Magnets for Exhibition Mounting

From: Shirley Ellis <shirleye>
Date: Friday, October 31, 2008
Metta Humle Jorgensen <mette.humle [at] natmus__dk> writes

Has anyone used magnets/magnetic for exhibition mounting? If so, what is your experience with it?


Our use is a little different than what you are proposing but in the textiles gallery at the Royal Ontario Museum we are using rare earth magnets for mounting of some textiles. The angled back panels have a metallic skin supporting magnet use. Where the magnets are used they are usually embedded in a strip of acid free card with a thin layer of polyester felt over top which would be placed directly against the artifact. On the upper side our technicians have taken digital images of the artifact in the area where the strip will be placed, then produced colour photocopies which they adhered to the upper side of the strip. All in all in works really well in minimizing the effect of the strip. In addition to the magnetic strips we place a thin layer of polyester felt cut to the shape of the artifact and placed beneath it which also provides some friction and reduces the stresses of gravity. So the layers from the bottom up are the metallic panel, layer of felt, textile artifact, magnetic strip (as described above).

We bought these magnets at Lee Valley tools. They have are all round discs, the same thickness but come in different sizes. Recently the technicians found some which offer a lot more choices in sizes and shapes at:

Magnacraft: Advanced Magnetic Materials


Shirley Ellis
Textile Conservator
Royal Ontario Museum
100 Queen’s Park
Toronto, ON M5S 2C6
Fax: 416-586-8036