Project: Two antique original drawings
When a client brought in two original drawings, Michael Murphy, worked with them to create a design beckoning the glamourous designs of the ‘20s. The selection of a small, custom one-of-a-kind gold leaf frame with a pattern and finished corners combined with floating the drawings on a silk backing and museum glass gave the two pieces an elegance from the past. For most people, this is all that they see, and it is beautiful.
The technical side to protect the artwork has to happen. It’s the part you never see, but it keeps your artwork in pristine condition.
When the client mentioned the art would be in a high humidity environment Mr.Murphy designed a watertight package. This creates some separate issues that had to be addressed.
The glazing must not touch the artwork. In order to float the museum glass over the artwork, a custom spacer was built and covered with the same fabric.
The watertight encapsulation concept was invented by the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The gallery was looking for a way to protect framed paper art from water damage should the fire sprinklers activate. Water had to be prevented from wicking up the frame and damaging the artwork. And not be seen by the viewer. The criteria for success was the frame package had to stay underwater for three hours without leaking.
The encapsulation is made using aluminized polyethylene and nylon barrier film, which resists the transmission of water vapor and other atmospheric gases and is puncture resistant. A special adhesive on the glass completes the package.
"The humidity inside the frame will stay the same as when the artwork was sealed. So, we have to frame it in a controlled environment with the ideal level of humidity for the art. This creates a stable environment for the artwork regardless of what is going on in the room.” Murphy explains.
And the best part? This tough frame still has an elegant design that perfectly complements the artwork's delicate watercolors. Talk about Beauty and the Beast!