Gallery hanging systems can solve artwork clutter

When we lived in England, our home had picture rails mounted on every wall in the lounge (living room) and dining room and on at least one wall in each bedroom. At first, I thought it was odd. But, the walls were made of concrete covered with layers of plaster so when I tried to hang a picture by drilling a hole and sinking a plug, I almost broke the masonry bit, the plaster kept chipping off, and it was a big mess.

I purchased some equipment to hang my pictures from the rail at my local hardware store and hung my artwork. It was the easiest thing ever!

The following post (updated since it was originally published in 2007) talks about the ease and versatility of the picture rail system, something that I will install in our next home.


My father is a wildlife photographer. As his daughter, I have free access to his always expanding portfolio. I do not, however, have an always expanding supply of wall space to display my collection of his work.

To solve my conundrum and to keep my collection from getting out of control, I decided to turn the walls of the first floor of my house into an art gallery.

I started the project by installing an art gallery hanging system along the top of my walls. Cables slide into the tracks, and pictures hang from hooks that attach to the cables. I can hang multiple photographs on the wall at once, in any configuration, without having to hammer a single nail.

I currently have enough of his photographs that I can change the artwork on the first floor of my house three times a year. It does take some time to switch out the frames–I only have one set of frames that I use–but on the whole it is a pretty quick process. When the photos are not hanging on the walls, I store them in glassine envelopes inside an archival storage box. Having a limited number of pictures out at a time and the others stored safely in a small storage container keeps my collection of my father’s artwork uncluttered.

If you’re someone in a small space or who has a large artwork collection, you might want to consider installing an art gallery hanging system in your home. The system certainly worked for me.

5 Comments for “Gallery hanging systems can solve artwork clutter”

  1. posted by jazzle on

    If you had the budget you could get a series of digital photo frames.

  2. posted by Andamom on

    First, I love this site… I really do.

    I have a ton of my father’s original artwork that I am currently storing. I don’t want to display all of it — but it does take up a huge amount of space. I have maybe 12 or so pieces that are matted and framed and I have 4-5 portfolios. I have this stuff indefinitely — and unless some of it is in a gallery show, on display at a museum, or has been sold — it just sits.

    I don’t want to see these pieces fade in sunlight — I am being very careful.

    Any other thoughts for me? (Oh the art itself?

  3. posted by Erin at Unclutterer on


    I don’t know what form your father’s work is in currently, so this suggestion might be completely worthless. However, I think that an architect’s blue print storage device of some type (maybe the steel dresser system?) would work best.

  4. posted by H Fred on

    Here’s the ultimate spot for archival storage and presentation/framing supplies: photographs, negatives, scrapbooks, matting supplies, shelving, file drawers, even environmental controls.


  5. posted by Lynda Simpson-Jones on

    We live in the UK, and have added picture rails to our latest house. They’re not very common in the UK, but agreed that they are excellent for dealing with pictures.

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