Not sure how to display artwork or other treasured documents to their best advantage? We’ve collected guidelines that are easy to follow and will help you maintain the beauty and value of your framed artwork or document.

To prevent light damage, expose the art to the least amount of light possible, as direct light can cause colors to fade, change, darken or to disappear. Light damage takes away from the beauty of a piece and can lessen its monetary value significantly if the conditions are not controlled.

Steps to prevent light damage include: never aiming artificial lights directly at paper art, not only will they cause light damage, but heat damage as well. In areas with fluorescent lighting, you can purchase ultraviolet sleeves to place over the bulbs. Also, never place art in areas where it will be exposed to direct sunlight, particularly morning and afternoon sunshine. Another way to protect your artwork from light damage is to insist on the use of UV glass when having a piece framed. UV Glass will help block harmful rays from damaging your art by delaying fading and deterioration, if it is placed in direct sunlight.

Artwork is ideally kept in a climate controlled environment, where the temperature is approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and there is 50% relative humidity. Never hang art in areas of high humidity, or areas with extreme temperature fluctuations, for example, on a boat. Finally, valuable art and documents should not be placed in bathrooms, damp basements, or above regularly used fireplaces or radiators. The humidity in these areas can encourage insect attack and mold growth. The best ways to keep the environment around your artwork at a constant temperature are to use an air conditioner, fans or by running a dehumidifier on a regular basis.

In addition to protecting your artwork from light and environmental damage, have fine artwork inspected by a professional framer every five to ten years to prevent or detect any long-term damage. In addition, all artwork should be occasionally checked by the owner for mold or insect infestation, and if found, both should be treated by a professional framer or conservator.

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