The Art of Displaying Art: Some Custom Approaches
If you’re collecting art for your home, you should be as mindful of displaying your pieces as you are about selecting them. Nicholas H.J. Hall, international director of Old Master paintings and British Art at Christie’s, offers some advice for exhibiting art in your home in “Exhibiting Works of Art, Wall to Wall,” an article by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan in the Wall Street Journal Online. In general, you should protect your investments, be considerate of your viewers, and be aware of your home’s space. Specifically, here are some key points from the article to keep in mind:
- Avoid monotony. Instead of having similar pieces in one room, include a variety of works and “enjoy the conversation between the different pieces of art.”
- A grid of framed art on a wall is a smart way to bring interest to pieces that individually are “not great masterpieces,” but you should limit this approach to one wall.
- Showcase works of art need breathing space, usually a wall of their own.
- Be aware of the dimensions of your exhibit room before you buy large paintings, particularly those intended to be seen from a distance or at a particular height.
- Sculptures large and small should be seen from all sides. If you don’t have the space to walk around a large statue, consider adding a mirror behind the piece. A small statue on a bookshelf, on the other hand, invites viewers to pick it up and examine it closely.
- Take precautions against environmental factors that may damage your art by investing in protective glass frames, low-level lighting installations, and humidifiers.
“At the end of the day,” observes Mr. Hall, “we are all temporary custodians of pieces that will in all likelihood outlive us.”
Looking for more ways to bring interest to small paintings or other individual pieces? Custom frames can break away from traditional designs and complement the artwork. This unique frame by Kyle Buckner Designs is perfect for the auto-themed sketch it contains. The wavy design and carved lines suggest movement and hint at a racetrack. Contact Kyle and have him create a wood frame for your work in any size and finished with a stain of your choice.
Some flat pieces, just like sculptures, can be admired from front and back, too. A custom designed frame can protect your investment as well as invite viewers to “pick it up,” so to speak. A gallery catalog can make a beautiful objet d’art itself. This art deco style iron and stainless steel picture frame by Brian Hughes Artist Blacksmith allows viewers to flip and turn this framed art deco exhibition catalog. The frame is design to spin 360° and the arms that connect it to the wall support can move 180°, like the pages of a book. Do you have some vintage LP covers framed on your wall as art like Mr. Hall? Imagine being able to turn them over and admire the art or read the album notes and lyrics on the back. Contact Brian and have him create an ironwork frame that can show off your treasures from all angles.
Even if you don’t have a huge house in Southampton with a lot of wall space and a weird Frank Stella, discussing your vision for your home with both an artist and an interior designer will make your foray into the world of art more successful, if not as memorable, than Dusty Fry’s. The owners of this private home in Chicago benefited from a dialogue between their interior designer and Walter Gordinier Studios LLC. For visual artist Walter Gordinier, “working with interior designers and architects has inspired me to design for the functional and aesthetic context of each client environment.” The fused glass art wall by Walter shown here fits naturally in its space while still serving as a strong, elegant visual centerpiece for the room. If you’re in a position where you can build a room around a work of art, contact Walter and have the piece and your home exhibition space built in harmony.