Picture Framing Materials: Know Your Stuff (if you don’t already) — Part II


(Click here to go to this blog’s home page. If you haven’t already, for optimum understanding, read Part I before you read this Part II post.)


This original watercolor by Mother (Marion Gunderson) is now protected by museum glass* which blocks 98% of UV rays. Notice that the glare is very minimal. Before this week, the glass used here was just regular clear, which blocks only about 47% of UV rays. With regular glass previously on this painting at this particular location, the glare prohibited anyone from seeing the detail of the painting unless the viewer was very close to the painting. Even with just a single mat, I didn't want to use regular non-glare glass (which also blocks 47% of UV rays) because I wanted brilliant color and crisp detail. Even with just one mat, that brilliance and clarity would not be as likely with the filmy look of non-glare glass in combination with a mat. The reason for that is when there is any distance between artwork and the glass, even if it is just the thickness of a mat, some of the brilliance and clarity is lost. This is even more true when a double or triple mat is involved. (Click photo to enlarge.)


Maybe two or three framers in central-Iowa just figured I already knew all about conservation clear glass and therefore never felt the need to tell me about conservation clear glass. That is understandable. But, I was a little miffed recently when I, in the spirit of shopping locally, took the original of Angel in Wine and Blue to be framed at a central-Iowa frame shop. At the same time, I asked that central-Iowa frame shop owner about museum glass for another painting. The owner pointed to a box of conservation clear glass and said that, yes, the shop carried conservation clear and that it is the same thing as museum glass.

Because of Mona Majorowicz at Wild Faces Gallery educating me, I knew this was not true. I said something else to the owner about museum glass. The owner then repeated that conservation clear is the same as museum glass.

WHEHLLL! Knowing that this was not true, I said that I wanted the UV protection benefit of conservation clear, but that I also wanted the minimal glare that is possible with museum glass. (Museum glass also provides protection against 98% of UV rays.) I got a “look” from the shop owner. She then proceeded to tell me that museum glass is so expensive (which it is) and that it would not be cost-effective to purchase it for the shop because of the expense.

Ok, so why didn’t she just tell me that in the first place? Instead, she knowingly tried to pass off the conservation clear glass that she had in stock for museum grade glass.

Back to Wild Faces Gallery…Mona typically doesn’t carry museum glass due to the expense, either; but at least she was up front in telling me that instead of trying to pull one over on me.

* * * * * * * *

If anyone asks, I’m not going to mention the name of the frame shop where I was told that conservation glass is the same as museum glass. My point is not to make a bad name for anyone. Plus, I’ve almost always been pleased with the overall look of my framing done at the shop. My point is for people to become educated about framing materials, if they aren’t already.

*Museum glass is quite expensive. The 20″ x 20″ piece of glass needed for this framed painting was about $120, including labor. Except for maybe one other piece of artwork, I probably won’t use museum glass on anything else because it is so expensive. I will use conservation clear glass on nearly everything I get framed.

(Click here to go to Louise Shimon’s blog’s home page.)


3 Responses to “Picture Framing Materials: Know Your Stuff (if you don’t already) — Part II”

  1. Peg Moore Says:

    Thanks, Louise. Good info. I’m forwarding Parts I and II to J, B, J, and C.

  2. Peg Moore Says:

    Well, to be more exact, I’m sending the links. šŸ™‚

  3. PB Says:

    Useful stuff. Thanks. (By the way, your link in this page to Part I doesn’t work.)

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