Showing Artwork Above a Fireplace
With Fireplaces designed to be the center of a room it seems logical to display your favorite art piece there too. And unlike a Flat Screen TV artwork above a fireplace gives you a great view.
But, it is not recommended and is actually considered in art preservation circles one of the worst places you can hang your art. This is because of the high heat and the soot you may not see that gets deep into the grooves of the paint.
Art work such as watercolor on paper should never be shown above a fireplace. Even if you do everything to keep the up direction heat from hitting the art work, it is still a way too dry an area for these types of art. This applies to all artworks created on paper. They also tend to have glass framing, which we explore below.
You may be able to show an oil or acrylic work above your fireplace. But only if you take all the necessary steps to keep the heat away from the art work. And you don’t hang the work there forever. You can read at the first link below how a fireplace shelf or mantel can help protect anything placed above your fireplace. At the second link you can read some of the considerations of wall type and weight restrictions, among many points that also apply to mounting or sitting your paintings above or on your fireplace.
Assuming you have taken all the steps to defer the heat from your fireplace these additional steps can help, only help, to preserve your fireplace mounted artworks.
Rotate your artworks on a monthly basis so you can help to protect them. Schedule cleanings once you rotate them so the soot and oils from your fireplace don’t degrade the paint.
Another great option for those who mostly use their fireplace for ambience, not heat, is adding an Electric Log Set to your fireplace. This set glows like a real fire with none of the heat or soot.
And it works from a remote control device. Which means creating the look of a warm and inviting fire is as easy as pushing a button. With an Electric Fireplace Log Set you can leave your artwork displayed forever above your fireplace.
We are including this because we have been asked a few times. A full over glass frame is never recommended for an oil painting. They don’t need it and it only decreases the view of the work.
Any full glass framed art will have a heat trap above a fireplace because the heat and dryness will seep into the layer between the frame and the artwork causing it to dry out even sooner.
Other terrible places to hang your favorite artist’s work are, the kitchen, any place where direct sunlight will hit the art piece, and the bathroom.
You will also want to be sure your picture framed or other artwork is properly secured to the wall. You can read about how this is accomplished and why it is so important here.