Hanging Framed Works
Hanging art is a delicate balance between you, the strength of your wall, and the valuable object that you are about to place several feet above the ground. Luckily, there are several things we all instinctively do when we hang works on the wall which are correct. These range from measuring the distance from the ground we want the work to hang on (universally around 5 feet, 2 inches as that is median eye level) to making sure our nails and/or brackets are horizontally even so the work doesn’t seem tilted to strategically placing the nails and/or screws on a stud. All of these are proper hanging techniques, but here a few more tips we use at the gallery.
The first set of tips revolves around the bolts/screws/nails/hooks themselves, with the most important being to always use two bolts/screws/nails/hooks for any work you hang, no matter the size. When more than ten pounds of weight is involved, a molly bolt is recommended. A molly bolt usually consists of a pointed end, which is used to help insert the bolt, the bolt or screw itself, and the anchor.
The anchor is a sleeve that fits around the bolt and is threaded, so it expands as the bolt is tightened. It provides extra support for the weight of the work. Nails are fine to use, but screws and/or bolts should ideally be used as they are drilled into the wall, which provides for far less wiggle room that nails.
After the correct supplies are chosen, which depends on your preference and weight of the work, the process begins. This is where the importance of measurements cannot be stressed enough. No one likes the feeling of screwing in a bolt and realizing, when the work falls or won’t fit in the desired spot, that the distance they measured on the wall was wrong. Therefore, to avoid the frustration, always measure the hangers on the back of your work and then transfer the measurements to your wall, leaving a mark with a pencil or tape.
Tape, especially masking tape, is handy for hanging artwork if you want to tape around the nail/bolt/screw and hanger to provide extra assurance and support. As the work often gets mismanaged in the hanging process, do make sure to always support the bottom when hanging so that the work does not drop. The last bit of advice would be to rotate works on display so that they do not get damaged by elements such as light. When everything is done right, there will be no accidents or crashes, and you and the artwork can rest easily knowing everything is secure.
Sculptures can be displayed in a variety of manners in a myriad of different locations within a space. The most obvious factor when displaying a sculpture is safety – the sculpture should not be placed somewhere where it can be easily knocked down or damaged. Ideally, you should display your sculpture in a dust-tight case to avoid particles settling on its textured surface, as these particles can be difficult to clean and can also lead to surface scratching. However, many collectors prefer to view their sculptures without the inhibition of a clear case and choose to display them openly.
Any secure, flat surface can be used to display a sculpture; whether it is a table, a mantle, or a pedestal, the location is up to you. Some sculptures require additional, custom made bases to allow for stability and proper display. The materials of these bases vary from plastic to marble to wood. Depending on factors such as size, material, and value, you will have to make the best aesthetic decision as to whether or not your sculpture requires a base and, if so, what material its base should be made of.
Regarding ceramics, particularly vases, pitchers, or works with openings, tiny round lead beads can be placed inside of these works to weigh them down and offer additional stability in the event of an earthquake.
As with works on paper, be sure to place sculptures away from direct sunlight in a stable environment where the weather and humidity are not extreme.
Most collectors of fine art textiles choose to display their works hanging on the wall rather than resting on the floor in the form of a rug. While there is nothing wrong with placing a tapestry on the floor, it will require an extra amount of care and consideration to keep it in pristine condition.
Regarding the hanging of a tapestry, there are a few ways to approach the situation. Most tapestries have casings of heavy cotton, linen, or a similarly strong material across the top of the back. A rod can be inserted through this casing to assist with hanging. Once the rod is inserted, it can be secured and stabilized using hooks or brackets. Hooks and brackets come in a variety of materials such as brass, wood, and wrought iron- the choice of material is up to you. It is worthwhile to note that many of these hooks hold the tapestry far from the wall and, while some prefer this look, the tapestry will usually look better the closer that it is placed to the wall. Please note, metal or wooden rods should be painted or varnished to prevent rusting or acid deterioration of the fabric.
Tapestries can also be framed by skillful framers who know how to safely and successfully mount a tapestry using acid-free materials. Adhesives should never be used when mounting fine art textiles. Stretchers and foam core are two common methods that framers use to mount tapestries, both of which should not harm the artwork. This method ensures that the tapestry hangs evenly and close to the wall. We recommend a thin or lightweight frame, as textiles tend to be heavy.
Finally, as with any work of fine art, do not place your textile directly in the sun. Textiles, in particular, are very prone to fading and damage from light. Also, try to avoid exposure to harsh chemicals (such as cleaning supplies) that may come in contact with the textile and cause damage.