We spent last week writing our engineering design context review, a paper that accomplishes two purposes: it helps the team thoroughly educate ourselves on museum conservation and preservation, and it creates a comprehensive document that communicates our project background and goal to our mentor (Matthew Wettergreen), our sponsor (the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston), and the outside audience (you!).
Here is a small section of our design context review concerning hardware. This is an important section for it is important to familiarize ourselves with the hardware associated with hanging two-dimensional art.
The Ozclip system consists of two types of clips, which together provide a permanent fixture for the hanging and transportation of stretched paintings: the hanging device, which features a ring for hanging and a holding device which is only used for transportation. Each device consists of a bar which is attached directly to the support of the art piece, and a holding arm, which pivots outward at a 90-degree angle to attach the piece to a travel frame for transport.
S-hooks are primarily used to hang pieces of art on sliding screens. As its name implies, an S-hook is in the shape of an S and uses the top part to attach to the screen, while the lower section is used to support the artwork. Since the hook is nonspecific, it can be used with anything that contains a secure upper ring or lip, such as a D-ring. Due to the universality of this system, S-hooks can be used easily and without construction, as they utilize preexisting hardware on the art.
The bell hanger is often used to securely attach the painting unto the wall and travel frames. The bell hangers are screwed unto the back of the picture frames on opposite sides, with the rounded ends protruding from the sides of the frame. These rounded ends are screwed unto the wall or travel frame. When not in use, one of the two screws holding the hanger unto the art frame can be removed, and the bell hanger can be rotated so that the round end no longer protrude out from the edge. The mending plate functions similarly to the bell hanger. It’s attached to the painting frame at one end, and the wall or travel frame at the other end.
Museum preparators use d-rings to hang paintings onto an exhibition wall. A painting needs two d-rings, a few screws, and a hanging wire to successfully and securely hang on a wall. The two d-rings attach to the painting’s frame, one on each side, and nails are used to secure each d-ring in place. Hanging wire is securely attached to each d-ring, and from this wire the painting hangs on the wall.