Picture Framing and Art Preservation/what glass and matt board best


Martin Luther Bible page
Martin Luther Bible pa  
I have a page from a Martin Luther Bible 1576 and need information on best matt and type of glass for framing.

Hi Mark,

Wow, this is certainly a wonderful and beautiful historic document. Luther's translation of the Bible into German had a tremendous influence on the development of the German language and with it he literally changed the course of history. This is something you want to take every measure possible to protect.

First, I would not use glass on it, but acrylic. We often forget that glass can break, and when it does shards and tiny slivers can do serious damage to the artwork. Acrylic is about twenty times more shatter resistant than glass, and even if something were to hit it hard enough to break it, it would just crack and not shatter. It is also vital that you select an acrylic product which filters out at least 97% of UV light. This will help mitigate fading and other damage. Please keep in mind that this does not mean you can hang this in direct sunlight, since a small amount of harmful UV will still get through, and visible light can also cause damage over time. Display this in an area with as little light as practical.

Also consider getting acrylic with optical coatings to reduce reflections. Similar to coatings that are put on eye glass or camera lenses, these coatings reduce reflections to the point that it is often difficult to tell that it's there. Ask for TruVue Optium Museum acrylic. For something like this with so much fine detail that people will want to enjoy close up it is a perfect choice.

As for the matting, I wouldn't use anything but 100% cotton mats for this. Cotton is lignin free, pH neutral and chemically stable. Two well-known brands to ask for to make sure you are getting the right mat would be either Crescent Museum Solids or Bainbridge Alpha Rag.

Just for a little additional information, I would not use foam boards in the framing for this. Although there are some "acid free" varieties that applies only to the facing papers. There is still some concern among conservators about the long-term stability of the foam center. It might be a tiny risk but for something like this there is no reason to take any risk. I recommend mounting the page on the same matboard you would use for the mat and backing it with Coroplast. Finally, you are in Arizona where humidity is not a worry, but you never know where this might end up in the future. For the dust cover on the back I recommend Tyvek, the same material used to wrap houses. It will greatly reduce the transfer of moisture in a humid environment.

Thanks for sharing this with me and feel free to get back with any other questions.  

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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