Interior paint choices for art gallery

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by richardmellor, Jul 1, 2005.

  1. richardmellor

    richardmellor Member

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    I can't seem to find information on the web.
    there must be a architectural specification for interior paint in a art gallery.
     
  2. Ed Sukach

    Ed Sukach Member

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    I don't know about "architectural standards" ...

    The late and - intensely missed - Camera and Darkroom had an article about the longevity of RC prints, stating that oil-based pints should be avoided at all costs, due the the out-gassing of phenols over time - affecting, and yellowing RC prints. They strongly recommended Latex paints.
     
  3. BradS

    BradS Subscriber

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    I've never really given it much notice but it seems like most galleries I've been in have been painted in some shade of flat white paint.
     
  4. geraldatwork

    geraldatwork Member

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    Almost all I've seen are a shade of flat white. Typically there are spotlights and you want to minimize the reflections. Flat is better for that. Also remember shows or works of art are constantly changing and the walls have to be patched and painted frequently. So you need to get a color that can be replaced easily.
     
  5. PaulH

    PaulH Subscriber

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    I think many galleries are painted flat white. Personally I like a gray somewhere around zone V. Doesn't compete with the highlights in a print. I hung a show of B&W photos in an old industrial building where the walls were a zone V plaster. It really brought out the tones in the prints.
     
  6. Robert Brummitt

    Robert Brummitt Member

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    I just did a paper for gallery operations and management class. I went to seven or more local galleries and looked at how the work was hung, what lighting, and how or where artist statements and art prices were displayed.
    The color of most of the walls was predominate flat white which was more or less like walking into a museum. But, some galleries had color walls as well. Yellows, reds and blues. I asked one sales person about it and he replied that white was a neutral color that didn't take away from the work. The buyer could project the piece in their home. Color helps sell pieces because it excites the eyes. If you are thinking of painting a wall at home. I would suggest you do a walk about at your local galleries and decide how you wish to display your work. Think about if it gets mostly natural light or artificial light or a combination.
    I have a room that is painted a light yellow with brown trim and black furniture. On the walls are my collection of B&W images and they look stunning against the yellow. Mytwo cents
     
  7. scootermm

    scootermm Subscriber

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    gallery paint should be anything with a reflectance of 18% grey.
    whether it be brown/grey/green/blue.... just as long as the reflectance is equal to that of an 18% grey card.

    I would be willing to bet money that any gallery you have visited where you thought the color of the walls was complimentary to the artwork being displayed you would find it extremely close to an 18% grey card.
     
  8. mirrorslap

    mirrorslap Inactive

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    Hot pink

    What else?
     
  9. Bob F.

    Bob F. Member

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    From my reading, AA always used to request any colour as long as it had an 18% reflectance. When he had an exhibition at the V & A in London, they painted the walls a chocolate colour. When he first heard, he feared the worst but later said it was one of the best choices he had ever seen. I guess the warm colour complimented the prints. FWIW, I've never liked white walls in galleries: too stark and makes me think I'm in an hospital...

    Bob.
     
  10. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    it's all in the context.

    I might avoid using anything not neutral - at least directly on the walls. A warm tone can be great for accents or a ceiling because it can really reinforce warm tones in a print. Likewise with cold tones. A too-warm or cold tone directly in the region where the print will be hung will push a b&w print towards the opposite direction. But generally this is why mattes exist and why we use them. They tend to isolate the image somewhat. The larger the matte border the better. I've done a lot of 4x5 contact prints in 20x20 frames (big matte).

    my informants tell me that the guggenheim has used a lot of benjamin moore superwhite (look it up) in the past. But they also tell me that they've been playing around with Pratt & Lambert Designer White and may go to that permanently because of it's amazing covering (hiding) abilities. You'd be an idiot to use alkyd. So don't. Please.
     
  11. Les McLean

    Les McLean Subscriber

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    I'm involved with Hoopers gallery in London and when we were setting up the Hoopers South, the room devoted to those photographers represented by the gallery, we were advised to paint one wall "Gallery Red" as suggestion that I though was ridiculous. However we tried it and it works very well with black and white prints.

     
  12. Keith Tapscott.

    Keith Tapscott. Member

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    Wot`s wrong wiv Battle Ship grey?
     
  13. richardmellor

    richardmellor Member

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    les that's very interesting . we had a party recently at our home .
    and we invited artists to turn the house into a gallery for the evening
    and the room painted red did seem to highlight the black and white sketches
    best .I find myself trying out my latest Black and white print in the red room .
    but there must me a good reason that museums are painted primarily
    white. I wonder if there is a formula to mix a 18% reflectance paint.
     
  14. User Removed

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    I know this sounds crazy, but I have seen black and white prints hung on a deep red/burgandy wall (FLAT, not glossy) and it looks very beautiful. Make sure you have lots of lighting on each print thought. The contrast of using silver frames also looks nice. The deep red wall looks great if you have cool tone images too.

    For a normal gallery, I recommend using a slight off (grey)white. Flat only, dont use semigloss or anything like that.
     
  15. jjstafford

    jjstafford Inactive

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    Indeed. A deep green can work, too. The light really has to be (imho) daylight quality, however. At least that works for me, and how I view final prints.

    Regarding the formula for 18% reflectance as asked by someone else, well you can get a paint sample then let it dry down and test it with a reflected reading, but exactly what _color_ 18%? Grey (gray)? I fear that photographs hung close to a wall of such color would create a deadly transparency effect, sucking midtones into the background. Color of some kind can obviate that, letting the greys speak to the rest of the tones of the image instead of the 'steady state' of the grey background.