Looking Into Art

Looking Into Art

Discover the best way to hang and display art in your home. There’s a science to the arts!

As a child, I remember walking into my grandparent’s apartment and having to crane my neck to view their paintings. I endured the discomfort because even then I was fascinated by art and thrilled to discover new things in a work when I took the time to look. Of course, I was much shorter then, but it still happens today that I find myself looking up at the art work when I enter a home.

One of the beauties of art is that it is a very personal experience, so if you prefer to look up at your art rather than into it, there is no need to read further. For those of you who are recreating childhood memories without realizing it, the following is a guide on how we hang works during an office installation or for a feature show at Teichert Gallery.

Finding the right height

The main principle we use when hanging is to place the center of the works at eyelevel, for most people this means that there should be 60 inches between the floor and the center of a painting. Keep in mind that the ideal space between art work and furniture (such as a sofa) is six to eight inches; this anchors the works to the other elements in the room so that the art does not appear to be floating off to the ceiling. Also, we recommend using two picture hangers per work (unless the work is 8” x 10” or less) as this allows a backup hook to be in place if one pulls out from the wall. The added benefit of using two hangers is that it will help the work stay level.

The hanging wire is key

To determine where the hooks should be placed, measure the height of the painting and divide in half to determine the center point; if the painting is 48” tall, this would mean the center is at 24”. Now you need to consider the placement of the wire, so measure from the wire up to the top of the frame (let us assume this is 10”.). Since the center of the work to the top of the frame measures 24”, and the wire is hanging 10” below the top of the frame, there is 14” from the center point of the painting to the wire (24” – 10” = 14”.) Add the distance from the center of the painting to the hanging wire (in this case 14”) to the 60” to determine the placement of the picture hangers. So, if we place the bottom of the picture hanging hooks at 74”, the center of the painting will hang at 60”.

Measure from the bottom up

Now measure up the wall from the floor to 74” and mark the spot, since you are using two hooks, you will need to measure equal distances from your mark. With a 48” painting we would measure 12 inches on either side of the mark. Your final steps are to hammer your picture hangers into place, hang your painting, and step back to admire your work.

Andrea Smith
Executive Director
Art Sales & Rental Gallery

Originally published in the AGNS winter 2011 Journal.

To find out more about the wonderful – and surprisingly affordable – way to enhance your home by renting art, browse the Gallery.

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