Resident blogger, movie buff, and fellow collector Phillip López Jiménez gives us his personal thoughts on how he stores, preserves, and displays some of his collection.
If you’re reading this, that must mean you’re like me and love collecting, or perhaps you’re an artist and you need to show off your skills, old school without some fancy gadget. Well, recently I was given the opportunity to sample several products that would make showing off easier, fun, and quite frankly…classy.
Whether you’re job hunting and need to quickly show off your work or want an easy way to flip through your collection of lobby cards the best way to do this is with a portfolio. You remember those days when you nervously had to walk into an office with your art portfolio stuck underneath your wet pits in hopes the head honcho likes your work, as opposed to anonymously sendin’ an email while sittin’ in your underwear that reads, Just check out my website.
That’s where Bags Unlimited’s Art Presentation book comes in. The size of this sucker is 12-3/8 x 15-3/8 with 24 1.5 mil polypropylene pages with a polypropylene black insert; which is nice if your artwork is smaller as it makes for a nice matte; but be warned, if it is smaller it will slide around, I didn’t have any photo mount near me to try it out. The cover is made from durable polypropylene and stitched with a nylon fabric, some portfolios I’ve seen have a smooth finish but I prefer this textured finish giving it a more professional look.
If you spill your coffee on it, this portfolio will keep your work/collection safe just be careful poolside when showing off to some big Hollywood producer, it looks like it’ll float for a bit, but as Bill Shatner would say “But, For how long!”. This presentation book would look nice on any coffee table so’s friends, family or clients can easily thumb through it and be amazed at your High School Hellcats lobby card collection!
They also sent me these really cool Archival Print Protectors. I really love these. Again these are 11×14 but do come in other sizes including 30 x 40 and 32 x 43 for all you movie one-sheet collectors out there like me, I normally keep my movie posters in poly sleeves and foam board backings, also from Bags Unlimited, which is how I came across the company in the first place, but they are excellent for displaying your art as well. They’re not glossy nor are they a matte finish, I had the sun hitting it directly and I could still see the image. They are double sided clear .010 polypropylene with a black cloth edge and are archival acid-free with an acid-free black paper insert. These are a great alternative to framing your posters or prints. I have several posters that are valuable but I don’t necessarily want to be framed and these would be excellent for them and since their ridged they should stand up well, the 11 x 14 most definitely do, you could lean them on a shelf or mantle nicely. One more thing about these. A couple of years ago I had myself an industrial artist loft and one day I got to thinkin’, “wouldn’t it be cool to put my Escape From New York one sheet up here above the stairwell?” So I climbed up there spread eagle between the wall and the handrail. Well needless to say I started to lose my balance and dropped the poster! Luckily, like I said earlier I keep my posters in bags and foam core but my stairs were just wood. Ol’ Snake Plissken stumbled corner over corner across the steps and when I finally got down to pick up the poster I discovered that the edge of the stairs ripped the bag as well as the poster. Now I did get that poster for free, but it is valuable now (back in the late 90s an acquaintance asked: “do you want these, I don’t anymore?” It was Escape, Halloween, and The Thing. I gave The Thing away as a gift) Now if I had one of these Archival Print Protectors, Snake wouldn’t be so bitter.
The next thing I got, yes Santa was nice to me this year, are the Toploaders, again the ones I sampled are a hair larger than 11 x 14. These guys are made of 16 gauge clear ridged vinyl, according to paperwork, but have a slight blue tint. As a child of the 70s, I have several Treasury size comics and it will be nice to put them into these sleeves for display. Like the Archival Print Protector, these are fairly ridged and will lean well on a shelf or mantle. Also, there are the Toploader Clips that slide on top to seal it from dirt or dust.
Bags Unlimited also carries these Poster Pocket Hangers. These hangers are self-adhesive and stick strongly, I tried pulling on them by pulling straight up hard and they did not come off but they will pull off if you peel them, which is great if you want them taken off in future but since they’ll be hanging they’ll be very strong. Some picture frame wire was included as well.
When you order from Bags Unlimited you know your stuff will be safe, the package arrived from New York to sunny California in just a few days after I sent them my info and the box arrive unharmed. The contents were snug as a bug and packed with a few of those airbag balloony thingy-majigs so the contents wouldn’t bounce around in transit.
So if you’re like me, protecting your cherished artwork, or simply displaying it can fill you with pride just looking at all the stuff parents and significant others said you wasted your money on. Quite the contrary because you can’t put a price on history, or it’s cultural significance.