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Author Topic: Framing Matte prints -suggestions? Needs glazing but doesn't that ruin things?  (Read 836 times)

narikin

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I'm investigating framing large matte prints, for a future exhibition.
My question is what solutions have people come up with that keep that lovely reflection free look?

The locations I show at simply must have glazing of some kind - the prints can't be naked - so does anything work?
If you put the high quality AR glass or AR plexi on there, does it loose all its lovely soft matte look?

Happy to know of any answers people have come up with the keep the look - that is the point of printing Matte, after all!

thanks
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howardm

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there is also one of several varnishes like:

https://www.breathingcolor.com/glamour-2

or the aerosol PrintShield (or the Moab or Hahn version, same thing)

JeanMichel

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Go see for yourself: take a print to a framing shop that uses Grosglass or similar and see if that works for you. It really is the only way for you to see if that works.
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Paul Roark

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I use museum, coated anti-reflection glass on some of my pieces, and while it's better than standard plexi or glass, it's not "invisible."  Doing black and white, the AR glass also has the problem that the reflections have a color cast to them, whether it's subtle enough to not be seen with color photos is something you'd have to check out yourself.  Like everything, it's a compromise.

Paul
www.PaulRoark.com
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narikin

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Thanks Paul, I was hoping for someone who'd gone through the same process to give some insights.
It seems there is no answer that really maintains the flat matte look, then.

I'm aware of the color casts involved with AR glass, mainly from an angled view, but its still pretty amazing. Think lens Multicoating.
I saw a show a few years back of a (very respected) artists work, and they'd gathered all the pieces from a famous series together, all framed with AR glass, but of different types/generations, like Denglass, TruVue, GrossGlass, Schott etc.  Every single type had a different hue: Purple to Green. It was very distracting when trying to view the work.

Varnish/ Print lacquer. Can't really do that option either. The museums I sell to insist pieces are glazed, plexi or glass, but must be protected from the public, and their fingers, fizzy sodas and sneezes!


 
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PeterAit

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I am puzzled as to why the museum requires this sort of protection - unless it is a children's museum. The Mona Lisa at the Louvre is not protected. Monet's water lilies is not protected. And the fact is, photos can always be replaced.
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Peter
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." - Leonardo da Vinci

narikin

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I am puzzled as to why the museum requires this sort of protection - unless it is a children's museum. The Mona Lisa at the Louvre is not protected. Monet's water lilies is not protected. And the fact is, photos can always be replaced.

Well, the Mona Lisa is behind thick Bullet Proof glass in a climate controlled box.

I just can tell you from experience that serious museums want their photographs to be protected (from the atmosphere and the public!)

You can make your own exhibition of unglazed naked prints, but they will insist on any purchase being glazed/protected. 
Glazing is accepted of course, and lamination might cut it, as would Diasec, but both of those destroy any 'Matte' look your prints would have.
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Dan Berg

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Yes I know the op is looking for a glazing option.
Changing to canvas solves all the glazing options. Well almost all as canvas is not accepted everywhere.
Soft matte finish so easy to obtain.

Canvas on framed gator and canvas on dibond.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2019, 02:39:23 PM by Dan Berg »
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patjoja

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I'm investigating framing large matte prints, for a future exhibition.
My question is what solutions have people come up with that keep that lovely reflection free look?

The locations I show at simply must have glazing of some kind - the prints can't be naked - so does anything work?
If you put the high quality AR glass or AR plexi on there, does it loose all its lovely soft matte look?

Happy to know of any answers people have come up with the keep the look - that is the point of printing Matte, after all!

thanks

I love the look and feel of prints without anything on top of them, but they have to be protected.  It's just too easy to damage them. 

The best thing I've found for glazing matte prints is Tru Vue Museum Glass.  I know it's not a perfect solution, but it's one of the best out there for protecting both the matte print paper and mat board. 

Patrick 
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kers

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I am puzzled as to why the museum requires this sort of protection - unless it is a children's museum. The Mona Lisa at the Louvre is not protected. Monet's water lilies is not protected. And the fact is, photos can always be replaced.

I agree, but of coarse they are usually protected by some varnish that can be washed away...replaced.
Deep black on matte paper is beautiful but very fragile, every touch is deadly.
Behind glass however you loose that special feeling.
I know some costumer that wanted it unprotected for that reason, but after some years it had to be replaced by a protected version... yes it is always a compromise.
The protective pray that Hahnemuhle sells makes the photo a bit less vulnerable, but i cannot see me do large formats with it., and if not done properly you see some traces of the spray.
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deanwork

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The primary reason you need glazing is that matte and semi matte inkjet prints have a receptor coating that attracts contaminants like a freaking magnet. Iíve seen high quality prints turn yellow during an exhibition when they were put on the wall with magnets or push pins without any thing in front of them. And they were sprayed on the front with Hahnemuhle uv varnish! I know that even contaminants from wood can discolor prints and a million other things like air conditioning ozone, gas heating, floor detergent fumes, etc. No one has yet published any data to go by in this area, especially the paper manufacturers.

In other locations prints can go for years naked with no change at all push pined to the studio wall. Itís all a crap shoot and so little is really known about these various environmental factors.

I tell my clients that framing behind plexi or glass is mandatory for exhibition purposes unless you are using rc paper which is apparently more forgiving, but I donít recommend showing them unprotected either.

Iíve tried spraying my matte rag prints with the Breathing Color varnishes with my Fuji sprayer and they all look like plastic and the max blacks are dead. Same thing with a satin laminate, flat tonal range. The Breathing Color varnish on canvas is very nice and durable, but it isnít rag paper.

The best glass Iíve used that is nearly invisible is the Water White framing glass. Itís essentially museum glass without the uv filter. It costs about half of Museum glass. But for big prints itís heavy and not at all cheap.

I end up using regular plexi and adjusting the gallery lights the best I can. Some galleries can focus the light really well and others not so well.





I agree, but of coarse they are usually protected by some varnish that can be washed away...replaced.
Deep black on matte paper is beautiful but very fragile, every touch is deadly.
Behind glass however you loose that special feeling.
I know some costumer that wanted it unprotected for that reason, but after some years it had to be replaced by a protected version... yes it is always a compromise.
The protective pray that Hahnemuhle sells makes the photo a bit less vulnerable, but i cannot see me do large formats with it., and if not done properly you see some traces of the spray.
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narikin

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Thanks Dean.  Helpful advice. Agree with all of it.

I printed up an archive of older works for deep storage, (on Platine mostly - all cotton,  pretty stable) but I kept the prints uncut on the rolls and stored the entire roll in long vacuum sealed bags - the kind used for food storage, you can buy them in rolls, and cut something 10x50" or whatever. The vacuum sealer takes a good % of the air out of the storage bag, and removes most of that potential oxidant.

Of course no idea if this will work, as its going to be years before I find out. But I can't think of any better way to do it.

As for framing - agree with you. Must be glazed. I'll try out the Water White glass, to save $. I suspect most framing glass removes a good % of UV anyways, and am not a fan of the upselling that goes on with >90% UV cut coating, etc.

« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 05:52:05 PM by narikin »
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MHMG

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I am puzzled as to why the museum requires this sort of protection - unless it is a children's museum. The Mona Lisa at the Louvre is not protected. Monet's water lilies is not protected. And the fact is, photos can always be replaced.

I was truly surprised when you said the Mona Lisa at the Louvre is not protected. So, I googled it. According to Wikipedia, it's behind bullet proof glass (and also micro climate controlled) which is what I would expect. Similar to the US charters of freedom (declaration of Independence, Bill of rights, etc) the public only sees them behind a physical barrier serving as a first line of defense against vandalism.

But I digress, the fact of the matter is that the relatively thick varnishes used on paintings are sacrificial as well as decorative in nature. They can be carefully stripped and then replaced when they get dirty and discolor with age. Part of this degree of restoration/conservation freedom comes from the thickness of the varnish applied, and part comes from the thickness of the paint coatings underneath. If the painting conservator gets too aggressive on the cleaning step and start's to slightly damage the paint pigment structure, there's still plenty of pigment binder left and the surface abrasion which occurred during the varnish stripping process will get covered over by the new varnish. Not so with inkjet prints. The super finely dispersed image bearing pigments in an inkjet print reside mainly at the surface (less than a micron deep) of the polymeric image bearing binder, and thus are so delicate that to attempt much cleaning on an inkjet image is going to be fraught with peril. The conservator could easily wipe the image away. Thus, IMO, there will be very little future restoration opportunity with inkjet prints other than to copy and color correct a digital facsimile. Digital restorations are fine when the information content of the image is the primary value, not so good when the aesthetic and cultural value of the physically signed vintage print accounts for a large percentage of the object's value.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 06:27:43 PM by MHMG »
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deanwork

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We had Vermeerís Girl With a Pearl Earing here in Atlanta a few years ago borrowed from the Flick Collection.

The tiny little painting was trapped behind a hugely thick block of uv plexi, like housed in a protective box.
Cezanneís little water colors I saw at the Philadelphia Museum were only shown for a few hours a day and they had little black curtains in front of them most of the time.

Also museum light intensity is so low, 100 lux or so if I remember correctly, about a quarter the intensity of an average art gallery. Sometimes itís so low that you can barely see the details of darker prints.l

In the future it will be interesting to see how modern acrylic paintings hold up compared to oil paintings that have often cracked badly with changes in humidity and temperature.






I was truly surprised when you said the Mona Lisa at the Louvre is not protected. So, I googled it. According to Wikipedia, it's behind bullet proof glass (and also micro climate controlled) which is what I would expect. Similar to the US charters of freedom (declaration of Independence, Bill of rights, etc) the public only sees them behind a physical barrier serving as a first line of defense against vandalism.

But I digress, the fact of the matter is that the relatively thick varnishes used on paintings are sacrificial as well as decorative in nature. They can be carefully stripped and then replaced when they get dirty and discolor with age. Part of this degree of restoration/conservation freedom comes from the thickness of the varnish applied, and part comes from the thickness of the paint coatings underneath. If the painting conservator gets too aggressive on the cleaning step and start's to slightly damage the paint pigment structure, there's still plenty of pigment binder left and the surface abrasion which occurred during the varnish stripping process will get covered over by the new varnish. Not so with inkjet prints. The super finely dispersed image bearing pigments in an inkjet print reside mainly at the surface (less than a micron deep) of the polymeric image bearing binder, and thus are so delicate that to attempt much cleaning on an inkjet image is going to be fraught with peril. The conservator could easily wipe the image away. Thus, IMO, there will be very little future restoration opportunity with inkjet prints other than to copy and color correct a digital facsimile. Digital restorations are fine when the information content of the image is the primary value, not so good when the aesthetic and cultural value of the physically signed vintage print accounts for a large percentage of the object's value.

cheers,
Mark
http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com
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Ferp

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I was truly surprised when you said the Mona Lisa at the Louvre is not protected. So, I googled it. According to Wikipedia, it's behind bullet proof glass (and also micro climate controlled) which is what I would expect. Similar to the US charters of freedom (declaration of Independence, Bill of rights, etc) the public only sees them behind a physical barrier serving as a first line of defense against vandalism.

But I digress, ....

If I can digress for a moment as well, it wasn't always this way.  The first time I saw La Joconde many decades ago, she was hung without protection, but security were positioned to apprehend anyone who even started to lift a camera in her direction, esp one with a flash.  Fast forward to the last time I saw her, it was as described.  It was impossible to get a good at her, what with the crowds and the protection and the distance you were held at.  Security seemed unconcerned about all the flashes going off.  Given the change, I wondered whether in fact it was an original behind all that glass, or whether a duplicate.  There would be no way for even an expert to tell.  There was almost no point in looking, except as an act of worship, as the view was so poor - a good art book would be better.

I mention this, because of a recent post and comments on Michael Johnson's The Online Photographer Blog entitled Museum Tricks, including a typically insightful comment by MHMG.  The idea of display copies of photographs was discussed.  My take-away from this was if you want a really good look at an image, be prepared to reprint it from time to time.
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faberryman

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If I can digress for a moment as well, it wasn't always this way.  The first time I saw La Joconde many decades ago, she was hung without protection, but security were positioned to apprehend anyone who even started to lift a camera in her direction, esp one with a flash.  Fast forward to the last time I saw her, it was as described.  It was impossible to get a good at her, what with the crowds and the protection and the distance you were held at.  Security seemed unconcerned about all the flashes going off.  Given the change, I wondered whether in fact it was an original behind all that glass, or whether a duplicate.  There would be no way for even an expert to tell.  There was almost no point in looking, except as an act of worship, as the view was so poor - a good art book would be better.

I mention this, because of a recent post and comments on Michael Johnson's The Online Photographer Blog entitled Museum Tricks, including a typically insightful comment by MHMG.  The idea of display copies of photographs was discussed.  My take-away from this was if you want a really good look at an image, be prepared to reprint it from time to time.
I believe there was a show of historic prints in a museum last year where the images displayed were all digital copies. What's the point of going to a museum if you are not going to see the real thing? You can look at copies in a book or on the web.

Ferp

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I believe there was a show of historic prints in a museum last year where the images displayed were all digital copies. What's the point of going to a museum if you are not going to see the real thing? You can look at copies in a book or on the web.

The choice often is between getting a poor look at the original or a good look at a very high quality duplicate.  Which would you prefer?  That's really the only choice you're often going to have for irreplaceable historic works, as was pointed out in that Online Photographer link I gave. 

For example, a number of famous caves with prehistoric paintings have been closed to the public for good reason and replicas created, e.g. Lascaux and Chauvet in France.  Would you bother to visit the replicas?  It's a tough choice and opinion will vary.

At least with contemporary photography there is the option of exhibition copies, if the photographer is agreeable.  For our own work, we can reprint.
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