The art hanging system is one of the most fundamental parts of any museum. A good hang can create intrigue, show off the artist’s style, or provide context to understand an artwork.
At this year’s Burning Man Festival in Nevada, attendees were gifted with some special new additions to their collections. One collection consisted of five pieces made by renowned graffiti artist Banksy.
Banksy has always been known for his socially-conscious artwork that often addresses political and cultural topics such as capitalism, religion, and gender roles. His work frequently features characters who are self-reflective about societal norms and how they affect others.
However, his recent works have shifted away from social commentary and focus more on depicting scenes of everyday life. Many people refer to these newer paintings as being “pop culture references.”
One such painting is called _The Creation Museum_. It depicts two dinosaurs next to each other surrounded by plants and geometric shapes. In the background, you can make out what looks like a boat and several whales jumping around.
This painting was completed back in 2004 but it received renewed attention when it was revealed that it was painted at the same time as Donald Trump had announced he would run for president!
After realizing the similarity, many people pointed out the parallel between the election and the setting of the painting.
How museum hangings have changed over time
The way art is displayed in museums has changed quite a bit since ancient times. During the Renaissance, large canvasses with rich decoration became popular. These painted works of art are still found in museums to this day!
In the 18th century, people began hanging pieces of art on wall brackets or frames. This is what we know as a framed work of art today.
Artists in the Victorian era loved to use bright colors and elaborate decorations. Many museums feature artwork using these styles very well.
The 20th century was characterized by more minimalist designs. Artists such as Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse used shapes and shades to create their pictures. Some even went so far as to use just lines as painting!
These examples show how different artists’ display methods affect the style of an artwork.
Modern museum hangings
In recent years, museums have started to use different styles of hanging as an integral part of their collection. While some may consider this practice controversial or even flashy, it is actually very important to understanding how art comes down from the ceiling and what that says about the artist and the culture they represent!
Modern day museum hangings include using wire or wooden frames with clips or rings attached, wall displays, and even floor-to-ceiling installations. Some examples of museum hanging practices include displaying large pieces next to each other to show off the breadth of an artists work, showing the development of an artist’s style, and creating special exhibition spaces.
These types of exhibitions are not only beautiful to look at, but they also give you new insights into the artist and the context in which their works exist. For example, by setting up an exhibition space like A Great Showman, you can see how Paul Gaugin incorporated theatrical elements into his paintings. Or looking at The Artist At Work!, you get a sense of just how much Michelangelo invested in his artistic process.
When thinking about ways to organize and display your own collections, take time to study these hanging techniques and see if there are any tips you can pick up.
Museum hangings that are not straight
There is an assumption in museum hanging practices that all paintings have a frame built around them. This assumption is false! Many painting do not use frames at all, or if they do, it is only for decoration purposes.
Some artists choose to display their work without a frame because they feel that this presentation is more effective way to show off their artwork. They may also want to try out new styles of displaying art.
There are many ways to present your favorite artist’s works with nothing but your own hands as a frame! These artistic presentations are very popular today and can be learned by anyone who loves art.
Museums that don’t stick up for a particular style often focus more on educating visitors about different artists and what they designed. By leaving the decorations to the individual viewer, people will connect more strongly with the artwork.
Museum hangings that are not smooth
There is one more way museums hang art to include some interesting textures. Some collections have hanging frames or trays with small bumps, creases, and folds on them. These features add texture to the painting being framed, as well as defining the shape of the frame.
This was common back in the Renaissance era when artists would use thick oil paints which could take many hours to dry. When drying, layers of paint would go onto a surface with a brush, but sometimes part of the dried layer would get stuck in the groove of the frame.
These wrinkles and folds can be an integral part of the artwork! Artists loved using these materials to create this effect.
How to properly frame a museum hanging
When framing a museum piece, what kind of frame you use and where you place it is very important. There are two main types of frames for art museums- plain matte or matting framed pictures and frameless paintings.
A plain framed picture is when there is an empty space in front of the artwork that holds the weight of the frame. A common example of this would be a canvas with no backing next to it. The artist usually covers that area with something so that it does not show through their work. This style of framing is great for more contemporary pieces as there is nothing between you and your artwork.
Framed painting is when there is a background material behind the artwork. This way, the painter doesn’t have to worry about covering up any areas of the wall or putting a frame around the whole thing. Some examples of this include a wooden board or a stretcher bar which can be used as a backdrop or as a shelf under the painting.
When deciding how to frame a new piece, make sure to do some research and test out different sizes and shapes of frames to see which one looks best. Also consider if you want to add decorations like mats or hang tags to define the setting of the artwork.
Museum hangings and decorations
As we know, museums are not only spaces to show off their collection of art and treasures, but they also use them for other purposes. Some use them as display areas, some to emphasize an element in the collection, and others to promote an artist or piece.
These additional features are called museum hangings or displays. They can be anything from framed pictures or pieces of artwork that describe or highlight an item in the collection to interactive experiences like putting your hand into an actual painting or sculpture.
There are many ways to create museum hangings and decorate exhibits. You do not have to spend lots of money nor coordinate with the department to achieve this!
Given that most museums these days offer online tours, you may already have access to some of the best materials. Many colleges and universities allow students and faculty free access to their collections which could help you find what you are looking for. Or you could visit your local library and look through there’s collection.
Alternatively, you could make your own! There are several websites where anyone can go to design and create their own gallery wall or decoration.
Decorations that go along with museum hangings
When it comes to decorating your home, there are many ways to add some depth to your interior design style. For example, you can use pictures or decorations as wall coverings, or you can use large sculptures or paintings for figure-focused designs.
Many museums have designed their own space to showcase and promote art to people of all ages. These promotional spaces often include hanging artwork and decorations to emphasize the artistic value of the displayed piece.
Certain types of decorations fit well in these promotional settings due to their material composition. Materials such as glass, ceramic, metal, leather, fabric, and marble are all perfect additions to museum display areas.
These materials are easy to maintain and show off beautiful details. Because they are strong and durable, they also play an important role in protecting the artwork from bumps and shocks.
Painting on museum hangings
While not every museum has an in-house art curator, most have someone who is actively looking to acquire new pieces. This person is usually referred to as a collection manager or curatorial specialist.
He or she handles acquiring all of the materials for the museums exhibition space including pictures, sculptures, and other artwork. In fact, some large institutions have special committees that focus only on finding and investing in specific types of art.
Artists are constantly giving away their work so it is very common to find high quality art free – yes, even at a university setting!
Many times artists will offer “work for sale” agreements where they give up part of their stock (say, one picture) in exchange for direct contact with potential buyers. These opportunities arise through social media channels like Instagram or word of mouth from colleagues and friends.
The collection managers pick which piece fits best into the spaces needed for displaying and educating visitors about the institution’s mission and area of expertise.