Interiors: Buying and hanging art


McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Does buying art interest you? Are you inspired by certain pieces? How do you go about purchasing the right piece? After you purchase it, how do you frame it? At what height do you hang it?

Let’s get some answers.

First find art that you feel a connection with. Does your gut tell you this piece is just right for you? As they say, does the piece speak to you? If a piece truly captures your interest, you should assess its value before plunging. You can determine value in a few ways.

The artist’s fame is one way. If you fall in love with a piece by a little-known artist, no problem.

Find out how many editions have been made of that piece. If it has a limited edition of say, 10, it will have a greater value than a piece that has 300 editions because as in everything, the rarer something is the more coveted it is. And always get paperwork that denotes authenticity.

Next is framing, unless it is a stretched canvas. Experts agree that a frame can overpower or under-power the piece. For this you should seek the counsel of a professional. The frame should complement the piece, not upstage it. Ask the framer about recess mounting as it gives the illusion that the art is floating on the wall. This works well with some art and not well at all with others, so here again, someone trained and experienced in framing should be sought.

Next is hanging. How high should art be hung? We’ve heard that eye level is the perfect height but whose eye level? Rule of thumb is the eye level of someone 5 feet, 8 inches. Some like the art hung just a little lower than that but it is up to you — what height is best for your viewing? Be careful, though, not to hang anything too high as the viewer loses connection with the piece that way.

If a piece is very large, you should have a professional hang it but if it’s not so large, you can probably hang it yourself. All you need are ruler and a level. Note that large pieces of art do well on large walls and smaller pieces work well in hallways and on smaller walls.

Lighting is important. Be sure a light shines on the piece in a complimentary way. There are art lights that can be mounted just for the purpose of flattering the piece.

That’s it in a nutshell. Now go search for the right piece and don’t jump on the first thing you see as you will learn a good deal about what you like and what is out there if you do some browsing first.

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