The term refers to special methods and materials used to frame an item of significant sentimental or monetary value. Various items require different considerations, but here are the basic rules:


Mounting Artwork

  • Framing should involve no permanent changes to the item; no trimming, folding, pressure sensitive or heat-activated glues or tapes.
  • Mounting should be completely reversible at any future time, with the use of non-destructive materials and procedures. The item should be easily restorable to its original condition.


Copy of hinging2

  • The Old Masters use Japanese rice paper hinges with starch based paste


Matboard – Window mount

  • Mats and backings in direct contact with the item should be museum-grade, 100% cotton ragboard or lignin-free alpha-cellulose board.
  • “Acid-free” standard wood-pulp matboards are not museum-grade and would eventually cause damage.



Framing should provide protection from expected environmental hazards.These could by any or all of the following – temperature and humidity changes, dirt, insects, and airborne contaminants.



  • Glazing (glass or acrylic) should be an ultraviolet light-filtering type, to prevent fading. Common non-glare glazing has no more protective qualities than regular glass. UV filters are invisible coatings on the inside.
  • Glazing should not press against the framed item. Mats or spacers should be provided to hold them apart. The resulting air gap is important.

The two pictures below illustrate the damage UV rays can do to your artwork.

Both pictures were framed at the same time and hung together.


Plain glass

Plain glass


UV Conservation glass

UV Conservation glass


Old Masters Picture Framing offers Conservation as the preferred option for framing .