Picture Perfect – Collecting Art and Photography and Displaying it in Your Home

This book looks at the collecting of art and photography, its framing and display within your home.
Picture Perfect
Collecting Art and Photography and Displaying it in Your Home
By Stephanie Hoppen
Jacqui Small/Aurum Press 2004
ISBN: 1 903221 25 0

Picture Perfect cover

This book looks at the collecting of art and photography, its framing and display within your home.

This book is profusely illustrated, not only with art and photography, but also with these works in domestic settings to show you how you can use such art in your home. Chapters include:
*    A Passion for Pictures
*    Choosing Pictures
o    What to Collect
o    Photography
o    Art
o    Drawings
o    Other Media
*    Choosing Subject
o    People
o    Art and Architecture
o    The Natural World
o    Leisure
*    Framing
o    Matching Picture to Frame
o    Traditional Framing
o    Framing Photography
o    Modern Framing
o    Conservation and Care
*    Displaying
o    How to Hang
o    Choosing Themes
o    Positioning
o    Using Two Walls
o    Living Spaces
o    Stairs and Connecting Spaces
o    The Home as a Gallery
o    Using Background Color
o    Changing a Wall with Pictures

Picture Perfect spread

The book is full of excellent, practical advice and at how real people display their art collections in their own spaces. Specific area experts provide their input in breakout boxes throughout the book.

The first two main sections, on Choosing Pictures and Subjects provide a good, if brief, overview of the choice available. This is a simplified coverage, especially of media, since it leaves out many of the mediums that are broadly lumped under paintings, and ignores digital works entirely. Even the coverage of subject matter to collect is quite simplified, because people have made collections based on all sorts of criteria. That said, these sections do provide a good, solid introduction to the subject that will give you a base to build from.

The framing section provides a decent coverage of framing options. Thankfully it does not try to teaching you how to frame, rather concentrating on matching framing decisions to what is being framing and to the décor in which it will be displayed.

The displaying section maintains the practical advice with coverage of everything from hanging devices to the planning of a wall or room hang. Again, rather than being an exhaustive coverage, it rather provides a great starting point. However, all the key points are covered, so it works well as a guide in this area.

All round, this is a very good book that serves as a great introduction to what can be a very complex subject. There is enough information in here for the average person to sort out most of their issues with collecting and displaying art and photography. For people with a deeper interest the book serves as a great entry point into this area, allowing you to build from here with more specialized sources.

This book belongs on the shelf of every artist and photographer, as well as galleries, interior decorators and stores, as well as beginning or developing art collectors. Photographers and artists who deal directly with their customers can use the book to assist their sales efforts, as can galleries, interior decorators and stores, by showing clearly how art can be used in a normal house. Buy it.

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