Museum Glass Wierdness!

Tommy P

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
Nov 16, 2003
Mid North Indiana
Before I call TruVue and embarass myself I thought I'd run this past you all.

I've either lost my mind ( a common occurance) or there is something weird with a box of museum glass.

In the last week I have framed two seperate, but very similar, jobs using museum glass. The first a pro photo, 20 x 24 of a wedding couple. Frame only, 1/8" spacer and museum glass. Displayed in my shop till they picked up. Several comments such as.."I can't tell there is glass", etc. The way museum is supposed to look.

The second piece a 16 x 20 acrylic portrait. Basically the same "sheen" I would say as the first piece. Frame only, 1/8" spacer and museum glass. When I brought it out front and displayed in same spot as the first I thought "Hmmmm". And then my wife saw it and said.." I thought you were putting museum glass on that?" It just has way more reflection than the first piece.(and I know it's museum because the reflected lights are that bluish color)

The first piece is gone. So putting them side by side is not possible for comparison. But both my wife and I are dissapointed in how this looks.

The two items were done from a three piece box of 32 x 40. I don't think they were from the same sheet.

I thought museum was coated on both sides and did not matter what side you cut or what side faced the art work. But I did pay attention to the printing on the glass and did as instructed.

My questions there a right side and a wrong side to museum glass and if so do you think that if I have this second piece reversed it could be causing this problem or could I possibly have some faulty glass. I remeber being dissapointed with a similar job of museum some time ago.

I swear I read on the G some time back that museum has no side differences.


Tom, Museum glass definately has a right and wrong side. You can tell which side should be facing the art work by slightly touching a razor blade to the corner. The side facing the artwork should slightly drag or scratch. The other side isn't coated.

DenGlas's comparable product does not have a right or wrong side and tends to have a greensih reflection instead of the blue of Tru-View's.

I too have experienced where Tru-View's museum glass sometimes appears to be more suseptable to reflection unless viewed straight on than other things I've framed with the same. I know I've never faced the glass wrong...and if you believe that... :( ...but I don't know if that may be your issue.

Dave Makielski
Okay Dave, I tore it apart and checked. I did have the wrong side out. So I just reversed it. It still looks like crap! Standing straight in front of it about five feet away I can see an excessive amount of reflection!

If the first piece hadn't looked so good I wouldn't be writing this but I'm not going to be proud to show this to my customer.

Now I know I'm losing my mind....
OK I had an acrylic that we put Water White DenGlas on. It reflected like a mirror.

The Den salesman said it was due to the use of such dark paints. That the lightwaves reflected off the paint, into the glass and back out.. or some such sales story. I bought, the customer bought it...

It did look worse with regular glass so the customer opted to keep the DenGlas on it.
Both sides will scratch - the AR coating is the same on both sides and is vulnerable to scratches. The UV coating is the side that should face the art to minimize the visibility of the coating's slight waviness. It is important to keep track of the UV side on pieces that don't have the text. I have never seen any variation in the level of reflection - maybe you did receive a faulty light - contact Tru-Vue or your distributor and I'm sure they will make good on any flaws. To confirm the problem, maybe you should hold up a light from a different box next to your problem piece for comparison.

Pat :D
Tru-Vue is easy to talk to...I'd call them. If you talk to them, please let us know what they said.


The white water Den-Glas is different than their UV museum type glass. White water is intended to allow the highest visible light transmission and clarity. It is excellent for what it is intended, but has little UV protection (around 30%, I think). Photographers tend to love it.

Dave Makielski
I believe the quality of museum glass has declined in the last six months. I've noticed the coating appears to be thicker (thus more visible), the reflection greater, and the blue-green cast stronger. This is not to mention their problems with printing the "This side faces artwork" text on the wrong side. When I called Tru Vue to discuss the issues, they didn't want to talk about it.

The problems strangely coincide with Tru Vue's price reduction on this glass. Did they decide to reduce the price AND the quality or is it a coincidence that the quality has gone down? :(

I'm starting to move more into the high-end arylic and UV AR Denglas to get away from these problems.

I no longer consider museum glass to be the best glazing we can offer our customers.
I was taught, and it has yet to fail me, that when you look at the edge of a lite of glass, the coated side is always the smooth edge. The slightly rippled edge that you can see is the uncoated side. Does anyone else use this method?
Originally posted by Doug Gemmell:
I believe the quality of museum glass has declined in the last six months...When I called Tru Vue to discuss the issues, they didn't want to talk about it...
Doug, your opinion of Museum Glass seems unusual. I probably stock and sell more Museum Glass than any other framer in my market, and have found no problems such as you described. About changes in the glass and its coatings, I suspect your perceptions are mistaken.

I have received a few defective lites of Museum Glass with a small flaw in the coatings, but nothing that would indicate a decline in materials or manufacturing standards. Tru-Vue has replaced them without hesitation every time.

If anyone at Tru-Vue actually told you they didn't want to talk about quality issues, I suggest you give that person's name to their marketing manager. Of all the manufacturers in our industry, I don't know of one that is more sensitive about quality and taking care of customers than Tru-Vue.
Perhaps the quality issue is a matter of a shop's standards and personal perception Jim.

Appearance aside, have you never received a lite with the printing on the wrong side or on both sides as myself and others have?

Or....maybe it's an evil plot against us west-coasters!
Calm down, Doug - bad mouthing a framer or shop's standards over Museum Glass is a little over the top. I stand with Jim on my use of, and experience with, Museum Glass. Try a graemlin if you are expressing good humor.

Pat :D
I did'nt mean to start a comparison of personal standards.

I guess what it comes down to is this:

I need to be careful in overselling a particular items attribute. I think in the future I should show my customer my 24 x 30 framed piece with museum glass as my example. NOT THE LITTLE TASSLE DISPLAY OR THE NEW LJ DISPLAY WITH THE SUNFLOWER! Those two things are not an accurate example of a finished piece. Great to make a sale from but potentially a problem.

Just my two cents worth.... :D
G'day Doug,

Someone might have mentioned this already, but Museum glass (TV) and Denglas UV can look awful in some cicumstances.

All to do with lighting, and yes, there can be some minor effects with print colours / textures / glosses.

Get the client to take it home and hang it, will likely be superb.
If not, a simple lighting change on the piece might work.
Doug, you are the only westcoaster to notice the decline of Museum glass' quality.

And it really sucks when you open a new box on late Friday afternoon and there is not one sheet of the 3 usable. [Micro scratches, bald spots, and RIppLeS]

And Gee . . . you mean the writing is supposed to be on only ONE side???? :eek:

Pat, I don't think Doug was slamming anyone, but it just gets very frustrating to hear once or twice a year..."oh, you must have just gotten a bad batch..."

And QC was doing . . . what?
From Tom's initial post:

"I've either lost my mind ( a common occurance) or there is something weird with a box of museum glass."

Tom, maybe you Baer and I can get group therapy rates for treatment of "Percieved Non-Existant Defective Museum Glass Syndrome". Seems to be a rare affliction.

Right Baer, no slam intended.

There, I got through a post without slamming museum glass. :D
Not just a west coast phenom. I had had printing on both sides as well. Try cutting it before your second cup of coffee.

--score other side--- flip--- score other side --- flip -- score other side--- scratch head-- flip ---- stop reading -- score --- snap--- line goes astray---- curse it was supposed to be the other, other side!

Get second pane--- score other side---- walk away get coffee--- go back with a blade and scratch! NOW score other side!