Picture Perfect: Displaying art in the home

“A little to the left, no, no the other left. Ok, that’s it, oh wait it’s crooked now…a little more. Stop! Perfect!” Sound familiar? Hanging artwork on walls, though sometimes a headache and surprisingly tricker than it may seem without the proper tools, is a long lived tradition. Though I don’t know when man first decided to hang a picture on a wall, (maybe after painting on a surface other than a cave wall was invented?) I do know we have been doing it for a loooong time. It’s kind of like the chicken or the egg scenario, what came first the panel/canvas/other surface or the idea to hang pictures on the wall (instead of applying them directly), which then led to the decision to use panel/canvas/other surface? I am sure there is an answer out there, but either way I’ve been thinking a lot about hanging artwork, not only because I am a painter and that I work at an art gallery, but because I truly believe that a house isn’t a home until there is artwork hung on the walls. We, as people have an instinctive urge to decorate our surroundings that seems to stem back to pre-historic times when early man decided to paint on the walls of his cave-home in Lascaux, France. Now some may argue that cave painting marked the beginning of the history of painting, that man wasn’t necessarily being an “interior decorator,” but was letting out artistic expression; however I would argue that it was a little bit of both. I think that after man drew that first image of a horse on the blank, stone wall of his cave he was hooked, realizing that it looked beautiful and it made his cold cave into a (still cold) home. If it wasn’t for pre-historic man’s impulse to adorn the walls of his home I wonder if we would have the urge to do it today?


After thousands of years we certainly expanded upon early man’s first attempts to furnish the walls of his home. People now have become as creative with hanging artwork as the artist was in making it. And though rules and standards such as the 57″ standard gallery height exist, like all rules they were made to be broken and from the looks of this round-up there is no such thing as “too high” or “too low” when it comes to hanging art. I really hope this “anything goes” mentality sticks around, because I’ve come across some wonderfully creative ways to display artwork. Some of my favorites below are: over bed hangings, with pant hangers, and all alone; though I have to say I also am digging the look of paintings over books, it would make one look “doubly” cultured, though I can see how it could be annoying/cumbersome at times…

When it comes down to it hanging artwork is all in personal taste, though I’ve noticed quite a salon style trend. So if you think it looks, I’d say good go for it! Now the big question is: how do you curate your home?


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