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What is Museum Glass and is it worth it?

August 16, 2022

What is Museum Glass and is it worth it?

Museum glass is museum quality glass that improves clarity, prevents reflections and protects your artwork to the highest level. If you're framing valuable artworks, detailed pieces or important personal keepsakes, museum glass can help you bring the best out of your framed pieces. In this guide, we explain what museum glass is, and when it's worth the investment.

What is museum glass?

Museum glass is a premium type of glass used for framed artworks. As the name suggests, museum glass is the standard for museum settings where protecting highly valuable artworks is top priority. The glass is typically treated with UV blocking agents to prevent damage from UV light – one of the biggest threats to your artwork over time.

Museum quality glass also enhances the viewing experience. Having no glare and no reflection, museum glass ensures visitors can see the art from every angle and distance. Good quality museum glass has excellent light transmission – you might even question if the artwork has any glass in front of it at all.

Museum glass is used in museums and galleries, but is also highly popular for displaying artwork in homes and offices. Whether you're looking for the best glass for your wedding picture frame or want a high quality display for an original artwork, museum glass is an excellent choice.

What is the difference between museum glass and regular glass?

Museum glass is a premium product, offering better protection and a better viewing experience compared to standard glass used for framing.

Regular glass is the standard, most inexpensive option. It has a glossy, shiny surface which means the surroundings in your room will be reflected in the glass. This can make it difficult to see your artwork clearly, especially if it's placed in a well lit area. In comparison, museum glass has a special coating which reduces reflections and glare while also providing UV protection.

Museum glass vs regular non-reflective glass

Museum glass also performs better than regular non-reflective glass. Regular non-reflective glass prevents reflections because one side of the glass is rough, allowing it to diffuse the light. The drawback is that the roughened surface can deaden any shiny or luminous parts of the artwork. Fine details in the artwork may not be shown true with standard types of non-reflective glass.

In contrast, museum glass prevents reflections using very thin layers of anti-reflective coatings. The glass remains completely clear and smooth while cutting out 99% of reflections. Museum glass is also treated so that it's resistant to harmful UV rays, and it's also usually more robust and resistant to damage than other types of glass.

What are the advantages of museum glass?

Compared to standard glass options, museum glass offers a number of benefits. These include:

  • Better viewing experience – clear glass with no glare and no reflection means you can view your framed piece from all angles without interruption.
  • Enhanced artwork appearance – ensures all the details, colours, textures and depth of your artwork are shown properly.
  • UV protection – protects your artwork from damage over time from harmful UV rays.
  • Durability and strength – robust and durable glass, offering better protection from accidental damage.

Is museum glass worth it?

Museum glass comes with a higher price tag, but performs to a much higher level than standard glass. If you're framing inexpensive artworks or low-value prints, you might prefer to keep your costs down with standard glass. However, if you're framing expensive artworks or important personal keepsakes, museum glass will give you the best protection and the best viewing experience.

Museum glass is worth it if you're:

  • displaying your frames where there is lots of light or direct sunlight
  • framing a precious piece that has sentimental or monetary value
  • framing high quality artwork for your home, office or an exhibition
  • framing an intricate or detailed artwork
  • framing a dark and moody artwork

If you need advice about the best type of glass for your picture frames, speak to the team at Portfolio Picture Framers. We'll give you honest, transparent advice so that you get the best solution for your needs and budget.

What are the best glass options for your artwork?

Whilst museum glass is the best option for your artwork, it does have a premium price tag. That’s why we also offer more affordable solutions which still provide a high level of protection.   

Our wide range of glass options at Portfolio Picture Framers suits all types of artworks and budgets. Whether you're framing sports memorabilia, family portraits, original artwork or precious keepsakes – we'll make sure you get the best framing service for your needs.

Our glass options include:

  • Direct Art Glass – affordable, light weight glass, appropriate for a wide range of framing needs.
  • True Vue Ultra Vue Glass – has an advanced magnetron-sputtered anti-reflective coating, achieves less than 1% light reflection and blocks 70% of UV light.
  • Tru Vue Conservation Clear Glass – uses microscopic, silica-based UV blocking agents to block 99% of UV light. Rated at 8% light reflection and 89% light transmission.

If you're not sure what's the best choice for your artwork, our friendly team can walk you through the options. Come into our Myaree studio to see the different glass types and framing options in person.

Get a quote today

Whether you're framing a valuable artwork, preparing for an exhibition or looking for one of a kind wedding photo frames, the team at Portfolio Picture Framers is here to help. We do all of our framing on site at our Myaree studio, which means we can offer our customers factory-direct prices and excellent quality control.

Call us on (08) 9330 5884 for an obligation-free quote today.

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