The Art of Framing and Placing Art



People buy art for a variety of reasons. Whether for its captivating beauty, its power to viscerally engage us, or to heighten our intellectual awareness through its symbolic language. Whatever the reason, art can provide us with years of enjoyment, especially if care is taken in the proper framing and displaying of the work.

Poor quality mounting and framing damages more works of art on paper than any other agent. A professional framer can provide you with options for using acid free materials and glass that offers UV protection. If you are purchasing unframed art on paper try to handle it as little as possible, since oils and pressure from hands can stain or smudge the work.

The type of medium used to create the art often dictates the type of framing that is appropriate. For instance, historically the mounting of photography to a cardboard substrate was the only way to display it. This is still often preferable since the image will not be subject to the glare of a glass cover. Today there are options to use non-glare glass or Plexiglas, which offers additional protection while minimizing reflections.

Many contemporary works on canvas are displayed without a frame which often can be what the artist intended. But nothing finishes a piece of art like a well-chosen frame. Modern art looks best in minimal frames of wood or metal, one of our favorite styles is the ‘floating frame’ which allows the entire canvas to be viewed without cutting off the edges of the painting and creates a lovely reveal between the painting and the frame. Traditional and Old World styles of art look best in larger decorative frames. The carved motifs on a frame will often evoke a particular style that will be compatible with the art.


Framing your art is the first step for displaying your art. A general rule is to hang your artwork so that the center of the piece is 60” off the floor. But rules are meant to be broken. Placing art in unexpected places can heighten ones experience of the work, such as hanging a small piece at ‘eye level’ when seated in your favorite chair. Or just above the highboy that you stand in front of every morning to get your clothes.

Our work in the interior design profession leads us to look beyond the obvious solutions to place art where it will be seen to its full potential. When we consult with our clients on art placement, we consider the best possible grouping of pieces and how the arrangement complements other design elements in the room. We are connected with a network of experienced framers and installers who can provide a high level of safety for valuable and fragile works, including securing sculpture and decorative items to pedestal bases.

At AXOM Gallery, we welcome collaborations with designers, architects, art consultants, collectors, framers and art enthusiasts.