All drawings, paintings on paper, prints or photographs that are not in storage should be framed to protect the work from direct sunlight, humidity, moisture, dust and heat. The frame should complement and enhance the work rather than overpowering it. Consult with a professional framer to choose the appropriate frame and assure that the art will be preserved in its original condition. Request archival acid-free material when framing artwork to prevent work from fading and deteriorating.
Frames usually contain a mat that aids in protection and presentation. Mats made of matboard provide a barrier from the airborne pollutants, moisture, acids and other damaging impurities that can impact the life of the framed piece. The two most common techniques for matting artwork are float mounting and over matting. Float mounting presents the work so the artwork “floats” on top of the mat with the edges of the paper exposed. Over matting presents the work under a mat so the edges are totally covered and the work is viewable through a cut window. This method adds depth and texture to the appearance of the framed artwork.
UV coated Plexiglas or UV coated glass is recommended for the frame to protect the work from sunlight. Plexiglas is more popular, because it is lightweight and safer to ship and handle.