Ingenuity & Know-how Trump a Hostile Environment

Conservation framing
Conservation framing

Art must be seen to be appreciated.

It is hard to imagine a worse environment for a special piece of original artwork than a restaurant, where it’s exposed to pollutants, harsh light, unstable temperatures and humidity, and even curious fingers.

And yet …

Art must be seen to be appreciated. Sometimes, that means taking the art to where the audience is.

A private collector wrestling with this dilemma contacted AST Exhibits for help. She wanted to protect her treasured piece of fine art, yet continue to display it in a popular local restaurant.

The Conditions

The painting hung in the restaurant’s atrium, which was awash in natural sunlight. While the sunlight was diffused, it shined directly onto the painting’s surface. Ultra-violet light will damage paintings over time.  (UV Light)

The painting was hung on an exterior wall of the atrium that is exposed to direct sunlight during the day. This resulted in significant temperature changes to the painting over the course of the day. (Temperature Variation)

An air-conditioning vent, located about 10 feet from the painting, blew a direct stream of cool air onto the painting’s surface. (Temperature Variation)

Finally, the painting’s close proximity to the kitchen increased the possibility of exposing it to gasses and vapors from cooking, as well as from cleaning solutions that came into contact with hot cooking surfaces. (Harmful Gases

These factors combined to create a hostile environment, which would eventually deteriorate the work of art.

The Solution

AST Exhibits’ team encased the canvas and its original frame inside a deeper frame. We then added an ultra-violet filtering acrylic to the face of the frame and a layer of formaldehyde-free MDF plywood to the back of the larger frame to enclose the canvas.

We built the frame tight, but did not completely seal it against air moving in and out of the inside of the frame

The acrylic will filter the ultra-violet light before it reaches the painting’s surface.

Temperature variations in the room were buffered by enclosing the frame.

We mounted the painting to keep it approximately 1-inch from the wall, which allows the air to flow freely behind the painting and greatly slows heat transfer from the exterior wall.

The Results

The painting now hangs safely in the restaurant, where hundreds of people can see it every day.

No, a restaurant is typically not an ideal environment for fine art, but with a little extra care we were able to exhibit this work so that it can be seen and enjoyed by hundreds every day.

You can see the painting and our protective frame by visiting the Park Plaza Garden restaurant in Winter Park, FL

AST Exhibits offers cost-effective, creative solutions to many types of display challenges.

Contact AST Exhibit’s Client Navigator to find out how we can help you find your solution.