Thursday, September 16, 2010

How to Hang a Piece of Art

At McGowan Fine Art I hang artwork all the time. I hang art in the gallery. I hang art at client's homes or offices. It is so much fun that on weekends I will change artwork around in my own home. When people watch me do it they want to know if I use a laser level and how I do it so fast. I don't use a laser because a regular level works just fine and I am fast because I do it all the time..... and I have a system down. For you, loyal readers, I am going to share the patented McGowan Fine Art can't fail hanging directions.

Hanging Art on a Wire

Things to know
§ Height: In general, art should be hung so that when a person of average height (moderately tall woman, shorter man) looks at the piece, their eye falls approximately ⅓ of the way down into the image.
§ Bump-ons: These small plastic circles keep art from moving once on the wall. Put 1 in both of the bottom corners, right up to the edge of the piece.

How to hang:
1. First, determine the appropriate height by holding the piece up to the wall. Make a small mark immediately above the frame in the approximate center of the piece.

2. Grasp a tape measure, with the end held in the opposite hand With the piece resting on the floor, glass towards your body, hold your fingers, centered, under the wire (approximately 8-12” apart – more for a large piece, less for a small piece) and pull the wire taut. Measure the horizontal distance between the two spots (for argument’s sake let’s say 10 inches), and the vertical distance down from the top of the frame (For argument’s sake we will say it is 7 inches.) If it’s easier, you can make a little mark on the piece where your fingers are, so you have something to measure.

3. Measure from the mark you made on the wall the vertical distance you found measuring the wire-( 7”). Make a mark.

4. Measure out horizontally from this new mark ½ the distance you found measuring the wire (the 10 inch measurement) – make a mark, one on either side of your center height mark. These marks will be the same distance apart as your horizontal measurement (10 inches.) Try to keep these roughly at the same height. Estimating is okay as long as you are close – if you have a tough time keeping them the same height, just measure down from the ceiling for both marks to make sure they’re the same.

5. Put your 2 hooks in the wall, making sure that the bottom of the hook (not the nail) goes at your mark.

6. Hang the piece on the wire, making sure to support the piece carefully until the wire is secure on both hooks. Use a level to double check that the piece is straight. Voila!


Scott Bulger Photography said...

Great post Sarah. I'm going to start using two hooks to hang my work. Thanks!

Asoucy said...

Hi Sarah, thank you for your post on hanging a piece of art. I have recently aquired my first piece and I am very apprehensive to hang it. I am nervous because of the wall color and the color in the painting. The colors in the painting are bright blues and greens. The wall color is a very muted blue. Different colors. Do I want the wall color to match? Do i want it only ona white wall? Somany questions. What is your advice for the best complement to the painting? thank you!!