Archival Framing Of Works On Paper.

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Paper should be glazed with UV-filtering glass to preserve the color and prevent degradation of the materials. The most susceptible media to UV fading are watercolor, gouache, egg tempera, and photographic emulsions. Printing inks and pastels will also fade, though not as rapidly. Because of the static property of plexi, only glass should be used on pastels to prevent loss of medium. The artwork must be spaced away from the glazing, either through the use of a window mat or spacers. This prevents any condensation or moisture, which might accumulate on the inside of the glazing, from damaging the artwork or possibly adhering it to the glazing.

The artwork must be protected from the acid of the frame. This can be accomplished by using a window mat with sufficient margins beyond the perimeters of the paper or by lining the frame rabbet with a mylar/aluminum sealing film. There should be sufficient room in the rabbet to allow the paper to naturally expand and contract, preventing buckling. All matting and mounting board which comes in contact with the artwork must be either 100% cotton or an acid-free alpha-cellulose.


The artwork should be attached to the mounting board in one of several primary manners: acid-free kozo paper hinges can be attached at the top on the back of the artwork with wheat starch paste, cross hinges attach the hinged artwork to the mounting board, or mylar corners can hold the artwork to the mounting board. To prevent buckling, the upper right corner is left free to allow the artwork to expand and contract with climate changes.


A supportive acid-free backing board protects the back of the artwork. A final kraft paper dustcover attached to the back of the frame keeps insects from infesting the matting and artwork. Insect larva and by-products are highly acidic and can eat into the host paper of the art. On the kraft paper backing, materials used in the art package, i.e. UV glazing materials; 100% cotton matting and backing; etc., should be noted. The hanging system should be sufficient to bear the weight of the entire framed piece.