Large unmounted painting

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    • #131981

      I have just been asked for some help from our local school: Our organization sponsored a project which included all students contributing to developing a design for our community based on techniques used in Australian aboriginal art. Students worked with Australian-now Wyoming artist Paul Taylor, and they did a very nice job. The painting is done in layers on canvas and is 18 feet long. The school wants to hang it in the school hallway towards the ceiling. The painting is to the edges of the canvas. Grommets (their first idea) will mean damaging the painting and it could sag without stable support. A wood frame won’t work because they want to be able to take it down, roll it up and take it to some other locations during the school year for display. This is heavy canvas so stitching a backing or extra piece at the top for hanging (also invasive) or velcro strips is going to be difficult with several layers of paint. We could glue loops or velcro on the back to hold a lightweight metal rod that would give even support and around which wire or cord could be used to hang from the wall, but I don’t know if there is a glue that isn’t going to bleed through eventually — but maybe not with the heavy duty paint. Any ideas or suggestions?
      Ellen Sue Blakey
      Hot Springs Greater Learning Foundation, Thermopolis, Wyoming USA

    • #131983

      Given the size of the painting and the fact that it will be looked at from a distance, I suspect something like the grommet idea would be strong enough, but you would need many of them to avoid distortion. Other approaches might work – are there any conservators or artists nearby that could help you?

      Rolling up the painting repeatedly will eventually cause damage – cracks in the heavy paint and paint flaking. If you give up the idea of moving it, you will have more options for hanging.

      Velcro strips that have adhesive on the reverse might work. You can get information from the manufacturer about how much weight it supports so you can figure out how much you would need.

    • #131982

      Ellen Sue Blakely,

      I agree with your thoughts as well as Barbara Appelbaum’s. The weight is an issue. If you go with grommets, keep in mind that these too would be invasive and would need to be evenly distributed to minimize stress and distortion. I also would advise that the grommets be backed with a thick awning fabric behind the painting to reduce some of the stress on the canvas. There may be ways of using velco strips if appropriate adhesives are tested. There are also possibilities of creating “support” from behind to reduce hanging stress. If you do have to repeatedly store the painting I would recommend rolling it on a sono tube of significant diameter.

      I would be happy to talk to you more about this project and might be able to visit on a weekend in June as I live in Cheyenne and work between there and Fort Collins. Feel free to email me,

      Holly Fiedler

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