Do you sign the image or mat? And why?
Do you sign the image or mat? And why?
By contemporary standards, just about anything besides signing the back of the print in pencil looks very amateurish. If you dry mount, then the back of the mat is the place to do it. But most curators are deeply annoyed by dry-mounted prints, unless the're very large and require it.
I agree with paulr. I hinge mount, mat, and sign the back of the print in pencil.
I sign and title mine outside the viewing area, but do stamp it just below the image.
This is interesting.
I was thinking about the images I own and who does what. Of those I own, Howard Bond, John Sexton, John Wimberley, Hunt Witherell, Craig Varjibedian, Alan Ross, Craig Lubens and Robert Owens all sign at lower right of the image while Jock Sturges, Keith Carter and Michael Johnson are all signed on back. All artist have either stickers or stamps on the back listing image name, image number (if applicable) and other information about the artist or printing.
As far as I can tell, all are dry mounted except Alan Ross. His is dry mounted to an identical size 2 ply board (16X20 in the case) then corner mounted on a 4 ply board with another window mat of 4 ply board over this. He keeps a nice boarder around his prints for his signature. He signs in pencil and "scruffs" the area for his signature with a pencil earaser so the printing paper will take a signature.
I kind of like the signature visable when the image is viewed, but either way looks ok.
It is interesting to know what others are doing. I have always provided the print number inthe lower left corner of the print ( example 1/25) then signed the lower right corner under the print.
I look forward to seeing what others say, might change my mind on how I am doing it.
" But most curators are deeply annoyed by dry-mounted prints, unless the're very large and require it"
I have no idea where you got this idea from. Are you talking about inkjet prints? I have over 150 dry mounted silver prints in museums all over the SW. I show my work to new collectors all the time and no one has ever mentioned this, ever in 30 years. I don't dry mount inkjets, but that is only because I use a very heavy cotton rag paper that doesn't require it. Go to the Weston Gallery in Carmel. 90% of the images are dry mounted.
On dry mounted prints I sign them in pencil, bottom right corner just below the image. On inkjets I sign them the same place but on the paper outside the image.
"Vocation to Solitude -- To deliver oneself up, to hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hills, or sea, or desert; to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light." Thomas Merton
"I have no idea where you got this idea from."
I got it from curators. But more from conservators, who actually have to face the issues. It's not likely to be a deal breaker, but in general, dry mounting is considered to be more problem than benefet. Museums and corporate collections are likely to have most of the work in flat files most of the time; a dry mounted print takes up more room. It's also not archive-friendly. Mats are generally thought of as protection for the print, which means if they get damaged, they can be easily replaced. A collection would rather, in general, mat work to its own standards and for its own purposes. Even if you used an archival, totally reversible mounting process, who is going to be around to know this and to know just what to do if the mat needs to be replaced in 20 years? A conservator would rather use the materials he or she knows than to trust the judgement and good intentions of some artist.
As far as all those old timers dry mounting their prints, this is because dry mounting was the accepted standard a long time ago. It's changed in the last couple of decades, priamarily because the major collections made their wishes known.
Bond, Sexton, Wimberly, Witherill, Varjabedian....damn, that is a seriously impressive collection of landscape photographs!
How much do you charge for admission to your living room?
Well, heck, just come on by!
It has been fun collecting over the years as I have had a chance to get to know several of them which makes the few prints I own a bit more special to me.
I have also enjoyed learning from looking at the prints, I am always amazed at how bad mine are when I look at theirs! :-)
Have a great one.
As to placement of a signature, either in pencil on the front just below the image or on the back is accepted practice. It is really a case of personal preference. For instance, Brett Weston signed his full signature with date in the lower right corner of the mat about 2 1/2 inches from the image.
In my opinion, the most professional presentation is to dry mount the print. All of my prints in museum collections are presented in this manner and I have never been requested to do otherwise. I have seen corner mounted prints in museum exhibits and, archival or not, the prints are seldom flat and are sometimes difficult to view.