Mounting and display

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Copyright: 2011. The Objects Group Wiki pages are a publication of the Objects Specialty Group of the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works. The Objects Group Wiki pages are published for the members of the Objects Specialty Group. Publication does not endorse or recommend any treatments, methods, or techniques described herein.



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Mounting and Display

Proper mounts are critical to the long-term safety of many objects. A mount may be needed for storage, display, transport, conservation treatment, or for other specific purposes. A well-designed mount will provide support to weak areas, distribute weight safely across a brittle or fragile object, and secure loose parts from moving unintentionally. Mounts can provide cushioning, or be transparent so that both sides of an object are visible. Modern synthetics have been developed to add protection from common problems such as ultraviolet light, static electricity, and glare. Use of archival and age-tested materials is preferable whenever possible, even if the mount is intended for short-term use. It is very common to find such mounts repurposed for long-term storage, unintentionally exposing the art to deteriorating materials and off-gassing. For this reason, conservators recommend using tested and stable materials in contact with all artwork, even in short-term situations. Metal or other reactive materials are coated and padded in areas where they will come into direct contact with the artifact.

Mountmaking is a specialized field and is often done by those with a background in metalworking or other related skills, in collaboration with conservators. Although some mounts (such as brass t-mounts) may be constructed according to a template, in most cases a good mount will require a custom fitting in the final stages. If a great deal of intervention with the object is needed, conservators may fabricate part or all of the mount themselves.

Magnet Mounts

Magnet Mounts are sometimes useful for conservation displays. The rare earth magnets with very strong attraction can provide support for lightweight objects such as paper or textiles. Such mounts require special construction for safe use around artworks, but offer flexibility in use.



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