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  1. #1
    Maine-iac's Avatar
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    Current fashion in displaying prints

    I went to the exhibit of Magnum photographers at the Portland (ME) art museum today. For this exhibit, new prints of uniform size have been made from the original negs of the photographers, both living and dead. It was a fine exhibit, though I'd seen most of the photos before over the years.

    However, as in many recent (last 5 years) photo exhibits I've seen both here and in Europe, the particular fashion for mounting and displaying prints is to have the print trimmed of borders, dry-mounted on the backboard, and then to have the window mat cut about 3/8 of an inch wider on all sides than the print itself. The edges of the beveled window mat do not overlap the edges of the print.

    Anyone know when and why this fashion began, and if there's a particular rationale that makes it better than the old way of having the window mat overlap the print edges a bit? And what about the dry-mounting?

    Larry

  2. #2
    Ian Grant's Avatar
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    Are you sure the prints were dry mounted.

    All the exhibitions I've seen in Europe, and the US, have have overmats, some leave a small whie border around the print some crop into the print.

    Except for amateur images I've never noticed dry-mounted prints, in the last 20+ years, at gallery exhibitions.

    Ian

  3. #3

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    I never saw that way of displaying Magnum or any other prints like that when I lived in Paris for 3 years, ending 2 years ago. Nor did we mat any of the Magnum prints we did, and we were their major lab and we did matting, like that for them.

    Very strange.

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    Yes, it bothers me also. But I don't have an answer as to why it's done. Two prints I've bought recently were mounted that way. It does (kind of) make the presentation about the medium rather than only the content of the image which personally I do like. But when you've payed a considerable amount for a print and it will be forever mounted to the one backing board .... well.

    Personally I prefer hinge mounted, and present all of my own that way.
    Last edited by John McCallum; 06-03-2006 at 08:02 PM. Click to view previous post history. Reason: grammar, sp the usual stuff

  5. #5

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    i was there last night. i actually like that way of mounting.

    unfortunately, there were about ten thousand other people who were all trying to squeeze in too. the platinum prints on the second level were great.

  6. #6
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    Larry, I've been drymounting and matting my exhibition prints that way for 20 years. Archival dry mounting keeps the print flat. Leaving a little of the undermat visible makes a good space for a signature. Using one size frame and mat make for a neat exhibit, and much convenience and economy for whoever does the mounting, matting, and framing.

  7. #7
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    I've made it a point to tally the way prints have been exhibited at the AIPAD shows in NYC over the last several years (although I didn't get to attend this past February). All seemed to be dry-mounted (they were quite flat, but maybe by other means). About half were mounted with a space between print and mat with the other half having the mats cover the edges of the prints. One rationale for leaving a border is to make it unequivical that the 'crop' is the photographer's and not the framer's. To collectors, that can matter a lot.

    The other fashion in presentation has been the complete changeover to black frames from silver with only a few (and those were usually color) mounted in natural wood or stainless steel wide-border frames. Save those silver ones though...the pendulum will swing their way again someday.
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  8. #8
    Lopaka's Avatar
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    I don't think there is anything 'new' about floating mounts - I know some photographers that prefer to do theirs that way. The more common bleed mount is easier to do though, and needed if you are going to do a hinge mount.

    Bob
    "I always take a camera, That way I never have to say 'Gee, look at that - I wish I had a camera'" -Joe Clark, H.B.S.S.

  9. #9
    Flotsam's Avatar
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    I must admit that I favor dry mounting and I have tried float matting a couple of times but wasn't impressed with the results enough to switch.

    I thought that mounting on a darker board and then float matting in white would create a good separation between the light areas of the print and the mat. It did, but I didn't find it a huge visual improvement over over-matting so I'm back to conventional now.
    That is called grain. It is supposed to be there.
    =Neal W.=

  10. #10
    Maine-iac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ian Grant
    Are you sure the prints were dry mounted.

    All the exhibitions I've seen in Europe, and the US, have have overmats, some leave a small whie border around the print some crop into the print.

    Except for amateur images I've never noticed dry-mounted prints, in the last 20+ years, at gallery exhibitions.

    Ian
    Yep, on some of them, it was just possible to see the edge of the dry mount tissue bleeding out the edge of the print. They were definitely dry mounted.

    I think I saw this first while living in Paris five or six years ago-- can't remember the exhibit, since there were so many of them there, and I went to most of them. It may have been the big Edward Weston retrospective at the Carnavalet where I first noticed it. If so, then probably the dry-mounting, if not the overmatting and framing were probably done in the U.S.

    Larry

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