Real-world examples of archival fails

muybridge

True Grumbler
Joined
Mar 31, 2023
Posts
53
Location
Los Angeles
Business
self-employed photographer
Obviously it's important to use archival best-practices when framing, but not everyone agrees on best-practices, and we all have to decide for ourselves where to draw the line (for example, someone might be sure to use acid-free mat and back board, but feel it's OK to use backing paper or backing tape that's not acid-free).

A lot of this is theoretical, avoiding issues that could, potentially occur sometime in the future. But what about actual issues you've witnessed--maybe a piece you framed and displayed in your home, and after a few years you noticed something going wrong. Or a customer returning framed art with a problem.

What have you seen gone wrong?

Are there archival practices that you consider mandatory, and any that you find less so?
 
There is a big difference between knowledge conveyed by an expert in the field and hearsay information on social media.

PPFA, as an example, has educators that have spent years learning and doing research on topics that are sell founded in science. At the next national trade show there will be 85 classes that can be taken that will give you the real knowledge you need.

There are also published standards from at least 2 organizations(PPFA and The Guild in the UK) in addition to information from art conservation organizations such as AIC, CCI, and IIC. The Guild, has documented levels of framing standards(level 1-5) and has been assigned the standards of FACTS that were established in the US. I happened to be one of the original members of FACTS and still have all my records from their correspondence to members.
 
.........a customer returning framed art with a problem..........
What have you seen gone wrong?

When we had the photo/frame shop we did wide format printing and always used quality paper and pigment ink.

A customer returned about five canvas print we had done a couple of years previous. They had faded too almost nothing. :(

Turns out they were on display in a sunroom and subjected to direct sunlight for a couple of years.

We redid the prints, but I was seriously deflated. :faintthud:

I get the physics of direct sunlight and where a customer chose to display family photos is out of my control, but I thought our product would do better.
 
Doug, it sounds like that customer should probably have gone to a sign company that prints billboards and things designed to be in the sun.
This is a perfect example of how we can do our best to create something long-lasting within the parameters of the materials and equipment available to us... but what the customer does with it after that is out of our control (and not our responsibility). All we can do is give them professional advice as to how to best display and care for their items.
:cool: Rick
 
The first digital prints used very fugitive inks, but the technology was embraced by art publishers almost immediately. I framed a couple prints from a reputable dealer up for a gallery's client that went into a vacation home. They were visibly faded within 3 months.
There was a lot of finger pointing, but the end result was the agreement that the technology wasn't suited for the application and the publisher made everyone happy.
These were "Iris" prints done on a digital printer that was developed to make ad copy presentations that were used once or twice, then pitched. There was no need for longevity.
All the preservation techniques in the world would not have prevented fading.
We are, and will continue to be, faced with issues raised from changes in technology when it comes to helping to preserve art.
 
There is a big difference between knowledge conveyed by an expert in the field and hearsay information on social media.

PPFA, as an example, has educators that have spent years learning and doing research on topics that are sell founded in science. At the next national trade show there will be 85 classes that can be taken that will give you the real knowledge you need.

There are also published standards from at least 2 organizations(PPFA and The Guild in the UK) in addition to information from art conservation organizations such as AIC, CCI, and IIC. The Guild, has documented levels of framing standards(level 1-5) and has been assigned the standards of FACTS that were established in the US. I happened to be one of the original members of FACTS and still have all my records from their correspondence to members.
Understood. I respect these organizations, and the scientific method, but in this case I'm just curious about personal anecdotes.

When we had the photo/frame shop we did wide format printing and always used quality paper and pigment ink.

A customer returned about five canvas print we had done a couple of years previous. They had faded too almost nothing. :(

Turns out they were on display in a sunroom and subjected to direct sunlight for a couple of years.

We redid the prints, but I was seriously deflated. :faintthud:

I get the physics of direct sunlight and where a customer chose to display family photos is out of my control, but I thought our product would do better.
Thanks for sharing that...so no glazing, right?

Doug, it sounds like that customer should probably have gone to a sign company that prints billboards and things designed to be in the sun.
This is a perfect example of how we can do our best to create something long-lasting within the parameters of the materials and equipment available to us... but what the customer does with it after that is out of our control (and not our responsibility). All we can do is give them professional advice as to how to best display and care for their items.
:cool: Rick
I wonder if there's any fine art print material that would hold up under years of direct sun. Billboards are outside all of the time, but the material might not look good up-close. Also, most billboards ads don't stay up for years, as far as I know.

There was a lot of finger pointing, but the end result was the agreement that the technology wasn't suited for the application and the publisher made everyone happy.
These were "Iris" prints done on a digital printer that was developed to make ad copy presentations that were used once or twice, then pitched. There was no need for longevity.
All the preservation techniques in the world would not have prevented fading.
We are, and will continue to be, faced with issues raised from changes in technology when it comes to helping to preserve art.
Yeah, archival paper and ink is essential, no question.
 
It an important thing to distinguish between how the materials themselves survive and how the materials
could effect the ART itself. We do use the best materials in the hope that they won't degrade with time. But,
the 'prime directive' is to the preserve the art. 😇

It has to be said that some people (even framers) tend to obsess about 'acid-free'. I once had a print with a
s/a label stuck to the back (image area) with "This Label Is Acid Free" on it. I kid you not...🤣
 
It be a great service to framers world-wide if PPFA and the FATG could print up some guidelines for displaying art that included lighting, humidity levels, temperature (Hanging fine art over fireplaces) etc. We could all put stickers on frames backs. (Acid free of course). Framers could display printed guidelines in their shops to encourage dialog.
 
It an important thing to distinguish between how the materials themselves survive and how the materials
could effect the ART itself. We do use the best materials in the hope that they won't degrade with time. But,
the 'prime directive' is to the preserve the art. 😇

It has to be said that some people (even framers) tend to obsess about 'acid-free'. I once had a print with a
s/a label stuck to the back (image area) with "This Label Is Acid Free" on it. I kid you not...🤣
Yes, good point. I've made my living for decades as a photographer, so I know how to make an archival print. My question is more about how the materials affect the art--I'm curious about experiences people have had where the art got damaged, because the wood in the rabbet was left exposed, or the backing paper wasn't acid-free, or the glazing didn't have enough UV protection, or the art got stuck to the glazing, etc.

It be a great service to framers world-wide if PPFA and the FATG could print up some guidelines for displaying art that included lighting, humidity levels, temperature (Hanging fine art over fireplaces) etc. We could all put stickers on frames backs. (Acid free of course). Framers could display printed guidelines in their shops to encourage dialog.

I like that idea, although I'm not terribly optimistic about the art owners carefully following the guidelines--unless it was at a museum or serious art gallery.
 
Yes, good point. I've made my living for decades as a photographer, so I know how to make an archival print. My question is more about how the materials affect the art--I'm curious about experiences people have had where the art got damaged, because the wood in the rabbet was left exposed, or the backing paper wasn't acid-free, or the glazing didn't have enough UV protection, or the art got stuck to the glazing, etc.



I like that idea, although I'm not terribly optimistic about the art owners carefully following the guidelines--unless it was at a museum or serious art gallery.

I've seen plenty of old stuff (pre '80s) where the matboard has 'burnt' the artwork. Mostly the piece suffers though being
done on inferior materials and bad preparation of grounds and the dodgy framing doesn't help. Old antique prints tend
to be on very acidic paper and will degrade over the years. They were also mounted onto very rough ol 'straw board'.
Very little thought was given to long-term preservation back then. I've also seen watercolors that very acidic old mats
but looked as good as the day they were done.
If you have a painting or print that carries the seeds of it's own destruction, no amount of 'archival' materials will save it.
Prints done back in the '60s/'70s were done in very fugitive inks and fade badly. Some of the Russell-Flint prints from back
then fade so much that there aren't any 'mint' copies existing.

Some artists are scrupulous in selecting/preparing their paper and canvases. These tend to survive despite iffy framing.
But some artists give little or no thought to the quality of the materials they use.
 
Indeed, some artists use certain materials (such as masking tape, newsprint, etc.) in their work because it has a certain "aesthetic" and is part of their artistic "statement".
:coffeedrinker2: Rick
 
There are guidelines for conservation materials, and conservation framing. The term 'acid free' is overused and is sometimes quite irrelevant without further information.

As for what we experience in our own shops; maybe not so much about items we have framed but certainly items that come in with acid burns, foxing, waviness etc which have been framed in the past. I have not seen anyone coming back with damage that I have caused. So far.
Doesn't mean I always did things the correct way. Sometimes customer was not willing to pay for that. Sometimes it was something I didn't know at the time.

Framing is not a protected profession. Which means anyone can start a frame shop and say they're experts. Scary, right?
 
My pet peeve is that many custom picture framers continue to use the term "acid free" when they describe what mat board they are discussing or looking for.

Unless other wise described, I consider the boards that they are describing are standard wood pulp boards with calcium carbonate added.
 
Over the years I have had the opportunity to see many framing jobs that date back to the late 19th/early 20th centuries.
This was before hardboard/ply was available so the convention was to use thin slats of pine which were laid side-by-side
and papered over. Prints were typically mounted to card and framed with a slip to elevate the glass from the print.
Here's a strange thing....
The paper backing tended to disintegrate allowing the air to reach the back of the mounted print where there was a gap between
the wooden slats. This would cause a dark brown stripe on the back of the print which would penetrate through to the front. 😳
But.. the area still covered by the slats remained unaffected. The slats sometimes turn very dark brown, but it would appear it was
the air which set off nasties in the board that the print was mounted on.

As for worrying about the backing paper/tape being 'acid-free' it's a moot point as while this is beneficial for the actual backing paper
it's not going to affect the ART as it's well away from it. Paper-borne art should be safely cocooned in a book-mat away from possible
nasties which comprise the rest of the frame.
 
Thanks for feedback folks. I'm currently using 1/4" acid-free foamcore to back artwork, and considering using kraft paper (something like this) for the very back of frame.

Has anyone seen damage done to art from backing paper (or backing paper tape) not being acid-free? I did see a post here on another thread where someone described a client who was angry because the backing paper harmed their flocked wallpaper, but wondering how common it is for backing paper/tape to damage the artwork.

If using backing paper, is it essential to use something like Lineco paper? Or would you say, if the artwork isn't incredibly valuble/irreplaceable, that regular kraft paper could be acceptable?
 
Thanks for feedback folks. I'm currently using 1/4" acid-free foamcore to back artwork, and considering using kraft paper (something like this) for the very back of frame.

Has anyone seen damage done to art from backing paper (or backing paper tape) not being acid-free? I did see a post here on another thread where someone described a client who was angry because the backing paper harmed their flocked wallpaper, but wondering how common it is for backing paper/tape to damage the artwork.

If using backing paper, is it essential to use something like Lineco paper? Or would you say, if the artwork isn't incredibly valuble/irreplaceable, that regular kraft paper could be acceptable?
The shortcoming in Acid-Free foam centered board is the foam center. It is expanded polystyrene foam and has all kinds of nasty volatile gasses in it that are exhausted over its lifetime. It is an acceptable support board for an alpha-cellulose mount board at entry level preservation level framing.

Craft paper is pure unbuffered wood pulp. The suggestion is that wood products not be within 1" of the art, even through semi-permeable boards, like mats and foam centered board. The cost difference per frame with the Lineco product is a few cents.

Keep doing your research.
 
The shortcoming in Acid-Free foam centered board is the foam center. It is expanded polystyrene foam and has all kinds of nasty volatile gasses in it that are exhausted over its lifetime. It is an acceptable support board for an alpha-cellulose mount board at entry level preservation level framing.
Good to know. Could you recommend a backing board that has better archival properties?

Craft paper is pure unbuffered wood pulp. The suggestion is that wood products not be within 1" of the art, even through semi-permeable boards, like mats and foam centered board. The cost difference per frame with the Lineco product is a few cents.
Sounds like Lineco is the way to go. I am aware of the 1" distance suggestion, and if I was framing for a museum I would strictly honor it.

But for framing my own work, with art I can easily reprint, I'm considering making some compromises. I'm wondering if anyone has actually seen damage to art from backing paper, or other materials not in direct contact to the art?
 
As I mentioned, alpha-cellulose mat board (Bainbridge Art Care, Crescent Select, LJ Artique, Peterboro's brand and Rising Preservation) are good mount boards if supported by the foam centered board.

Since you are the artist, not just the framer, you have much more leeway in making decisions like this. It's perfectly fine for you to dry mount your work if you chose to, but pretty much a cardinal sin if I were to do that without specific instruction and permission from you.

If I were creating photographic art of any scale, I would be looking at dry mounting to ACM panel as my default. I have used Kool Tack's Pro Panel with great success, and would likely be using that product, though there are certainly other options.
 
One thing that puts me off using foamcore as an backboard is that it provides little physical protection.
A careless handler might lean it against the corner of a chair and this could easily go through and damage
the art. Also people use nails to hang from and the nail could go through. I've seen it happen.
 
One thing that puts me off using foamcore as an backboard is that it provides little physical protection.
A careless handler might lean it against the corner of a chair and this could easily go through and damage
the art. Also people use nails to hang from and the nail could go through. I've seen it happen.

How’s about oils with no backing whatsoever?

At least with glazed items that are sealed, there will, or at least should, also be the mounting board(s) underneath the backing.

If you really don’t want to use a particular material or method you can always cherry-pick the data to justify the decision.
 
One thing that puts me off using foamcore as an backboard is that it provides little physical protection.
A careless handler might lean it against the corner of a chair and this could easily go through and damage
the art. Also people use nails to hang from and the nail could go through. I've seen it happen.

What do you use--something more rigid, like MDF board?
 
It is all a matter of degree of protection vs the statistics of having something damage the art from the back. The backing board should be strong enough to support everything in the frame and be damage resistant under most circumstances. Your counter with using MDF is not realistic as well due to the chemicals that off-gas from it (formaldehyde). When I started my professional picture framing career framers in Europe used 2mm MDF for most of the non-conservation framing. Although is is still used in Europe, the majority have left MDF out of the frame. Plastic corrugated boards are a good option.

You cannot protect the art in a picture frame from all trauma. It is just not logistically or a cost effective possibility.
 
When I started my professional picture framing career framers in Europe used 2mm MDF for most of the non-conservation framing. Although is is still used in Europe, the majority have left MDF out of the frame. Plastic corrugated boards are a good option.
MDF is still acceptable in the FATG’s highest level, which they call “ultimate” level.
 

Attachments

  • IMG_0426.jpeg
    IMG_0426.jpeg
    71 KB · Views: 46
My pet peeve is that many custom picture framers continue to use the term "acid free" when they describe what mat board they are discussing or looking for.
I have to admit that I do sometimes use that term, because it is what people are accustomed to hearing. All the matboards I use are rag or alphacellulose based, so I'm not overpromising and underproviding. It's more semantics. Still, I should probably get used to saying, "preservation quality" instead of "acid free". People will still understand that without a science lecture. :icon11:
Over the years I have had the opportunity to see many framing jobs that date back to the late 19th/early 20th centuries.
This was before hardboard/ply was available so the convention was to use thin slats of pine which were laid side-by-side
and papered over. Prints were typically mounted to card and framed with a slip to elevate the glass from the print.
Here's a strange thing....
The paper backing tended to disintegrate allowing the air to reach the back of the mounted print where there was a gap between
the wooden slats.
This would cause a dark brown stripe on the back of the print which would penetrate through to the front. 😳
But.. the area still covered by the slats remained unaffected. The slats sometimes turn very dark brown, but it would appear it was
the air which set off nasties
in the board that the print was mounted on...
Interesting observation Peter. It would seem that the air circulated the acidic offgassing between the slats through the gap to the art, whereas the wood itself did not. I have seen similar phenomena in reframing old art, but never thought too much about it. It actually makes sense. I remember in a class Paul McFarland said that the end grain of wood outgasses much more than side grain because it follows the long fibers of the wood.** So the faces of the slats don't really transmit the acid as much*.

:cool: Rick

* Sometimes, though, I have seen brown "imprints" of the slats themselves. Maybe it depends how the wood was sawn.
**(The discussion was about the need (or not) to wrap wooden stretchers with barrier tape when framing a canvas.)
 
It is all a matter of degree of protection vs the statistics of having something damage the art from the back.
Right, that's why I started this thread. I'm familiar with strict archival best practices, but instead of following those blindly, for some projects I'm OK with bending some rules (like when I'm framing my own inkjet prints that I can easily reprint). So I'm interested in real world experiences, to decide for myself which archival aspects to prioritize, and which are less likely to cause harm.
You cannot protect the art in a picture frame from all trauma. It is just not logistically or a cost effective possibility.
Yep, and I have no desire to do that. On the contrary, I'm looking for areas where a compromise makes sense.
 
I didn't know that. What can I say, I am flabbergasted.
Oh there’s more! At that same level it’s ok to hinge artwork with pre-gummed tapes, including linen ones, and to use glazing with a 66% UV filter!
 
As a person who was one of the original 35 or so professional picture framers who met in Chicago about 25 years ago to join into what is now known as FACTS, I would say that at least 4 of the five levels of quality have to be re-reviewed and updated. The Guild, BTW, is the guardian of the FACTS standards.
 
Don Pierce (deceased founder of FACTS) showed me a print that had been framed with a regular colored mat adhered in front of a 4 ply rag mat with 3/4 inch ATG tape. The print was acid burned everyplace except where the ATG tape was. Evidently the adhesive was a good acid barrier. Maybe any self adhesive tape could act as an acid barrier when used to seal a rabbet or fillet?
 
Here is a display I made for my shop out of the remnants of an old nasty framing job, which exhibits some of the effects we've been discussing. Even the pointer lines in this are made from old, oxidized braided picture wire.
:cool: Rick
frameitright.jpg
 
Don Pierce (deceased founder of FACTS) showed me a print that had been framed with a regular colored mat adhered in front of a 4 ply rag mat with 3/4 inch ATG tape. The print was acid burned everyplace except where the ATG tape was. Evidently the adhesive was a good acid barrier. Maybe any self adhesive tape could act as an acid barrier when used to seal a rabbet or fillet?
Perhaps it was a good Oxygen barrier too.
 
Preservation framing is not an all-or-nothing proposition, because every method and material that goes into a picture frame affects its protective value, and compromises are everywhere. What's important is for framers to know and understand the good-better-best concept in terms of parts and procedures; display, storage, and transit matters, and be honest with themselves and their customers.

In retail consumer framing and typical commercial framing, "maximum preservation" usually is not practical or appropriate. For example, my standard framing would include virgin alpha cellulose "Conservation" mats or 100% cotton "Museum" mats; 99% UV filtering glass or acrylic; no masking tape, corrugated cardboard, or wood composite boards (such as MDF). Even so, dry mounting, wet mounting, hinged float-mounting, or DCO mounting may be desirable for a framing design; or a fillet under a mat; or gummed linen hinges; or foam board backing; or other compromises deviating from the absolute best of everything.

We're here to serve our customers, so we show-and-tell all about the framing alternatives and enable them to make informed choices. The question comes down to, how much preservation do you want?
 
MDF is still acceptable in the FATG’s highest level, which they call “ultimate” level.

Before this thread (and subsequent reading), I didn't realize that ("acid-free") foam core was not ideal as a backing, due to chemicals in the core. Interesting that MDF is acceptable; does anyone know, are there certain types/grades of MDF to look for, to ensure they're archivally acceptable?

I'm now looking at Coroplast "archival grade" board and MDF. Any other suggestions? What's your go-to backing board?

I realize there should be a rag mat directly behind the art; I'm asking about the backing board behind that.
 
Last edited:
Before this thread (and subsequent reading), I didn't realize that ("acid-free") foam core was not ideal as a backing, due to chemicals in the core. Interesting that MDF is acceptable; does anyone know, are there certain types/grades of MDF to look for, to ensure they're archivally acceptable?

I'm now looking at Coroplast "archival grade" board and MDF. Any other suggestions? What's your go-to backing board?

I realize there should be a rag mat directly behind the art; I'm asking about the backing board behind that.
Foam board as a frame backing is fine, but not best for mounting artwork directly to.

MDF is bad anywhere in the package at the highest levels - a few levels below as well really!
 
I'm now looking at Coroplast "archival grade" board and MDF. Any other suggestions? What's your go-to backing board?

I realize there should be a rag mat directly behind the art; I'm asking about the backing board behind that.
From a chemical standpoint "purified alpha-cellulose" is just as good as natural cotton fiber regarding conservation framing. Scientific knowledge is not stagnant.

Your question regarding "go-to backing board" needs to be clarified for a proper answer. We are talking on the realm of GOOD - BETTER - BEST. The first think to know regarding being a custom picture framer is that the first hat we wear is that of a consultant to fulfill the needs of the clients request. Being a technician comes second.

What are the requirements of the job in question and what are the conditions that the artwork will be set into are questions that have to be answered first. Depending on the clients needs a set of rules can then be defined.
 
When we had the photo/frame shop we did wide format printing and always used quality paper and pigment ink.

A customer returned about five canvas print we had done a couple of years previous. They had faded too almost nothing. :(

Turns out they were on display in a sunroom and subjected to direct sunlight for a couple of years.

We redid the prints, but I was seriously deflated. :faintthud:

I get the physics of direct sunlight and where a customer chose to display family photos is out of my control, but I thought our product would do better.
I have canvas prints that we printed 10 years ago with our cannon large format printer that have hung in our south facing store window and they look new still. Some of the matted ones....the mats faded but not our pigmented inks. Are you sure about your inks??
 
One thing that puts me off using foamcore as an backboard is that it provides little physical protection.
A careless handler might lean it against the corner of a chair and this could easily go through and damage
the art. Also people use nails to hang from and the nail could go through. I've seen it happen.
@Prospero, what do you prefer to use over foamcore?
 
@Prospero, what do you prefer to use over foamcore?

My default backing board is 2.5mm MDF.

It does have it's shortcomings but the pros outweigh the cons IMHO. For extra protection I put a layer of
polypropylene sheet between the board and mounted art.
It provides excellent physical protection. Get a sharp implement and jab it at a piece of foamcore. Now do
the same with MDF. Q.E.D. 😉 I've seen quite valuable l/e prints ruined by being impaled from the back through
a foamcore.

People will tell you MDF is vulnerable to damp. True, but so is foamcore. The trick is not to get it damp. 😁
If it gets a good soaking (I've seen examples) it will blossom with mould and degrade structurally. This is an
extreme scenario. Not a big job to replace it. The materials surrounding the art are essentially sacrificial.
It's the art that needs to survive.

There is also a abiding myth that MDF is hazardous to health. This started with an industry report back in the
'90s that stated that breathing the dust was bad. So it is, but breathing ANY dust is bad. But this is more relevant
to workers who are sawing the stuff up all day every day. Framers typically don't saw it. 2.5mm cuts easily on a
wall cutter so minimal dust is involved.

There are fluted plastic sheet materials which are waterproof. But I never use a paper backing sheet to finish the back
which is the convention in the US. Here in the UK the back is usually taped. I use 4" wide gummy tape which is water
activated. It is very strong and will last for decades.

** I have been using it since the '80s and have never had a bad experience with MDF. 🙂
 
When we had the photo/frame shop we did wide format printing and always used quality paper and pigment ink.

A customer returned about five canvas print we had done a couple of years previous. They had faded too almost nothing. :(

Turns out they were on display in a sunroom and subjected to direct sunlight for a couple of years.

We redid the prints, but I was seriously deflated. :faintthud:

I get the physics of direct sunlight and where a customer chose to display family photos is out of my control, but I thought our product would do better.
What that customer did by displaying the canvas prints in a sunroom subjected to several years of direct sunlight was totally asinine. What they should have done was to create several copies of said artwork & display same as required within that mega-fading location, changing the copies as required once each copy was too faded to display further. Howe'er, as R.A. Heinlein once (?) wrote, "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."
 
Understood. I respect these organizations, and the scientific method, but in this case I'm just curious about personal anecdotes.


Thanks for sharing that...so no glazing, right?


I wonder if there's any fine art print material that would hold up under years of direct sun. Billboards are outside all of the time, but the material might not look good up-close. Also, most billboards ads don't stay up for years, as far as I know.


Yeah, archival paper and ink is essential, no question.
Please don't wonder regarding fine art print materials resistant to fading, especially via direct sunlight, for years or less under said conditions, as such simply do not exist. (I personally doubt that technology will be able to entirely negate such fading, improve upon it most assuredly, but never totally negate it. You're underestimating the power of the sun's rays, both visible & invisible. The only way to "negate" such radiation [& fading thereby] would be thru advanced force fields continually blocking such radiation --- that, or "magic" . . . .)
 
It be a great service to framers world-wide if PPFA and the FATG could print up some guidelines for displaying art that included lighting, humidity levels, temperature (Hanging fine art over fireplaces) etc. We could all put stickers on frames backs. (Acid free of course). Framers could display printed guidelines in their shops to encourage dialog.
You're assuming that these guidelines, if adhered to frame backs, would actually be read by customers. Tsk, tsk. Most would simply think: Artwork framed, hung up, forget about it (& cry or complain afterwards if anything goes amiss). Of course there are those who would actually read such guidelines, but I would also add that folks like that would be amendable to conversations about displaying framed works properly.

Regarding guidelines for displaying art under myriad conditions, that would be a jugunda service to framers & artists, including (I hope) interior designers.
 
Since it's been brought up a couple times in this discussion, I'm surprised the question of the dust cover hasn't been addressed. A kraft paper dust cover, as acidic and full of lignin as it is, is very unlikely to directly harm the artwork. It is separated from the artwork by a layer or two of boards and probably an air gap.

The problem is that it becomes brittle over time and prone to tearing at the slightest provocation. When that happens it can no longer serve its function of keeping dust and insects out of the frame. A pH neutral, lignin-free paper will be much more durable and will not become brittle.
 
Tyvek would be better.
 
What that customer did by displaying the canvas prints in a sunroom subjected to several years of direct sunlight was totally asinine. What they should have done was to create several copies of said artwork & display same as required within that mega-fading location, changing the copies as required once each copy was too faded to display further. Howe'er, as R.A. Heinlein once (?) wrote, "Never underestimate the power of human stupidity."

Whoa, easy there friend. :beer:

Do we expect our customers to understand all the physics of family photo printing and display limits?

Should we send each customer out the door with an unsolicited lecture about "archival best-practices "?

For the record...... This asinine and stupid customer built a couple of well-known companies and likely makes more money than our Grumble collective combined. ( Just a guess :))

Over the years he spent a ton of money in the photo and frame shop. Redo was a no-brainer.
 
In addition to presenting your customer with a copy of an invoice, how about a short letter explaining the possible pitfalls when choosing where to hang the artwork as well as a recommendation to bring the piece back once every year or two for a free visual inspection. It would serve as a means to create new business and potentially alert the customer to any damage that may have been done as a result of where the piece was displayed. Not to mention a transfer of possible future liability. I would think there would even be a way to schedule an annual email reminder to bring the piece in for inspection which again, would possibly develop new business.
 
Back
Top