5 Tips on Framing from NYC Go-To, Chelsea Frames

Artsy Collecting
Jul 23, 2013 2:39PM

After considering all angles in your purchase of an artwork, one last task awaits—selecting a frame that honors the work without stealing the show. Simplify the process with 5 tips from Jaclyn Acker, President of the New York art world’s go-to, Chelsea Frames:

1. A lot of times, people will ask me what the rule of thumb is for how much matting to add to an image. It is generally best to stagger the mat width and the frame width so that they are not identical. The mat should always be wider than the frame or smaller than the width of the frame.   This helps lead your eye into the piece.

2. Using a color mat doesn’t always “pull out” the color in a particular piece. Often times, using a brightly colored mat will draw your eye away from the piece. I generally prefer to stick to neutral colored mats so that the color in the image really pops off of the paper. You wouldn’t want to use anything that will compete with the artwork. Instead, you want to make sure you keep the focus on the artwork and let it sing.

3. When designing framing for artwork, it’s okay to keep in mind the other elements in the room where it will hang in, but be careful not to try and introduce new colors or textures unless it works with the art. Remember, the room or placement could always change, but the framing should always relate to the art no matter what room it is in.

4. Not all of the frames in the room have to match. A little variety can be very stimulating visually!

5. There are always exceptions to the rules. There is rarely ever only one way to frame a piece of art. A white mat and black frame is definitely a classic look, but there are plenty of exciting products and unique trends out there to experiment with!

Learn more about framing in Photography Framing.

Follow Artsy Collecting.

Explore Collect with Artsy and learn everything you ever wanted to know about collecting art but were too afraid to ask.

Artsy Collecting
Get the Artsy app
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play
Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019