A Helping Hand Part 1: Hanging & Labelling Artwork

‘Atlantic Civilisation’ by André Fougeron in Tate Modern, wall-mounted with Absolute Product hanging systems and protected using black freestanding barriers.

Hanging & Labelling

Plan with purpose to make sure your vision does not get diluted.

To the viewer, the efforts required to create the theatre for presentation of an art collection is completely transparent, they are there to absorb and enjoy.

To the curator, architect, designer, contractor, manager, owner… the hours of planning, preparation and perspiration required to create the theatrical illusion, are frequently too numerous to count.

No matter the specialty or angle you arrive, if you are tasked with creating a space for, or curating a collection for installation, it’s key to develop a specific strategy and curatorial programme.

Having collaborated with the considered members behind the scenes, we are able to offer some guidelines that will see the art collection shining centre stage:

1.     Plan first for the end result you want

A simple brief is the best way to describe and guide what you want to experience when an installation is complete. This will be your vision and end goal guidepost. Here are some things to consider:

  • The environment for the installation

    • Old, new, retrofit

    • Multi use or dedicated to art

  • The prominence of the art

    • Is it centre stage or an element of the environment

  • The narrative to be conveyed, which frequently leads to,

  • What is the labelling concept

    •  Will there be interpretive text or just the facts

  • Are there graded building or other considerations

    • Can the art and labels be hung directly on the walls

2.     The best hanging solutions come from knowing what you have

To select a hanging system, you have to know what you are hanging, in a nutshell this means know the:

  • Size

  • Weight

  • Glazed or unglazed

  • Frame type

  • Current hanging system at the back of an artwork

  • Permanent or temporary installation, and, or on-loan pieces

  • Security requirements

  • Insurance requirements

  • Photograph of the artwork

3.     Have what you know in a schedule

Now that you know what you have, it should be in a format that is easily transferred. A simple spreadsheet works best and can be used to coordinate hanging systems and labelling types, and scheduling install locations.

This is especially important if an art collection or piece is the star of a new or re-furb project. Design and build happen across multi-disciplinary groups and the original vision can get lost if there is no concrete reminder.


Hanging Solutions


Our behind the scenes Ryman  Hangers are a cornerstone to any hanging system


View our Ryman Hangers

Labelling Solutions


Our sleek Label Holder profile provides a supportive and visually quiet solution to presenting information 


View our Label Holders

Coming soon, Part 2: Protection & Guidance
Watch out for part two of this series, with advice and expertise on protecting artworks and collections and guiding the visitor experience.

Posted by Jade Turner
31st May 2022

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