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Preservation Framing vs. Museum Framing vs. Archival Framing

Birth Certificate was Glue Mounted to Backing - Not Good!

Preservation Framing is the same as Museum Framing which is also the same as Archival Framing.  Another term used is Conservation Framing, but this is mostly in the museum and library circles.

Generally speaking, these descriptive terms mean that the object(s) or artwork to be framed involves using the necessary techniques and materials required to ensure long term protection and preservation.

Unfortunately, over the past 33 years I have been in the framing business, many frame jobs I was asked to inspect or repair had labels stating their dedication to museum quality treatment, fell short. 

Although it wasn't framed that long ago, you can see subtle signs of toning from acids of mat and backing on the reverse of the sketch

In one case, an expensive rare charcoal sketch used commercial low grade backing board. In such a short time, acids started affecting the back of the paper leaving a light stain.  We replaced the acidic materials with the necessary Museum quality materials to prevent further problems.

By the way, the frame shop put a sticker on the back attesting to its "museum quality framing."

The glass was regular non UV filtering with minimal protection.  And the matboard/backing board were made of milled wood pulp, both which offered little or no protection to the artwork as you see above. Notice the hint signs of staining starting to form around the back of the sketch. If the framing remained, the stain would have become darker and deeper into the paper.

As a collector of antique maps, prints, documents and coins, it has always been my focus to protect items of historical, sentimental and monetary value that people bring me to frame.  I can relate to the importance of these items and appreciate my clients are concerned with protecting them.

500 Year Old Map Framed to Protect ItOh, and the difference in costs are slight.  But, there are those in the industry that put profit over quality. Of course, that can be said about any business.  Profit is important, but be honest with your customers.

Fine arts, historical documents and manuscripts, even a photograph of a young puppy with the owner or child's art are all items worthy of fine archival treatment so they can last for years of enjoyment.