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GlassGlass is one of the most important parts in the conservation framing process. Even with archival mounting and mats, the wrong glass choice could still cause harm to the piece of art. Use of the correct glass, in combination with acid free mats and proper mounting, will help the framed piece to last many lifetimes. The only type of art that should never be under glass is a painting on canvas that has been stretched around wood bars. Different Types of Glass:
- Regular - This glass has no UV (ultraviolet) protection or reflection control whatsoever. Regular glass, also known as Premium Clear, is usually not recommended, since fading of mat colors, and colors in the artwork or print will occur.
- Non-glare Regular - Has same qualities or regular glass; however the non-glare has a somewhat frosted finish on the outmost side only. This finish is used to diminish extreme glare on the glass caused by direct light above the piece.
- Conservation Clear - Glass has UV protection that is 99% effective at blocking harmful UV rays which fade the color in artwork and mat boards. This is the preferred type of glass for any framed piece, and is used most frequently.
- Conservation Non-glare -This glass has all qualities of the regular non-glare, with the added UV protection of conservation glass.
- Museum Conservation Glass - The best possible glass for any type of art, it is used most frequently on highly valued art, museum, or antique pieces. It has the qualities of both clear and non-glare conservation glass, with one small difference in that it has the appearance of no-glass. Museum glass offers protection from fading for both art and mats as well as deflecting the glare from lights on the glass. Previously, non-glare glass had one main downside- the frosted finish sometimes made the art harder to see. With the new technology of museum glass, art is made even more visible with its “no-glass” look.
- Plexiglass -Although this clear plastic scratches easily and will need to be replaced after a few years if not properly cared for, it is a lightweight and safe alternative to normal glass. It is available in both UV and regular finishes, however it is not made with non-glare or museum quality. Plexiglass is usually a good choice for high traffic areas such as hospitals or kid’s rooms, and also on extremely large or heavy pieces. Light is always a consideration when choosing glass, however, nearly all types of light, natural, fluorescent, and indoor are detrimental to artwork. Low light areas can still be extremely damaging to the piece, even if the light is not directly on the art.