Notes on Framing & Presentation for Exhibitions
It is a condition of entry that all work is hung using ‘D’ rings and not eyelets.  Any work not complying will simply not be hung. The reason for taking this stance is to protect the frames of both your, and other exhibitor’s work. ‘D’ rings lie flat against the back of the picture and are very smooth making any damage to other frames much less likely; whilst eyelets stick out at a 90 degree angle to the back of the frame and when work is stacked against the wall one in front of the other there is a much greater likelihood of the work behind being damaged. For the same reason you should ensure that any screws used to fix the ‘D’ rings are commensurate in size with the size of the ‘D’ ring/frame and can be driven fully home without any sharp edges protruding. Suitable ‘D’ rings and screws will in future be available to purchase from the Art Society.

The correct presentation of your work can make the difference between a sale and having to take the work home again. We know for a fact that several sales have been lost in he past because of poor presentation.  Similarly when making prints for the browser it is well worth ensuring that they will fit a standard size frame. 

Renovating damaged frames:

We have all at some time used relatively cheap frames (and sometimes not so cheap frames) which if they have been back and forth to two or three exhibitions become a little worse for wear. The trick is to tidy them up so that they do not look ‘second hand’. If you had the frame made professionally you could always take it back to the framer to see what they can do to smarten it up. Failing that or if it was a High Street purchase there is a lot that you can do yourself. The most frequent problems are when the frame has a solid colour and small areas of colour either wear off or have been knocked off. Often these areas can be tidied up using a little acrylic paint or better still Liberon wood dyes if the colours are suitable. The latter are readily available from people like Jacksons. Dents in the wood are far more difficult to remove and unless the offending area can be rubbed down and perhaps re-polished there is probably not much else that you can do although if it is a painted frame, a little glue or wood filler works wonders. If the work suits an old frame and your frame is suitably ‘distressed’ then again it probably doesn’t matter that much. However, if the frame is modern and ‘clean’ whether it is plain wood or coloured then it must look good.

Presentation for the Browser:

Items for the browser whether originals or prints must also be well presented. Bearing in mind the size consideration relating to standard frames, if the work would normally be displayed with a mount then you should either cut a suitable mount or get one cut by a framer. If you are doing it yourself then do ensure that the cuts are bevelled at 45 degrees and stop at the corners where they should. There is nothing worse than being able to see the overrun where the cut has continued past the corner. The work should also be backed by a piece of acid free card or at least thick paper. Professionals use conservation board although any heavyweight paper is OK as long as it is acid free. The whole should then be wrapped in clear film. Do ensure that it is wrapped in one piece. For larger works if you can’t find suitable sized acetate speak to Keith who has a supply. The work should then be labelled, ideally on the front, top right corner, that way prospective customers can see the details without having to remove it from the browser.


Cards too should be properly presented. If your cards are going into a display stand along with other peoples then it is essential that they are properly packaged, i.e. The card plus an envelope all within an acetate envelope which should have the price marked clearly on it. For our Art Society Exhibitions we usually state that all cards are £2 unless labelled differently so if you are selling your cards for less or more then you must label each one accordingly.  You should also ensure that your name is clearly visible otherwise we will not know who to allocate the sale to.  Envelopes, paper & acetate, can be obtained from

Framed work for Hanging:

Having ensured that your work is presented at it’s very best then you must label the back of the painting with your name and address and the title of the work, the price and medium is also a good idea but a purchaser will certainly want to know who painted the work and may well want to contact you for more.

Check your work before delivery:

Your final inspection before delivery to the gallery should include, dusting the frame to ensure that it is quite clean, and a close inspection of the glass to ensure that it too is perfectly clean and free of all smears and fingerprints.  Whilst doing that you should also check the label on the back to ensure that it is firmly affixed and not likely to become detached.

When Mirror Plates are required:

Generally our Exhibitions require that the work has ‘D’ rings, however, there are venues where they insist on having mirror plates, usually for security reasons. Work hung on hooks can easily be lifted off the wall and unless the exhibition is constantly monitored it would be very easy for someone to simply remove a painting and walk off with it. (one of the reasons why we ensure that our Exhibitions at the Gallery are stewarded all of the time.)

In Andover places like the Museum, where we have exhibited in the past, insist on work being hung on mirror plates for this very reason as it is impossible for them to watch the area the whole of the time.

If you have to fit mirror plates it is essential that all other fittings are removed first. The plates should then be fitted either side of the frame about half way down i.e. the distance from the top to the plate should be the same as the distance from the bottom of the frame to the plate. Each plate is screwed to the back of the frame using two screws; the single hole in the plate should protrude from the side, leaving sufficient room so that when the screw is inserted to fix the work to the wall, it is possible to use a screwdriver without it actually touching and damaging the frame.

Needless to say these plates should be removed if the work is to be hung at another exhibition where ‘D’ rings are required.


If you are at all concerned about losing your work you should arrange insurance (this can be done through the Society for all Artists). Andover Art Society accepts no liability for any loss or damage however caused although we will of course take every care to minimise any risk of loss or damage. Acceptance of this is a condition of entry to all our Exhibitions.

Whilst loss of work is relatively unusual it is not unheard of; fortunately we have not yet experienced that problem.

To download a copy of these notes, click here