Preserving and Framing a Painting on Leather

Dear Donia,
How do I preserve and frame an old painting on a piece of leather?

painted leather

Q. Dear Donia,

We have a very old painting of an Indian done on a piece of leather. We’ve had it for over 20 years, and we were told it was over 100 years old at that time. It
measures about 34” x 24”. We have kept it as we bought it; laying on a piece of cardboard with a thick plastic sheet over it. We want to have it framed so we can enjoy it on our wall instead of hidden in storage. Our question, who would be the best to contact to preserve and frame our piece? We appreciate any information. Thank you, Cari 

A. Dear Cari,

What an interesting piece that should be enjoyed! The best thing to do is to find someone who does conservation framing in your area. There is a book and paper conservator about an hour from you that may be a good first call. Her name is Susan Lunas and her website is

If Susan can't help, you will want to find a framer who knows how to work with historic works so they know the proper way to mount the object. 

When speaking with a framer, be sure to ask for UV blocking glazing and make sure that when framed, the leather painting does not touch the glass.

I hope this helps give you a start.