Matting & Framing

Custom framing is available with a wide choice of frame options. Museum quality, archival mat board is used in conjunction with conservation glass. Various mat and hinging techniques are incorporated depending on the type and condition of artwork to be framed. All the mats and the backing board are acid free, and pH neutral unless otherwise specified. Cotton mat boards are also available. Our gallery uses UV glass for all your artwork. Obviously, you want your artwork displayed in an area with enough light so it can be viewed clearly and comfortably. Too much light, however will cause damage to your artwork over time. UV glass filters out most of the damaging ultra-violet light rays from the sun and from fluorescent lighting. UV glass, also known as conservation glass, does not cost much more than regular picture framing glass. A non-glare form of UV glass and museum quality glass is also available. However, true museum quality glass will cost considerably more than ordinary picture framing glass, and will exhibit superior qualitites and features.

Mat boards are pressed board made of fibers. They generally come in various thicknesses called plies. Commonly, mat boards are sold in 2, 3, 4, 6 and 8 ply thicknesses. 3 and 4 ply are the most commonly used. 2 ply is more for photographs and very small artwork. The thicker 6 and 8 ply are used for their added strength to very large mats, or where special effects such as added depth are required.

Standard mat board is made from bleached wood pulp. It is not acid-free. Lignins, and other chemicals from the wood pulp in the mat board, will soon turn it yellow, and turn any artwork it touches acidic. Standard mat board is NOT RECOMMENDED. Buffered mat board is made from bleached wood pulp and is treated with a buffering agent, like calcium carbonate, to make it acid-free. While buffered mat board will offer acid-free protection for a while, it is NOT RECOMMENDED. Acid-free mat board is made by chemically neutralizing the acids in bleached wood pulp. It is sometimes also buffered. However, acid-free mat board is not lignin (a complex polymer in wood) free. Eventually, acids and other chemicals in the lignin will begin to discolor and damage the artwork. While providing adequate protection for a period of time, acid-free ma t board is NOT RECOMMENDED for archival museum quality matting. WE RECOMMEND and use the following types of mat board 100% Alpha Cellulose mat board is an acceptable archival museum quality mat board for use in matting your finest artwork. It is made from wood pulp, but has been emaciated and chemically purified to remove all lignins and other acidic chemicals. It is 100% acid-free and 100% lignin free. It is also buffered, to raise its pH* to 8.5-9.5, for additional protection.

Finally, the very best archival museum quality mat board that you can use for your artwork is 100% cotton rag mat board. It is not made from wood pulp, and is naturally 100% acid-free and 100% lignin free. Little purification is required because cotton is nearly 100% pure cellulose. 100% cotton rag mat board is also available in a buffered form, for additional protection in areas where light sources and airborne pollutant levels are high.