Last week, a property owned by the National Trust for Historic Preservation called me up to repair a couple of framed antique prints that suffered some damage from the earthquake we had a few months back.
The items were donated to them from a prominent collector and were going to be displayed in their museum.
The original framing establishment was well known for framing important works of art. It was located in Georgetown, an affluent section of Washington, DC.
When I carefully dismantled the one framing, both their assistant curator and I noticed the use of non archival, non UV filtering glass. We also noticed they did NOT use 100% cotton rag matting which left visible faded areas.
But, more shocking: highly acidic chipboard was used as the backing!
The real IRONY was that the back of the print had a label stating that the item was framed according to museum quality standards!
The larger print was framed similarly. Additionally, a few layers of foamcore was used as backing. The foamcore showed significant signs of yellowing and aging. This is harm harmful gasses emitting from the materials. Foam core should never be used in any framing.
I cannot stress enough how important it is to use the proper materials and techniques when framing any artwork, important items, and other things worth framing.