Because our previous house was small, there weren’t many places to hang a 16x20 framed piece and I had never hung a 20x24 frame there. It was those old days of severely limited display space that was uppermost in my mind when I made those comments a while back, and I am getting a big kick out of seeing prints that previously were only hung at shows, or never before even printed, much less hung.
On the other hand, even back then, with more limited options for display, I was surrounded by prints. In the last couple of years that we lived in that house, I had come up with a makeshift way to keep me focused on what I was doing and why. I collected test prints, some of which were proofs either for clients, or pieces that were to be shown somewhere, and some that I had printed out of curiosity, after experimenting with a processing technique. Most of the proofs were 4x6 or 5x7, but, in a few cases, I printed 8x10.
The next step involved what I first came to know as “museum stick”. This reusable adhesive (one brand is Handi-Tak) had long been a staple item in our home. (In earthquake country, you want to have something around that holds valuable items secure when the earth starts rockin’ and rollin’.) One of the beauties of this sticky stuff is that it won’t damage finishes. (It’s always a good idea to test any product like this on the back or underside of a surface before proceeding. But I will say that I never found anything damaged by it, and we used a great deal of it.) Thanks to this handy adhesive and a stack of prints, I put prints in little nooks and crannies where I either couldn’t have, or wouldn’t have, thought of hanging a framed print.
Mostly, I stuck those prints on the insides of cabinet doors. The beauty of that casual treatment was no unsightly clutter on the outside and no need to matte the prints, much less frame them. Flexibility was a major bonus. I could change my display on any old whim. If I opened the medicine cabinet seeking relief from a tummy-ache, or some way to deal with a small cut that couldn’t be handled with a wad of tissue, I was greeted by a photo of our purple geraniums. A trip to the linen cabinet might include photos of beautiful horses galloping about, or standing just so with ears forward and eyes flashing. Reaching for a glass in a kitchen cupboard yielded a reminder of a favorite scene from a road trip.
It was an informal, simple, flexible, inexpensive (to say the least) way to display photos—dozens of photos, and I hadn’t realized how much I was missing that until we began hanging the larger framed pieces here. Now, I just have to find that museum stick-um that’s in one of those boxes somewhere. On second thought, maybe I’ll add it to a shopping list.