Hanging art is a pretty simple process, but here are a few expert tips on how to do it like a pro. With these tips, you can transform an ordinary space into your very own art gallery.
Choose the right hardware for the job. Hopefully the hanging hardware on the back of the art has already been properly installed by the artist or a framer. If you are doing it yourself, I recommend picture hanging wire over any other type of hanger, such as sawtooth hangers. I also prefer conventional picture hanger hooks (like those seen above) to regular nails. If you are purchasing wire and hooks yourself, keep in mind there are different options based on the weight of the artwork. You may need to use more than one hook if you have a particularly large work, and you’ll need two people to install it.
Hang your art at the correct height. In a museum or gallery, art is typically hung where the center of the work is 60 inches from the ground. This places the art at about eye level and makes it easy to view. However, in some instances you might need to hang the work higher, for example, if it is very large or if you have very high ceilings. Here’s how to get it exact: Using a tape measure, take the half the height of the work (let’s say that’s 10”) minus the distance from the hanger to the top of the work (let’s say, 2”). Add this difference (which is 8”) to 60”. This is the height (68”) where you should place your nail for the center of the work to be 60” from the ground. If that’s too complicated, you can simply eyeball it. Just keep in mind you want to place the center of the work at eye level. Also note, when hanging art over furniture, leave about 6-8” of space between. And leave at least 2” between works if you are hanging multiple pieces of art together in a group.
Art should never be placed in direct sunlight or where there is a lot of moisture or extreme changes in temperature. Keep in mind where your windows are when hanging art and avoid placing paintings and drawings in rooms with high humidity such as bathrooms. Paintings on canvas should be varnished to help protect them from these elements. If you can, check with the artist to see if the work has been varnished. If you know the work has not been varnished, you may be able to do this yourself. Just be sure you are using the appropriate formula for either oil or acrylic paintings and follow the instructions on the packaging. Seek out an expert’s help if you are unsure. It's best for works on paper to be framed with UV-protective glass and acid-free backing. Paintings that are not under glass should be dusted as needed with a soft, clean brush or rag. A few simple steps can extend the life of your art and help maintain its value.