In framing, the materials that directly contact your art are of the greatest importance. Using non-archival (acidic) or inappropriate materials to adhere or support artwork can result in unnecessary damage, requiring costly conservation treatments.
Reversibility is essential when adhesives are used to hinge artworks to their supports.
Following are a few basics about our archival process:
Materials used at Conservation Framing Services—such as museum quality rag mat boards in a variety of widths and natural tones—are designed to protect and preserve your artwork. They are not only acid free but are designed to absorb acid from the art as well as the environment. Photographic work, for example, requires a specially treated museum board, formulated specifically for its photochemical make-up.
A matted or floated artwork is backed for further protection with an acid free corrugated board or a corrugated plastic board when drastic humidity changes are a concern. It is then sealed with a frame sealing tape with a metal barrier which helps to protect your art from harmful elements and pests.
Hinging is the process of attaching works on paper to a backing board, or support, often for the purpose of "floating" the artwork. This is done as an alternative to "over-matting" in which the mat is placed over the artwork. As with the selection of matting and frames, hinging must be tailored to the artwork in question. Depending on the weight of the paper on which the artwork is made, an appropriate hinge is chosen that will support the piece without restricting its natural movement over time. All hinges are made from acid free Japanese papers. Our adhesives are also acid free and reversible.
Glazing refers to the use of either glass or plexiglass as a practical barrier between your art and the atmosphere in which it is hung. This is necessary because of moisture, smoke, acidic fumes and a host of threatening conditions artwork often faces. Typically, we recommend the use of plexiglass over glass, as it is clear and visually indistinguishable from glass, yet will not break and pose a threat to your safety or that of your artwork. Museum quality UV-filtering plexiglass and glass are available and recommended for artwork on paper and color photography to protect them over time from the color-fading UV-rays. Some of these glazings feature a non- reflective surface. Tru-Vue’s Optium Museum Plexi and Museum Glass both offer a surface that reduces 98% of the light reflection.
Our contemporary hardwood frames are stocked and assembled in our on-premises wood shop, which also enables us to design and fabricate custom moldings to suit your needs. Once a molding is chosen, an array of custom finishes is available. Whether it's a hand rubbed oil or wax finish or a colored lacquer finish, the frame is customized to suit each individual work of art.
In conjunction with the hardwood frames we also carry several lines of hand-carved and gilt finished corner frames. These frames tend to be more elaborate and come in an array of period styles and finishes from Art Deco to early Spanish and Italian designs. We have also been called upon to design and create custom period frames.
Welded steel, aluminum and brass frames are available to order. We also offer a full line of joined metal frames in many finishes, colors and styles.
At times our clients require a framing/display solution where wood is impractical. This tends to be the case with objects that need to be viewed in the round. Textiles, clothing, and other three dimensional objects can be protected yet fully viewed using plexiglass displays made to order. We are now providing plexiglass boxes fabricated withe Optium Museum Plexiglass.