Did I get ripped off on this poster framing?
October 29, 2007 12:28 AM   Subscribe

Help me to set my expectations as to the quality of professional framing I received on a vintage poster.

I've started to purchase Art (with a capital "A") and my most recent acquisition is a moderately sized vintage poster that measures about 2' x 3'. I brought it to a professional framer to be taken care of. It was expensive.

A few days after the piece gets delivered I note that the poster is not resting flat inside the frame. At certain times of day, when the light hits it from the side, I can actually see slight waves or ripples running across the height of the poster. There was nothing defective about the piece - it was perfectly flat when I bought it.

So before I potentially make an ass of myself by calling the framer and demanding that the poster be reframed I need to know if this is something that happens to all posters or if it should, in fact, be lying perfectly flat inside the frame.
posted by quadog to Grab Bag (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I think you should take it back: I have a large-ish (4' x 5') vintage poster that was professionally framed several years ago and it has never shown ripples, then or now.

Was your poster fixed to a linen backing? Mine was before I bought it which apparently made the framer's job easier. It's possible your framer didn't want to dry mount your poster (which would be a bad thing for a vintage piece) but didn't linen mount either, thus the ripples.
posted by jamaro at 12:58 AM on October 29, 2007

Your poster wasn't framed correctly, and you should demand that it be done again properly. Works on paper are usually hinged at the top, that is, assuming there is a mat cut for it, the poster would be taped with special linen tape at it's top edge to the back of the mat, and then allowed to hang free so there's no way it would buckle like that. Ask that the job be done by someone at the shop who really knows what they're doing.

And the word "gypped" is short for gypsy, and therefore considered a racial slur, so you might want to switch to another word.
posted by tula at 1:12 AM on October 29, 2007

My husband collects vintage posters. A lot of valuable posters are mounted on linen or canvas, but those that aren't are susceptible to the wavy appearance you're describing, even if everything is done properly. Normally, the ripples are horizontal or diagonal. We have a couple where ripples are visible, but didn't want to pay to have the backing done so we live with it. I suggest you call the framer and say you want to come in with the poster to see if any correction can be made. It wouldn't be seen as an accusation -- you have an expensive poster in an expensive frame, and you'd like it to look as good as possible. Since your piece isn't huge, it's might be easier to deal with than others I'm used to.

As for insisting on a correction -- well, you'd want to do that only if a mistake was made in the framing. The only one I can think of is if the poster were crowded into a frame that's too small. That's possible, though the waviness is more likely to be the result of the flexibilty of the paper, humidity in the air, or something else that can't be controlled. If the ripples are vertical, that would make me wonder if there's enough room for it to spread out.
posted by wryly at 1:15 AM on October 29, 2007

My wife and I own a picture framing store.
You shouldn't have ripples in the artwork showing. Sometimes things slip and/or get mis-aligned and you don't notice until you see the artwork in the right light.
Take it back, they'll probably fix it. We would, and wouldn't even make excuses.

And seconding the suggestion to change 'gypped' to something more politically orrect.
posted by whoda at 6:14 AM on October 29, 2007

I think the framer probably did it correctly. With a vintage poster, i.e., one worth money, you do NOT want to mount it to board. That would take all the wrinkles out, but destroy its value as a collector's piece. So, most likely, they hung it from the back of the matte with archival tape. Slight wrinkles are inevitable given the thinness of the paper.
posted by bricoleur at 6:16 AM on October 29, 2007

[comment removed: gyp derails go DIRECTLY to metatalk, not here]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:29 AM on October 29, 2007

« Older Help me identify an obscure music clip!   |   Why is my internet connection suddenly crap, on... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.