3 Simple Rules for Hanging Art

 In Art & Gallery News, Articles

3 Simple Rules for Hanging Art

Whether you’ve collected your first work or your 20th, there is always that lingering question: “What is the best way to hang this art?”

For starters, there’s one simple, essential guideline you should definitely keep in mind—always display the artwork’s center 57 inches from the floor.

That’s a tip our gallery professionals use almost every day. But there are a few other tips related to the 57-inch rule that will make the difficult task of hanging art a whole lot easier.

If you follow these three easy rules for hanging art, your home will look like a professional art gallery in no time.

 

1. Hang Art by its Center

The artwork’s center should be 57 inches from the ground to match average eye level.

People shouldn’t strain themselves to view the artwork. By placing the center of the artwork at eye level, it ensures the art can be admired comfortably.

Let’s use this beautiful framed painting by Marcel Mouly (“Interieur au Bourgeois”) as our example.

The art’s focal point should be at the 57-inch mark. This is not where it will hang from, so you will need to determine where to place the hangers.

Measure the artwork’s height and divide by 2 to find the artwork’s center.

The first step is to measure 57 inches from the floor and mark it on the wall. Next, find the focal point of the artwork by measuring its height and dividing by two. In this case, the Mouly and its frame are 34 inches tall, making its focal point 17 inches.

The red line indicates the measurement from a tightened hanging wire to the top of the frame.

Measure the top of the artwork to the tightened hanging wire or hook it will hang from. Subtract this number from the focal point number. For the Mouly, the hanging wire is 10 inches from the top of the frame. We subtract 10 inches from 17 inches to get 7 inches.

The measurement from the 57-inch line to where the hanger should be mounted.

Take the new number and measure that distance above the 57-inch mark. This is where the hanger should be placed, so mark this spot. With the Mouly, it would be 7 inches above the 57-inch mark, meaning the artwork will actually hang 64 inches from the floor. By doing so, artwork’s center will be at 57 inches.

 

2. Adjust Rule #1 When Hanging Art Close to Furniture or Mantles

Park West Gallery display art

Photo courtesy of Kelley

When hanging artwork above furniture, mantles, or other obstructions, the eye level rule doesn’t always apply.

The bottom of the frame should be between six to eight inches above the top of the feature. In these cases, it’s acceptable to go higher than the 57-inch guideline if need be.

The artwork should also relate space-wise to furniture, meaning a small work of art hanging six inches above a long couch won’t look right. However, a large work of art or multiple works would look great.

 

3. Treat Multiple Works of Art as One Unit When Hanging

Peter Max Park West Gallery Valentine's Day

Framed artwork by Peter Max.

When hanging multiple works of art, treat each work in the collection as if it were one work of art. Anchoring multiple works around the 57-inch focal point will help the collection appear balanced. The ideal spacing between multiple artworks is 3 to 6 inches.

The 57-inch number is a good average height, but if your eye level is different, be sure to use that measurement when hanging art. Every scenario is different, so at the end of the day, make sure you love the way your art is displayed.

LEARN MORE TIPS FOR HOW TO HANG ART:

 

If you’re interesting in building up your own art collection—or if you’re just sick of staring at blank walls—our gallery team can help.  You can contact our gallery consultants at (800) 521-9654 ext. 4 during business hours or at sales@parkwestgallery.com. They are experts at helping people find the perfect work of art.

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Showing 16 comments
  • Diana Hoffman
    Reply

    Very helpful

  • Karolyn Anderson
    Reply

    This was very helpful. I KNEW there must be a math formula to work with…..thank you for the specifics!

  • Shawn
    Reply

    How would u hang the Max if u only had three? Flag, lady lib and umbrella man?

  • juan benito garcia
    Reply

    good article

  • Norman Harris
    Reply

    Wonderful article. Two of my Bellet art bought some months ago were still awaiting hanging. They were to be side by side in some arrangement on a larger wall space. The answers are here! Thank you.

  • Kevin Cottam
    Reply

    Great help I like this sort of tip in newsletters

  • INGRID CANTO
    Reply

    Great information, thanks.

  • Lynda Einspar
    Reply

    Please print 3 ways, 6 tips and 7 ways to display art work. Would love to have as a handout this next weekend at the Henry!
    Thank you!

  • Christine Stuerzebecher
    Reply

    Thanks a lot for the good advices how to place pieces of art effectively in the house. But allow me to say about the picture “Framed artwork by Peter Max” that I do not really like it. Of course there is a strict symmetry chosen – but this may be a bit – well – boring for a beholder. AND: The four smaller pieces are for me here “degraded” to accesories of the “star” in the middle. That is a pity. Let us find another place in the house for the four small ones and even arrange them as a four-leaf clover. None of them will “steal” the attention like in the first arrangement – because they all have nearly one size. MY problem would be: WHERE to hang the one with the golden frame? 🙂

  • John & Jo Njohnavaretta
    Reply

    Great Advice: Would like to add one thing which we feel is most important. Lighting lighting lighting. If you do not have hologen lights right on the art your missing out. Find an electrician and re-discover your art

  • Carol Rigney
    Reply

    Thank you. Never knew the correct way to hang paintings. So I was very glad for your help.

  • Ronald Panian
    Reply

    Thank you for the information! Now I can go about hanging some art that I purchased six months ago! The comment about lighting is enormous! Found that out the minute I hung the first painting!

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