Many galleries and museums hang artwork based on where the centre of an artwork falls. This is so the work looks consistent with other works on display. A common guideline for works in an exhibition is to have the centre of the work between 56 and 58 inches from the floor, as this is the average line of vision. Aligning the centre heights of each work creates an even and consistent installation:
Exceptions to centering the work usually occur when a work is very large. With a larger work, it is best to decide aesthetically what height is best to view the entire work. This is usually lower than the centre median, since if the work is too high would be difficult to view the whole piece.
You can use these steps to hang your artwork at a consistent height:
1. Decide on a centre height for your work, between 56-58 inches or one of your choice, depending on your installation space.
2. Measure he height of your artwork, then mark the centre.
3. Measure the distance between the centre height of the work and the hanging device—whether it be d-rings, a cleat, or wire (Measurement A). If you are measuring for wire, make sure you measure from the centre when the wire is taught, to emulate how the work will hang on the wall.
4. Add Measurement A to your chosen centre height. The sum of these two numbers is Measurement B.
5. Measure from the floor to the height of Measurement B, and install your hanging hardware at this height.
Once installed, the centre point of your artwork will fall at your chosen centre height. For further information about hardware used for hanging, please read the post Choosing Hardware to Hang Artwork.
Copyright The Practical Art World, 2011