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Picture Framing and Art Preservation/Acrylic and Pastel on Paper H:88" W:107"

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Question
We were lucky enough to win an over-sized contemporary piece executed in acrylic and pastel on paper, valued at 2500. It was/has been hung using tacks and has a few rips top and bottom. We're looking for a more permanent way to mount/frame this piece to display.

Our local framing shop says materials this big will be hard to find. We've contacted a conservator to see if it could be applied to canvas and stretched. That seems possible, but he'd like to do some additional conservation work to it, so his estimate is 8500. (More than this piece warrants!)

Do you have advice about an affordable solution? Do you have advice about a person/organization that can execute the work?

Thanks much,

Kris
Arlington VA

Answer
Hi Kris,

I have to be honest and tell you that this sort of question makes me wonder if artists have a professional vendetta against framers. I say that tongue in cheek, but some of the things artists do make us tear our hair out. Creating works this large with fragile media is one such thing.

Your framer is correct in telling you that materials large enough will be difficult to source. As an example, most mat boards are available 32x40, a fair number are available at 40x60 and a very small handful are available larger, but not 88x107. In addition, a piece of art that large would most definitely need acrylic rather than glass, and it takes a good deal of effort to find acrylic larger than 48x96.

I'm not a conservator, so I can't comment on his or her price or the viability of what is proposed. At minimum I would ask the conservator to prepare a condition report and possibly stabilize the artwork. That may not involve full-blown conservation work, but would put it in a condition that would allow it to be framed safely.

Unfortunately, there's no "cheap" option for this, simply due to the size, labor and logistics involved. Talk to a good professional framer who can present you with some different options. You're lucky in that the greater DC area is full of great framers. You can find some of them by going to www.findapictureframer.com where you can search for a PPFA member framer by zip code or area. I know of two in the Falls Church and Vienna areas, but I don't feel comfortable posting their info here as it could seem too blatantly commercial. If you send me a private question I can give you their contact information.

Hope this was of some help.  

Picture Framing and Art Preservation

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David Lantrip, MCPF, GCF

Expertise

I can answer questions about all aspects of framing, with special emphasis on preservation framing. Categories of artwork include works of art on paper, needlework, textiles, paintings on canvas and three-dimensional objects. Components of framing includes frames, glass/glazing, mats, mounting, their features and how to select them.

Experience

I have been a professional picture framer and educator in the field since 1994, including framing education for a major franchisor encompassing three brands and the Professional Picture Framers Association, and writing and teaching for DECOR Magazine.

Organizations
Professional Picture Framers Association (PPFA) > Board member, PPFA > Member, Certification Board > Member, Chapter relations Committee National Society, Sons of the American Revolution (NSSAR)

Publications
DECOR Magazine, 2005 - 2010 PPFA For Members Only newsletter Member of the PPFA Guidelines task force, assisted in writing PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Paper and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Works of Art on Canvas, and PPFA Guidelines for Framing Textiles and Needlework. Picture Framing Magazine, 2012

Education/Credentials
Georgia State University, many classes as a student and educator through the Professional Picture Framers Association and DECOR Magazine. Current member of the PPFA guidelines task force and certification board.

Awards and Honors
Earned Certified Picture Framer (CPF) designation in 1996, Master Certified Picture Framer (MCPF) designation in 2004 and Guild Commended Framer (GCF) status in 2008.

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