Priorities for conservation framing.
1: It is important that all materials that come into contact with valuable framed items, especially paper, be acid-free to prevent the migration of damaging acidity. No glues or materials containing acid are used i.e. all mount and backing boards and hinging tapes must at a minimum be acid-free.
2: Reversibilty. All mounting and hinging must be reversible, not permanent.
3: Protection from daylight and sunlight which can cause severe fading. Sunlight is ideally to be completely avoided. Where this is not practical, UV-resistant glass is a must.
4: Where hung - not in areas such as bathrooms and steamy kitchens. If hung above a radiator, a shelf must be in between. Use a secure hanging point. 5: A gap between artwork and glass - either via a bevel-cut mount or a spacer (i.e. 'box frame'). NB the current fashion for box frames sold as the only conservation solution is, frankly, rubbish. Especially if drymounting is employed to keep the artwork flat! They can look good and also allow air to circulate therefore reducing the risk of condensation but occasionally the issue of keeping the artwork away from the glass has been undermined by the fact that to keep it so, dry mounting has been employed - this is an irreversable process, not a conservation one. A gap provided by a mount can do the job equally well, and often look better.
Conservation Framing Terms A-B-C
ULTRA-VIOLET RESISTANT GLASS: The UV spectrum in sun and flourescent light is highly damaging to printed material, and fading can rapidly occur from excess exposure. Ideally all susceptible artefacts should be kept away from all sunlight, but where this is not practical UV resistant glass is vital in offering a high degree of protection. NB UNPROTECTED, YOUR ARTWORK WILL FADE IN SUNLIGHT.
REFLECTION-CONTROL U.V. FILTRATION GLASS: A huge improvement on the old-fashioned non-reflective glass, today's Reflection Control glass is a superior, clear glass with additional UV protection properties.
PH770: A conservation-standard mounting and hinging tape, reversible but with aggressive adhesive characteristics designed specifically for framing.
CONSERVATION BARRIER BOARD: A conservation grade board that is inserted behind the artwork to prevent the migration of acid from backing boards into the artwork.
Museum-quality Mount Board: Made from rag pulp, the highest standard available for protecting very valuable works of art on paper or material. Conservation-quality mount board: offers a very high standard of protection at a lesser price. Acid-free mount board: nowadays the minimum requirement for framing items of any value and offered as standard at the Framing Department.