Framing art for exhibitions

Written by MAC Art Galleries

Whether it’s a photograph, painting or print, a frame can greatly enhance the overall appearance of your artwork. Art galleries also give primary importance on framing art for exhibitions.

Frames surround your art to act as a window, bringing dominance and weight to art pieces. Framing sets the stage from which your art will be experienced. Frames further direct viewers’ focus on the image within.

The Importance of Framing for an Artist

Sometimes described as “setting a diamond,” art frames provide the finishing touch to displaying practically any great piece of art. Quite simply, frames are classy and timeless, flattering the art and essentially becoming an integral part of the overall art presentation.

framing art for exhibitions

Visual interest

The versatility of frames means there’s a style for every piece of art and every personality. Sometimes even described as “wall sculpture,” frames can create visual interest and enliven the overall space in which the art is displayed.

Mounting artwork for exhibition

9 tips for framing art:

There are many factors to consider when choosing a frame that suits your individual style – and gives complementary life to your unique piece of art. Overall, your art will look more polished, professional, and sophisticated when displayed from inside a frame:

1. Decide the framing material

The various colors and materials you ultimately choose for your frame are important considerations.
The most common material is classic wood frames, such as reclaimed barn wood, rustic, oak, walnut, mahogany – and even driftwood – are sturdy, handsome choices for your prized art. A sleeker alternative to wood is metal frames which come in a variety of colors, such as black, graphite, gold, silver, and bronze. Further, metal frames are available in glossy or matte finishes.

2. Choose your frame thickness

A thin, elegant frame gives a more delicate look and is perfect for a fine art poster and a vast range of artwork as it won’t distract from the art. This type of frame can turn virtually any poster into a statement piece for a one-of-a-kind presentation.

framing art for exhibitions

3. Consider the aesthetic

Frames Help Create Feeling.
Contemporary … vintage … ornate … modern … traditional … avant-garde. What’s your preferred aesthetic?
Without question, frames can alter the mood of the art and create a feeling for your space in unique and beautiful ways. The visual benefits of framing art are numerous. When you pair the “oh la la” feeling of your favorite artist’s visions with the diverse array of available frames, stunning combinations are created.

4. Look at the surroundings

Thicker frames can dominate so be careful. It’s best to have regard not only for the art but also for the surrounding space so as not to cramp art placed within its frame surroundings. And don’t forget to consider the wall color and surrounding furniture when contemplating your framing options.

framing art for exhibitions

5. Add frame matting

Matting is a classic way to add another dimension to your framed art. Mattes can act as a “window” for displaying your fine art and can bring a powerful line of sight to your piece.
Mattes can include simple, subtle details that can make your gorgeous artwork look even more striking. And don’t forget to consider matters when framing your diplomas, awards, and certificates – they can make the symbol of your life accomplishments look quite distinguished.

6. Consider float mounting

One option is float mounting, an approach that delivers visual impact. With this approach, the art sits on top of the matting, instead of traditional matting where the art is partially overlapped and resting underneath the matte. Float mounting is an interesting option that can make your art shine.
You can choose the option of using archival, or museum-quality, mattes that will safely preserve your art while looking great.

framing art for exhibitions

7.  Support and Protect Your Artwork

From a practical standpoint, framed art is easier to hang than unframed art. Plus, framing gives the art an air of longevity. What’s more, framed art is just sturdier, so it’s less prone to falling. A frame’s protective purpose is a great safeguard for shielding your artwork. A great frame can help preserve your art so that it may last a lifetime. Aside from an expression of your taste, framing art with high-quality, acid-free materials, can protect it from temperature fluctuations and harmful UV rays.

Depending on the medium

Traditionally, watercolor paintings, charcoal work, and ink drawings reside behind glass for practical reasons. Glass can protect your treasured art from accidental water mishaps, people accidentally smudging the image or even vandalism. The more robust nature of oil and acrylic paintings means they are seldom showcased behind glass. While plain picture glass is the least expensive, non-reflective glass is a sound consideration if your art will be placed by a window or other light source that could fade your art or cause reflections.

framing art for exhibitions

8. Add a Splash of Color

Bright and vibrant colors can bring a burst of eye-catching energy to your art. Maybe there’s a specific color used in your art you want to emphasize via your frame. A great frame-and-matte combo can enhance your artwork and complement the distinct hue you want to be highlighted.

When used right, colored frames and mattes can greatly amplify the presentation of your favorite art. With so many choices in framing materials and color schemes, you can help any piece of art fit in with your home.

framing art for exhibitions

Photo courtesy of Superdeep

9. Work with a framing professional

You have, of course, complete creative control over your framing, matte, and glass choices. However, framing decisions don’t need to be made in isolation. Like choosing art itself, selecting a great frame is extremely subjective.
While you can certainly turn to an off-the-shelf frame, a custom frame created for your specific piece can breathe new life into your art. Skimping on the frame might save you some money, but will it detract from your art?

Learn from them

Framing experts can deliver invaluable advice and fresh inspiration and help you bring the right vibe to your frame. Professionals can guide you with the sometimes-intimidating process of selecting a frame material and style, matte colors, and the best combination of frame materials that’s both appropriate for your art and appears beautiful in your eyes.


When it comes to art frames, there are many items to consider. Look on the internet and visit a few galleries to get ideas about what colors and textures you like and what combinations attract your eye. Art framed to perfection can absolutely set off your special masterpiece to its best advantage and make your art more presentable. Remember to consider turning to a framing or gallery professional for further input, tips, and guidance. A picture-perfect frame that matches your unique sense of style is a great call for your treasured art.