Congrats, Matt... this'll be fun for you. I've been helping with hanging shows at a gallery in our local library. We usually hang the center of each piece at 56" from the floor. Someone else mentioned 59", I'm sure somewhere in that area will be fine. Also, if you choose to hang two with one above the other, measure both as if they were one piece of artwork. Include the space between the two photographs, and center them at 56" (or 59", whatever you settle on).
As for space to the side... sometimes the best thing to do is eyeball it!! We usually rest the photos or paintings against the wall, and just try to find the spacing by looking at them all together. We have one corner that gets a little dark, so we tend to leave more space at the corners of the gallery, and keep the spacing even along the center of the wall. So, just be aware of how everything is lit.
Michael Smith and Paula Chamblee had a huge show here in Atlanta several years.
Everything was double hung fairly close together on both the long and short sides.
As i am short i found the images to be hung just a bit high, but i think that had to do with my eye line.
Interesting, my experience here in Atlanta is that the curator hangs the show, with the artist delievering the images and walking away leaving everything else up to them.
After several "side-by-side" shows, I plan to take a radical departure for the next show I am now working on. What I have in mind is clusters of related images hung in no particular order. For instance, I may vertically hang 5 or 6 7x17s one on top of the other (so to speak), 9 8x10s in 3 wide 3 down formation, 8x10s with a 7x17 above and below etc... I am not sure how that would work visually and practically, but I sure plan to give it a go for something entirely different.
Best of luck with your show, Matt.
all such great and helpful information. Thanks to everyone. This discussion just keeps getting more and more helpful. Mike, quite the contrary your post was very helpful. I am getting pumped, very nervous, excited, apprehensive, etc. about any and every emotion in the spectrum. The space is pretty small and I have so many images I just dont want to "crop" out of the show. So I think I might have to just go against my desire and hang things a little closer together than I might naturally like. the grouping of two images horizontally stacked is a good idea. I have numerous images that seem to naturally "fit" together so it should work pretty well. I plan on mounting/matting them to 20x28. Gives a nice +/- 4" matt around all sides with the bottom being 5". using 59" and placing the bottom 1/4 of the top image at 59" puts the center of the bottom image at 42". Seems workable. and then allow me to put a vertical between two sets of stack horizontals. That was likely way more information than was neccesary. but Im just sort of talking it out.
Its been interesting as over the last few months as Ive known this show was a mere possibility it made me start to look at the exhibits I visited seeing how people showed/presented the work.
The curator may just have me give her the prints and hang them herself.... but from the conversations weve had so far Im thinking that she will want me to work with her on the placements etc. which Im glad about.
anyways, thanks alot for the help and great info.
OK, my two cents. When I hung my show to graduate, I was told by the gallery director to hang them 60" on center. Five feet is the average eye height. So 59" is close.
I also like to see four or five images with equal spacing then maybe a double space prior to the next grouping of 4-5 images. Not so static that way and people tend to linger more over groupings of 4-5 images rather than keep moving down a line. If your images can present this way, try it.
Best of luck.
Matt's Photo Site
"I invent nothing, I rediscover". Auguste Rodin
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Congradulations again on your show.
I would consider going with fewer peices and letting them breath rather than cramming all of your prints into a small space. I think that people remember images better that way...I know I do.
"If I only had a brain"-Some badly dressed guy made of straw in some movie I think I saw
The 59-inch-on-center seems to be what the Huntington Library used on the Weston exhibit. Being a shortie (5' 4" and shrinking), it was a comfortable way to view the prints. Stacking prints makes it difficult for us shrimps to view unless there is enough room to back up and view...but then we lose the detail.
I've hung several shows myself, frequently in odd spaces that were hard to view the work in (restaurants, etc). On the rare occasion I've been in some kind of formal gallery, usually there the curator/gallery owner does the hanging. I've shown mixed panoramics and standard format images - 8x20 inch prints were framed to 14x24, and 12x18 prints framed to 20x24. I was using some rather large, bold frames (black lacquer wood frames) to make sure the work popped off the wall visually. I aimed for the center line to be at my eye level (I'm 5'10", so around 63"... a bit high, but when you're showing in a restaurant, and the work may be close to where people are sitting, I'd rather go a little higher and avoid having someone's head take down some artwork). I grouped the work: three 8x20s in a horizontal, vertical, horizontal group, then five standard format vertical horizontal vertical horizontal vertical. I tried to keep a minimum of eight inches between each frame. Had the wall been white, I think I would have aimed for a bit more space between the standard format pieces, but the color of the wall provided a greater visual separation (that and we were running out of room on the wall). In a perfect world, I would like to see at least a foot between each frame, and I agree with the notion of doing groupings of three to five, then a bit more space. I would avoid cutesy groupings of images on the wall, however, unless that is part of the point of the exhibit. I find I start wondering about the purpose of the arrangement and not paying attention to the images when things are clustered in a particular formation.
For the past 2 years I've been helping in the sequencing and hanging of shows in the Hoopers Gallery in London. During that time we've had to deal with shows where only 10 large (4ft x 6ft) images were hung or up to 50 images of various frame sizes were hung. We have settled on fixing the centre of the image at 62" where there is no stacking of images. When we show blocks of images we sometimes restrict the frame size to 12" x 16" and make a judgement on the spacing and height of the cluster but this is decided with the author of the work on show.
I know the images will look great Matt I just wish that I could be there to see it and help hang it. Good luck on the opening night and may you make many sales.
I've hung about 6 shows a year since 1989 and have always centered the image at about 60", but then, I show at a school filled with large young men. One trick I will pass on is the "magic stick." Take a 1"x4" board about 6' long. Drive a finish nail in at the height of the hanger for your first image and cut the head off it. Now you have a measuring stick that will put a small hole in the wall at exactly the same height every time. Just figure out the horizontal distance from center to center and move down the wall. The reason for the 1"x4" board is avoidance of a diagonal shift - a squared bottom keeps it vertical. I always use two small box nails spaced about three inches apart instead of one hanger to hang the work. That way I can shift the frame back and forth for corrections and the image never tilts. I can hang a show of 25-30 images in about 30 minutes if the frames are similar in size. I find that a hole in the wall is much easier to deal with after a show is over than a bunch of pencil marks, which I have to sand out of the paint before I patch and paint the gallery wall.
If you have two different size frames, drive a nail in each side of the board at the appropriated height. If you have many different size frames... you're on your own. My own work is often so ... eclectic in its presentation that it takes <i>forever</i> to hang a bloody show!
Best of everything!