Picture Hanging Workshop
Picture hanging for museums requires a high level of knowledge, expertise and teamwork. There are hundreds of hardware possibilities, and it is the technician’s role to determine the best possible method of installation. This can differ greatly depending on many factors including: the condition, weight and structure of each artwork, budget, number of technicians on site, the structural make-up of the building and whether there are existing fixtures that can be suitably re-purposed from a previous hang.
One of the greatest challenges of this process is with listed buildings, which often have very specific instruction to how works can be displayed. In the case of a listed building, it is not uncommon for bespoke fittings to be required to ensure a project is completed on time. In addition, the experienced team must always be precise to the millimetre when hanging the artwork, so complex arrangements of paintings can be a time consuming, but rewarding task.
Handling, Packing and Conservation
For this introduction to packing, new team members are shown a variety of techniques in handling and packing, with a mind to artwork conservation. As a bench-top exercise, they are taught how to safely remove a canvas from the stretcher and to carefully package an unsupported canvas on a roller, ready for shipping. During the training, the participants also learn how to re-stretch a canvas onto a stretcher, which develops their understanding of the primary make-up of this familiar type of art object. The materials used to line the crates are also explored, and the various properties of materials highlighted with great attention to the procedures of safely packing and securing each type of object.