Dan Smith , Mar 11, 1999; 01:22 a.m.
The reasons to frame photos with glass are many. The first is to keep those who suffer from blind envy from examining your images using the braille system. Then having the images behind glass & framed using conservation methods protects them from airborne pollutants. Everything from methane to sulfur dioxide to breath & spit from those who look from an inch away & explain your image to everyone within earshot. Another reason is that the glass is only the final component in conservation framing. Using top quality products such as Bainbridge Artcare mats which actively trap atmospheric pollutants is wasted in an environment that is open, they need the enclosed space to work. Using the clear glass or UV glass is more a personal decision, mainly due to the extra cost. We live with the green cast of normal framing glass & the lack of UV protection mainly due to the higher cost of these specialty glass products. One reason many oils are not behind glass is the added weight. Most oils aren't mounted and matted to show them to best advantage, it is part of the medium. Most photographs benefit from the matting which is done to complement the framing and show the image to best advantage. Try a few images on a wall without the glass & see how long they last before fingerprints, scratches & food get on them & you may look more positively at the glass as something needed to show the images.