Photographs and artworks on paper are very light-sensitive, so to help them last longer they are shown for short periods at a time. To prevent acidic contamination, they are supported with fitted backings and window mats made from neutral or acid-free materials.
For storage, most works on paper are matted and housed in drawers or special fitted boxes. When a work is exhibited, it is then fitted into a frame.
Te Papa has developed a range of historically referenced frame mouldings to complement works of various media and from different time periods. The right choice of frame and finish can help viewers fully understand the work.
For many contemporary works on paper, a traditional mat and frame would be inappropriate. For these, the framer develops solutions to safely support the work on display and in storage.