Saturday, May 3, 2008

Hanging Artwork

So you have purchased a piece of art- Congratulations! If it is a work on paper it will need to be framed in order to preserve and protect it. If it is on canvas or panel, talk with the gallery about protecting the piece and presenting it properly. Some pieces do not require framing and are enhanced by a simple, frameless presentation. We can help you make that choice.

Choosing where your purchase will be hung is an important part of proper presentation. A couple of things need to be considered when hanging art.

The space should be the appropriate size to accommodate the artwork. That means that it should not be crowded with very little wall space around it or have window frames encroaching on it. The opposite can be true too. One of the most common mistakes is to buy lots of small pieces that can make a room feel all chopped up and lacking a focal point. People are intimidated by large paintings. They think they will be too overpowering in a room. A large piece or two will be an anchor for a room and give it a focus. It is best to vary the sizes of the items you purchase. If you are not sure about the large painting in your home, ask to take one home and try it.

Another way to fill a large space is to group several small pieces together. It is important that the pieces relate to each other. This can mean finding a common color, line or theme. One of the easiest solutions is to group several pieces by the same artist- perhaps a series, but finding the connections between different artists and styles can be exciting. They often inform each other and cause people to take a second look.


Another common mistake is to hang artwork too high. In general the focal point of the painting should be at eye level. Another rule of thumb is eyelevel should fall about 2/3 the way up a painting. If I hang pieces next to a desk I will frequently lower them a little so that the person at the desk can enjoy them while sitting.

There are of course exceptions to every rule. One time I hung the artwork for a couple who were both 5 feet tall. Their eye level and my eye level differed by almost a foot! I adjusted the height of everything accordingly. I have also seen someone’s home where large pieces were crowded by the small rooms and low ceilings. It was a charming space which reflected the owner’s taste. Remember that ultimately it needs to look good and not strain someone’s neck to view.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Hey, can we see pictures of the senarios you talk about? I think it would help us visulize the art in a space.