Once you’ve selected your beautiful pieces of heirloom art, it’s important to know how to care for them to ensure they remain for future generations to enjoy.
Boutique Heirloom Products
Mat your prints
Matting portraits gives prints support from bending folding. Mats give prints a handle, so to speak, so the portraits can be viewed and moved without being touched. Touching prints without gloves can cause scuffing and leave oils on the surface of the print. Mats protect portraits from dings and bumps. Matting with museum quality mats is an archival technique, with mat board surrounding the print in 100% cotton, acid-free and lignin-free. Matted prints can be easily framed (the print itself won’t touch the glass or acrylic protective cover). (To properly frame an unmounted print with glass, spacers must be added to prevent the portrait from touching the glass. Without spacers, humidity can cause the print to stick to the glass and become damaged.)
Store matted prints in a collection box to eliminate UV exposure. Matted prints should be kept flat — either placed flat in a collection box or pressed tightly in an upright position, such in a frame or a reveal box with the proper spacers to keep the matted portraits snugly together and supported. Placing matted portraits on easels or in a position where they are not supported can lead to warping of both the mat and the portrait.
Albums are an excellent way to keep your portraits in pristine condition for hundreds of years. When not being viewed, albums should be stored flat. Do not stand them up on their side. Keep albums away from food and water; avoid looking at an album with food or water nearby that could accidentally be spilled. Do not stack heavy objects on top of an album. Keep albums out of extreme heat and humidity. Ideally, store your albums at 72 degrees or colder. Don’t store your album above a fireplace or in a kitchen or bathroom. Store albums out of direct sunlight. Do not leave young children unattended with your heirloom albums, and store your album out of reach of young children and pets. Be sure to wash and dry your hands well before handling your album. While pages are protected with a coating, try to avoid touching the prints to avoid too much oil transfer.
Frame your prints
The best way to protect portraits for the longest amount of time is by getting them framed behind glass or plexiglass. This gives the highest level of protection against UV and dust.
Portraits should not touch the glass or plexiglass window of a frame. Mats are an excellent way to keep portraits protected in a frame. To properly frame an unmounted print with glass, spacers must be added to prevent the portrait from touching the glass. Without spacers, humidity can cause the print to stick to the glass and become damaged.
Use a feather duster periodically to gently remove dust from the edges of the frame. Do not use glass cleaner on acrylic; it can leave a foggy look. Do not use paper towels to clean acrylic; paper towels can scratch acrylic. Use a microfiber or soft cotton cloth to gently wipe away dust.
Bonded canvas portraits have a special protective layer to protect the image from UV and dust, so a glass or plexiglass layer is not necessary.
Photoblocks (framed and unframed) as well as my heirloom rings also have a protective layer to protect portraits from UV and dust and do not need a glass or plexiglass layer.