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  • 1.  works on paper display without framing

    Posted 01-20-2016 08:16 PM


    If anyone has any suggestions, I would greatly appreciate!  I am working on solving 2 issues we are faced with:

    1.  Display options for contemporary art, specifically works on paper (to avoid framing for each exhibition):  Any suggestions for displaying "unframed" works on paper using methods that will not cut/tear/damage the paper?  

    2. Many of the exhibition walls are part of a historically preserved building where we need to be careful with the amount of holes we put into the walls.  Suggestions for display methods/systems besides the "track and cable system" for exhibiting 2-dimensional art works?

    Thank you!

  • 2.  RE: works on paper display without framing

    Posted 01-21-2016 07:37 AM

    What I have used for large, unframed works on paper are clear, wall clips that are removable from the wall.  These are the Command brand, and are about 3/4" wide and have a strong clip.  They are clear so they do not interfere with the work.  These are relatively inexpensive and easily available. One cleans the wall with alcohol, peels off the glue pad, attaches this to the predetermined spots for the clips, then attaches (presses) the clip on, the work slides under the clip.  The underside of the clip is slightly grooved to hold the work.  When the show is over one pulls the tab at the bottom of the glus pad and it comes right off!  The clips are reusable and the glue pads sold separately.  Depending onthe size of the work I use 4-8 of these.

    Marc Mannheimer
    Curator, Northern Essex Community College
    Haverhill MA

  • 3.  RE: works on paper display without framing

    Posted 01-21-2016 08:09 AM

    I am not certain this will work in your building, but I hung prints in a university gallery (holes are spackled after each installation) using rare earth magnets; you need one on the wall and one on each of the front corners of the work. In this case, works by veterans on handmade paper, the effect was very satisfying and without any damage to the works themselves.  Not a universal solution but might work for certain types of art.

    Maribeth Flynn
    Museum Education Consultant

  • 4.  RE: works on paper display without framing

    Posted 01-21-2016 08:18 AM

    Many museums use powerful earth magnets.  These are inexpensive and readily available on the internet and from discount hardware, such as Harbor Freight.

    Simply screw short drywall screws into the wall in the areas that will be behind the edges of the work on paper.  Place work over drywall screws.  Place magnets in areas over screws.  These function with even very large works of art.  No pins, holes, tape, or glue.  

    For pictures you can google and contact me.  See the links below.

    Preventive Conservation: Magnet Mounts

    Asianart remove preview
    Preventive Conservation: Magnet Mounts
    Preventive conservation can cover a wide range of activities and subjects, from maintaining the proper temperature and humidity in art storage to something as simple as wearing gloves when handling art. With this in mind, the Conservation Department has begun hanging art in a new way-with magnets!
    View this on Asianart >

    How the DAM Uses Rare-Earth Magnets with Art Installations

    Denver Art Museum remove preview
    How the DAM Uses Rare-Earth Magnets with Art Installations
    Many of us have seen small, super-strong magnets in toys like Buckyballs sets and NeoCubes. These are called rare-earth magnets as they are made using elements such as neodymium and samarium that are classified as rare earth metals. These magnets appear in all kinds of everyday items including jewelry, guitars, speakers, cordless tools and even hybrid vehicles.
    View this on Denver Art Museum >


    Harbor Freight Tools remove preview
    Amazing deals on this 10Pc Rare Earth Magnets at Harbor Freight. Quality tools & low prices.
    View this on Harbor Freight Tools >
    Robert La France
    David Owsley Museum of Art
    Muncie IN

  • 5.  RE: works on paper display without framing

    Posted 01-21-2016 11:04 AM

    We recently had an artist who displayed unframed paper works in our gallery by installing screws into our wall and then using rare earth strong magnets to "sandwich the paper between the flat screwhead and the magnet. 

    There's a good article here explaining how the Denver Art Museum has used them in textile exhibition:

    Do know that if you have an unstaffed exhibition space, this technique may have some risk management considerations, as the works can be removed simply by removing the magnets.

    Robin Schmoldt
    Program Director/Art Collection Manager
    Wisconsin Union Galleries
    Madison WI

  • 6.  RE: works on paper display without framing

    Posted 01-22-2016 10:11 AM

    Hello -

    I also work in a museum where I try not to put holes in the wall if at all possible.  For light weight items I agree that both command hooks and magnets work well.  I have even hung light weight framed work on two or three command hooks for up to four months with no problems.

    Another option with the magnets if you don't want to use a screw I have used is a washer taped to the wall first to hold the first magnet in place.  I have only used this option for exhibits that were up for around 6-8 weeks so the tape (regular masking tape) held the whole time.  Just be aware the magnets are very strong and sometimes separating them is more time consuming than making sure the works are straight on the wall.  I keep the ones we have in a storage container designed to hold beading supplies that has lots of small individual sections so one magnet can go in each and not all stick together.

    good luck

    Lenora Costa
    Longue Vue House & Gardens
    New Orleans LA