Picture Framing and Art Preservation/Hanging artwork


I would like to know how to hang artwork above a mantle in a room with a high ceiling.
The length of the mantle is 76 inches across.
The wall height is 7 feet 8 inches from the top of the mantle to the ceiling.
The artwork measures 35 inches by 35 inches.

Also what would you recommend for accessories on the mantle? the art is a contemporary piece depicting birch trees with fall colors.

First, I have to tell you that in design there is no absolute right or wrong answer. More on that later.

Unless you had a rather unusual situation I would imagine that you will want to center the artwork in the space. This will leave 20 1/2" inches of wall on either side. I would hang it so that there is a similar amount of space between the top of the mantle and the bottom of the art. This may initially look like a lot of space, but it will give you some room for accessories under the art.

As for accessories, that's sort of an interior design question more than framing, but I would look for some items that have the same sort of natural feel as the art. Maybe some artistic baskets or ceramic pieces and some natural twigs in a simple crystal vase. Don't be afraid to let some of the taller accessories visually overlap the art a little. This will "ground" the art on the large wall and tie it in visually with the fireplace and mantle.

Now, as I said there is no one wrong or right answer. What I advised may or may not work, depending on your space and personal preferences. To get the spacing the way you want it, get a large sheet of paper cut to the same size as the art. Tape that to the wall and use that as a guide to see what works before you go through the trouble of putting hangers up and then moving them around.  

Picture Framing and Art Preservation

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David Lantrip, MCPF, GCF


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.


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.

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

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

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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