SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Resource Provider
Founding Member
Nov 5, 1997
No fixed address, Australia.
Full time grey nomad traveling Oz!
I had a part time artist bring in pastel today that she had not signed. When I mentioned to her that she probably should sign it before I framed it she told me that it is now quite legitimate to sign art work on the back (meaning the back of the frame package). She was concerned that the signature might distract from the artwork, but in my view a discreet signature could have been easily placed in one of a hundred locations.

I told her that I was not aware of this new trend.

Is this a new trend???

I've seen art valuers on the antiques roadshow say that a particular piece of artwork that had no signature would have been worth much more if it had one.

Is this trend happening up there in the Northern Hemisphere???
that sort of thing has not happened here...

But, I have had two seperate people ask ME to sign their poster because they didnt get a chance to have "Muhammed Ali" to sign. i forget who the other poster person was... some sort of Mardi Gras Icon I think.

Yah, Right!
I frame quite a bit of original art. Have had some that the artist did not want to sign, have had artists sign on the back of a canvas or watercolor, and like "happy", have had some just ask me to sign it (which I would never do). I think there are alot of artists that think their work does not 'measure up' and are not proud enough to put their name on the front. It's a shame. Being a person who can't draw even a simple stick figure person, I envy an artist picking up a brush, pencil, etc. and putting something on paper.

But, I am not aware of any "trend" of not signing.
I am a photographer, and I sign my work on the back. I personally think it's distracting to have a beautiful black and white nude with my silver signature distracting from the image. So, on the back it goes. If the person I'm selling to really wants it on the front, then I'll sign it there.
sharonm, at least your signature is still on the art itself, even if it won't be seen once it's framed up. But signing on the back of the framed art is folly at best, for who knows what could happen to it if the piece is ever reframed or just repapered.

I do pastel myself, and I always sign my work. I'm no master of technique, but if one of my works actually makes it to the end without being ripped up, never mind being framed, then I'm proud to attach my signature. :D
Oh, goody! Another of my favorite hobby horses has come up for me to ride!
It pains me when someone says "I can't draw" If one had a child and sat her at the piano and said "Play" and the child didn't, would you say that the child can't play? No, you would say that the child needs lessons. The same is true of art.
There is so much that one can learn in a drawing or painting class. Will you be world-class? Probably not, but you will learn TECHNIQUES that will produce surprisingly decent art. And, as my mother used to say, "You won't learn any younger".
I had a customer the other day who wanted to sign the back of the package instead of the face of the art. And we have a lot of photographers that won't sign the image. They prefer to sign the mat. Then, when the piece is rematted at a later date, the signed piece of the original mat board has to be attached to the back of the new dust cover. This seems strange to me.

By the way, I framed a vintage print by Dorothea Lange (circa 1930's)last week that was signed on the mounting board, to which it was permanently attached. It's been appraised at $25K. Needless to say, that mounting board will never be trimmed off.

Our primary business is as a gallery and as far as we are concerned if it isn't signed it isn't worth a thing. It might as well be a $15 open edition souvenier poster!

I couldn't possibly sell a piece of art at any reasonable price without a signature somewhere on the piece, front, back, margin...anywhere!

Even Thomas Kinkade signs with his DNA (gasp)!!