It’s a major decorating faux pas that we see all the time in the art world: people who hang their artwork too high. Attempting to use art as a focal point, many homeowners have the inclination to place their pieces in the middle of a space above a major piece of furniture like a couch. The problem with this approach is that it means the artwork ends up being displayed well above the natural line of vision.
But where does the eye typically rest? 57 inches on center is the golden number. This means that the middle of the painting or piece falls at a height of 57”. Galleries and museums alike use this as their guide for displaying their collections. Following this rule of thumb will create a coherent relationship between all of the art you hang in your home.
Here’s a quick rundown on how to make the artwork in your house look museum-worthy:
1) Measure a height of 57” on the wall you’ll be using to display your pieces, marking the spot with a pencil.
2) Measure the total height of your piece, and then divide it by two to determine the center.
3) Subtract the small distance between the top of your frame or piece and the wire used to hang it in order to determine where you should place your hook or nail.
4) Using that distance, measure up from the 57” mark, and make a mark indicating the place for hanging.
If you’re working with a collection of artwork that you want to group together, the 57” rule still applies; after you’ve determined how you want to arrange the art, place the center picture at 57” and then hang the rest around it – this will keep all of the pieces at an appropriate vision line.
Kenny Ackerman is an Art Dealer in New York, specializing in Fine Art Paintings from 19th-21st century Europe and America. To buy or sell original paintings by artists we represent, contact Ackerman’s Fine Art here.