How to choose the correct frame to display your art

A great artwork needs a great home—not a specific art gallery or museum, but a frame as beautiful as the masterpiece it protects. Today, as more and more hotels and hospitality and tourism related businesses have been investing in art as a marketing strategy, how can hotels know how to properly showcase these artworks properly, accentuating their beauty and enhancing their effects to its viewers?

First, it is important to know about the primary purpose of frames to artworks. An oil or acrylic painting is to focus your attention on the work of art—to create a unified whole that stands alone, separate, and invites undisturbed contemplation. Meanwhile, artworks on paper are meant to be framed for it to provide structure for the protection and presentation of the piece as well as to enhance its appearance.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The best frames are an extension of the art they surround, not its antithesis.” True enough, hoteliers should find the perfect frames to place an artwork for it to enhance its beauty and effect on its viewers.

There are many types of frames based on the material. Of the wood-made options, there are those that made of ash, basswood, cherry, maple, oak, poplar, and walnut. Other types may be made of metals, such as steel, silver, and gold. These can be hand carved, or machine carved, finished, or gilded.

So, how can you decide which frame to use?

There are no hard rules in choosing which type to go with a certain painting. But of course, due to the long history of art, several schools of thought with regard to frame selection have been developed. Here are the things you should consider in choosing frames for your artworks.

Aim for Balance

One of the best tips in deciding which frame to choose for your art is to seek for balance—in color, style, size, etc. A painting, no matter how beautiful it is, if enclosed in a wrong frame can ruin its overall look and presentation. Refrain from using the dominant colors in the art as the dominant colors in the framing.  Instead, identify secondary colors in the art that share the prevailing value and temperature of the art as a whole. Keep in mind that the focus should be on the artwork, the frame should just accentuate it.

Consider the color value and temperature

A color’s value is where it falls on the white to the black ladder, and can sometimes be associated with tints or shades. As a general rule, when an artwork falls more toward white it’s a tint; when it falls more toward black it’s a shade; in between are tones. The key is to use the dominant value of the art as the dominant value in framing it.

At the same time, you should also consider the artwork’s temperature. You have probably heard of the terms cool-toned, or warm-toned. These two are the temperatures of an artwork. It refers to the relative preponderance of cool or warm colors.  To have a clearer picture, cool colors are the colors of spring:  blue, light green, violet.  Warm colors are the colors of autumn: red, orange, yellow, brown.  The temperature of the picture should also be a consideration, taking the dominant temperature as a factor to which frame to use.

What is its Theme?

Next, think about the artwork’s theme. What is it about? What was the artist trying to communicate to the viewer? While the work is open to interpretation depending on who looks at it, take a clue by asking and considering the people who will view it, which is your guests. Ask for their opinion and work from there.

Paintings that are abstract, edgy, or modern art most often looks best with plain geometric frames and little or no frills. Meanwhile, more traditional works displayed in a portrait or landscape orientation pair better with more traditional looking frames.

Size matters

One of the biggest considerations is the size of the room and the size of the painting. Of course, it’ is important to think about the space that your painting will be displayed in. Go for the right size, not too big and not too small for the painting and space.

Don’t let it steal the spotlight.

Most importantly, keep in mind that you should pick a frame that is less eye-catching than your art, while avoiding frames that are too similar to the painting, especially in color and value. Keep in mind that there should be a balance between contrast and similarities.

Having a moderate amount of contrast, by using a dark frame with a predominantly light painting, or vice versa is often helpful not only because it gives a baseline point of reference for the colors within your art, but because it also clearly separates your art from everything else in the room. Lastly, it is better to play safe and choose understatement rather than overstatement, in both color and contrast.

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