane brought along a thrift-store art purchase to show us an example of what goes wrong with inappropriate matting and framing. As she unframed the piece, we saw how the paper was turned brown where it was exposed to the mat’s acidity and ultraviolet light rays through the glass.

Jane Weis is the owner of Jane Weis Fine Art Framing. She has many years of experience doing archival quality framing independently and for the Weisman Art Museum, the Walker Art Center, and many other institutions and art handling businesses. Jane is an independent artist who lives and works in St. Paul.

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