View Full Version : Displaying unframed prints

Ed Richards
8-Sep-2011, 05:52
We have a small local gallery and frame shop. When they do shows, they do the traditional show of framed prints. As far as I can tell, however, their income is mostly from framing. I would like to persuade them to display photographs matted in clearbags, but unframed. That would let me display photos a much lower cost, and would automatically generate framing business. I am looking for ways to hang or otherwise attach matted prints in bags to walls. One way I know about is to put an L shaped molding up to support them. Are there others? Any commercially available hardware I can show them?

Raymond Bleesz
8-Sep-2011, 07:22
Although I have not seen the following up close but from the distance, I took note of a system a photog took to displaying his unframed images which were being shown on a temporary basis, that being the following:

On a rail of sorts, horizontal to the floor/ceiling, (how the rail was supported, I do not know) at approx eye level, images were hung by 2 black spring like paper clips (Office Depot types) at the top corners of the image. I thought it looked effective.

Raymond, in the Vail Valley

8-Sep-2011, 07:46
Ed the british master printer Robin Bell, whose wife owns a gallery, had an exhibition with unframed prints. Here's a link to a video and Bell's Homepage that shows part of the exhibition.

I quiet liked the way he presented the images, but some costumers prefer to view framed prints.


Jim Noel
8-Sep-2011, 07:57
I think displaying prints in bags says,"I don't have any pride in these images and don't think they are worthy of a frame."
I have seen prints displayed in frames w/o glass and they were beautiful because there was no glass to detract from the image. I have also seen nice image mounted but unframed using a method which clamped top and bottom of the mat. But in bags? I don't think I would even bother to pause for a look.

Ed Richards
8-Sep-2011, 11:23

What do you mean by clamped top and bottom of the mat? Is that the system where you sandwich the matted print between sheets of plexi with clips on the corners?

When I say bags, I mean form fitted ultra clear mylar on a matted print with a heavy backer board. To my eyes these look more professional than prints in the cheap frames I see used because the photographer could not afford to spend a lot of money on framing. I am not advocating this for fine art shows - although one of the most popular events at PhotoNola is the yearly pushpin show. Everyone gets some wall space in a gallery with walls that can be pinned to and you just pin up prints. I only quit participating when the size of the allotted space was reduced to less than the size of one of my standard prints.

I am looking for a way for a gallery who makes its money selling framing to display unframed prints in a more attractive way than in a bin.

8-Sep-2011, 17:38

You can use this type of system. Would allow the shop an easy way to move things around and display the prints.

Daniel Stone
8-Sep-2011, 23:04
I don't understand why some people can't see that a good print doesn't have to be framed in order to be shown... A few years ago, I took part in a small show at my community college, where I was attending at the time. There were 5 students, myself included, who showed work in the photography section of the art exhibit in the library. I entered 4 prints, all b/w enlargements(from 35mm negatives too, mind you), all around 8x12". Not very big. I mounted/matted them(on cheap matboard, cause its what I could afford at the time, and didn't know any better), and showed them in cheap, 12x16" glassless frames that I bought for $5 each at Michael's(arts and crafts store). I received a great number of comments(all positive save one) in the comments box, and even a number of requests for print sales of those shown photographs. I thought they were joking, and never followed up with it.

FYI, you don't have to spend a lot of money to make great photographs, or to show them. Framing, yes, it'd be recommended, but I'd choose some cheap frames, or just show the matted prints bare. It will let people see what they'll be getting(if they don't get it framed by the gallery/store showing), and why its a wise investment to get it framed(to protect their purchase ;) ).

But YOU as the artist shouldn't have to spend a lot of money to get expensive frames made just for show... The gallery/store should at least give the frames to you for cost(or free if sales are generated from your show)