Tutorial: Hanging Your New Artwork

So you’ve bought a gorgeous piece of art for your home, but you’re not sure how to hang it. Here’s what to do!

HOW HIGH?

The rule of thumb is that the centre of the work should always be at eye level. This will allow everyone to fully appreciate the beauty and detail of the work, enhance the balanced look of your room, and it will also give the impression that you’ve hired a professional interior decorator!

Art galleries around the world use a standard formula based on the eye level of the average adult when hanging two-dimensional artwork. Consistency is key!

THE BASICS:

The standard eye level height is generally between 56 to 60 inches from the floor (some even go as high as 62 these days), so you can choose whatever best matches the height of the people in your environment. Whatever you choose, it should remain the same for each piece.

The height of artwork, including the frame, is measured in order to determine the exact centre point measurement. For example, a work that is 24″ high will have a 12″ centre point, and a 36″ piece will have an 18″ centre point, and so on. (see diagram, C) Each piece will be hung so that the centre point is always at eye level, no matter how small or large the artwork. (There are other formulas, but this one is pretty fool-proof.)

The other important measurement you need is the distance of the stretched wire from the top of the work. The ideal is 3″ but many artists and framers don’t consider this when attaching wire to the back of an artwork. (see diagram, A-B)

THE FORMULA:

(This tells you where to place the picture-hanging hook on the wall if using a 58 inch eye level format.)

  • For a work measuring 24″ with a 3″ wire allowance, place the hook at 67 inches from the floor:  (24 ÷ 2) + 58 – 3  =  67 inches
  • For a work measuring 36” with a 4” wire allowance, place the hook at 72 inches from the floor:  (36 ÷ 2) + 58 – 4  =  72 inches

NOTE:  In cases where works are hung in groups, the centre of the grouping then sits at eye level.

Artwork Credits: Oncoming Storm by Brent Trach, (painting not to scale)

About Michelle LaRiviere

Michelle is a multidisciplinary artist, writer, and Reiki Master currently based in Windsor, Ontario. She has exhibited internationally, and her practice includes traditional as well as digital media. Michelle has a background in education and is a member of the Ontario College of Teachers. Her long-time interest in holistic healing led to her recent certifications in Reiki and AromaTouch Technique massage.
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One Response to Tutorial: Hanging Your New Artwork

  1. Pingback: Tutorial: Hanging a Show | Michelle LaRiviere

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