How to care for fine art prints?

 
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What is fine art print? 

Photographic "fine art print" can be easily confused with "fine art photography". "Fine Art Photography" is any photography that expresses an artist's perceptions and emotions; unlike journalistic photography and commercial photography where the former aims to document events and the latter aims to sell products. On the other hand, photographic "fine art print" refers exclusively to photography that are printed on fine art paper. High quality fine art paper is made of 100% cotton and is acid-free. 
 

Fine art paper's worst enemies

Understanding fine art paper's worst enemies makes rules for handling fine art prints easy to remember and intuitive. Here are most prints-damaging element you should proactively avoid: 

  • Sunlight/ UV light
  • Humidity
  • Heat
  • Acid
  • Other contaminate (natural skin oil, cleaning chemicals, etc.) 

 

How to properly handle fine art prints?

  • Handle with care at all times and refrain from touching the print area with your fingers
  • Do not blow on your print as you may deposit water droplets that can mark the print, use an air blow cleaner instead
  • Wash your hands before handing prints and/or wear clean white cotton gloves to avoid natural skin oil from being transferred to the print
     

How to properly display fine art prints? 

  • Do not display print in direct sunlight to avoid fading damages from prolonged UV exposure
  • Avoid displaying or storing print near heat or water sources
  • Use a window mat when framing to avoid direct contact to the glass
  • Use only archival grade non-acidic material (tapes, glues, mat, etc.) for framing, mounting and storage
  • Ideal environment for print depends on the print medium - most fine art paper's perfect environment entails a relative humidity of 35% to 65% and temperature of 10 to 30° C (50° – 86°F)