Gallery Wrap vs Stretched Canvas - What's the Difference?

November 21, 2018

In Alignment is an oil painting by Lee Mims and is gallery wrapped

Artists have been painting on canvas since early in the 16th Century. The canvas is stretched tight over a wooden support which is commonly referred to as stretcher strips.

In the past, the canvas was attached to the stretcher strips with flat head nails. This can take a great deal of time and craftsmanship to make sure that the canvas is taught and does not bulge or ripple in any area. It is also something one looks for when working with antique paintings.

Untitled 2 is an acrylic abstract painting by Doug Brannon. It is gallery wrappedToday, the canvas is attached with staples. These are easier and quicker to use since they can be applied while holding the canvas tight with a clamp in the other hand. The staples are attached to the sides of the wooden supports and the edge of the canvas is left raw. The artists create their paintings just on the top surface. The raw edges of the finished painting are covered with a frame. The frame gives a finishing touch to the art in the same way that hemming a garment completes the clothes.

Recently, a new presentation on canvas is known as gallery wrap. The canvas is stretched over wooden stretchers which are usually 1 ¼ inches or thicker. The canvas is folded and tucked around the sides and is stapled or attached on the back. This leaves the side of the canvas smooth and without any nails or staples to detract from the visual effect. Artists would extend the painting around the sides.  The art is then displayed without a frame.

Neither gallery wrap nor traditional stretched canvas is better than the other. Some artists and collectors prefer the way the art looks framed and others prefer an unframed look.

The major consideration with gallery wrap is to make sure that the stretcher strips are sturdy enough not to bow over time so that the painting develops a twist to it. This is usually not a concern when the art has been framed since the frame prevents this problem. 

Seaside Art Gallery has a beautiful selection of original art for you to choose from. Stop in our gallery to enjoy the art in person. Already found one online that you’ve fallen in love with? No worries, just order it now on our website or give us a call. We are happy to serve you!





Also in Blog

Winners in the 28th International Miniature Art Show
Winners in the 28th International Miniature Art Show

May 25, 2019

The hardest thing about selecting awards is leaving an artist or painting out of the awards system when the art is deserving of recognition. The overall stellar quality of the art in the show made selection of the award winners both a challenge and a delight.

Continue Reading

See the World Today with Beautiful Miniature Art!
See the World Today with Beautiful Miniature Art!

May 20, 2019

“To travel is to live.” That’s what Hans Christian Andersen, original author of The Little Mermaid, swore by. Traveling to new places is good for the soul. It broadens our perspectives, and it’s fun! Whether or not you have traveled abroad, miniature art is an exciting way for us to experience it.

Continue Reading

How Textures Make You Want to Reach Out and Touch Miniature Art
How Textures Make You Want to Reach Out and Touch Miniature Art

May 15, 2019

Observing miniature art with the naked eye is remarkable in itself. Miniature artists often create their little masterpieces looking through a magnifying lens. The details behind the brush strokes are striking.

Continue Reading

Back to top