The Different Benefits of Conservation Framing

by Karen LeBlanc
The Different Benefits of Conservation Framing

For centuries, art has been at the forefront of human creativity, sparking passion and fascination in our lives, and we are committed to preserving it in our homes, galleries, and museums. The method employed for supporting and protecting art while highlighting its magnificence is called conservation framing. This framing style will keep art safe and beautiful in your home or office.

What Is Conservation Framing?

Conservation framing is a style of framing that uses different materials to protect a piece of art from UV rays and acid. This protection extends art quality while preserving the piece in your uniquely curated art collection. Conservation framing uses various layers to seal the artwork in the frame, similar to a protective shell.

How Long Will the Art Last?

Depending on the materials used, the artwork has a possible shelf life of 100 years when framed using conservational framing. To assist in maintaining the artwork’s long life, positioning it away from sunlight and keeping it at a regulated temperature will further protect it from damage. Art preservation is one of the different benefits of conservation framing, and museums use this method regularly for the valuable artwork they display.

The Different Layers

The numerous layers involved in protecting the artwork define the different benefits of conservation framing. The construction of the conservation frame starts with the back. A thin mat keeps the frame back maintained, and a good frame back has properties that will protect the painting from any chemicals on the wall that may be harmful. All layers are acid-free and add a type of protection from outside elements such as dust, moisture, temperature changes, or dirt.

Back Mat

The backing is a solid material that keeps the other layers stable. The back mat is the layer that the art rests on and needs to be composed of a material that is completely resistant to moisture. The next layer uses a wheat or rice starch paste as adhesives on tissue paper to attach the painting to the back mat; these materials work best since they have no acids and are reattachable.

If you do not have wheat or rice starch paste, specific art stores across the United States sell pH-neutral adhesive glues. These pastes may cost more than starch pastes, but they will fulfill the frame’s adhesion needs.

Window Frame

The window frame offers support for the entire frame’s glass, or glaze, and should be free of any acid and will resist bleeding if using a colored frame. Using plexiglass as the glaze will make a strong shield for art, while the window frame separates the art and the glass to avoid contamination. And finally, the frame itself is applied to complete the entire piece and hold everything together.

Art enriches our lives, our surroundings, and our mindsets. It is a wonder for all to behold, whether in the home or a gallery. Preserving art is an indispensable means to make the beauty of art everlasting, and conservation framing is a superior way to do that.

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