Picture Framing and Art Preservation/framing an art work

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Question
I am an artist,a particular work of mine is executed on a 200-250gsm.sq thickness paper,not acid free.colloquially called k.g.cardboard,in India.The work is executed with writing inks and drawing inks,acrylic and poster colors.The work is 28 x 23 inches in size.I intend to get an airtight seal,with the intention of increasing its archival value...but have heard it can do more harm than good?kindly suggest how  can i protect this work and increase its life span?

Answer
Hi Bharath, and thanks for getting in touch.

First, the material you are using is naturally self-destructive. Being cardboard it become brittle and start to deteriorate no matter how it is framed. So as you asked in your question about increasing its life span, the best way to look at it is from the standpoint of slowing down its destruction.

It is very difficult to create a completely airtight seal in a frame, but anything you can do to slow down the exchange of air will help. It will decrease the amount of oxygen available and therefore slow down the rate of oxidation.

There are only two cases I know of in which a highly sealed frame can cause harm:

1. Certain pigments such as Prussian Blue can discolor in a low-oxygen environment.

2. All materials in the sealed package need to be conditioned in a 21 degree C (70 degree F) environment at 50% relative humidity before being placed in the frame. Otherwise the internal frame environment may be too humid or too dry.

Realistically the best thing to do is to use good standard framing practices, including conservation quality mats and backings and UV protective glass. Doing this along with sealing the frame package will provide a stable environment for your artwork that should help it last as long as possible.  

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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