Mount Design, Fabrication & Installation

Mountmaking

Our elegantly designed mounts secure and protect objects on display.

What are the qualities of a good mount?

A safe and secure mount should support its object without causing damage, but also protect the object while on display. Also, mount construction should incorporate the proper materials: steel for heavy objects, brass for delicate items, acrylic for books, and forms for textiles. Finally, a well-designed mount should not distract from the display of its artifact.

Why are these qualities important?

Displaying an object discreetly while protecting it for the duration of the exhibit is the purpose of a good mount. A poorly built mount can do far more damage to an object than any external force by improperly supporting the object’s structure, and inexperience can lead to damage during fitting, installation or deinstallation. The delicate balance between safe display and optimal presentation drives the art of mount design. A mount should fully support the object yet not draw visitors’ attention.

Why is ELY the best company to provide mountmaking services?

Our mountmakers have experience with all types of objects and appropriate materials. From delicate fish bones to fully articulated dinosaur skeletons, ELY has mounted a wide array of artifacts. We have installed exhibitions in earthquake zones where all objects required seismic mitigating mount designs. At our shop or onsite, we can fabricate in steel, brass, acrylic, archival foams and many other materials. We appreciate the great responsibility of working with irreplaceable artifacts, and we work with our clients to develop the most appropriate design. After final fitting for installation, our mountmakers color match the mount to the object so that it retreats from view.

Sample Projects

Name: 

Arctic Studies Center

Services: 

Mountmaking

Client: 

National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian

ELY assembled a team of mountmakers who worked for ten months constructing seismic mounts for more than 500 artifacts, ranging from the smallest ivory floats to a 17 foot long skin kayak. The mount designs required that objects be removable from display while remaining on their mount to keep the objects safe during handling. This called for a constant dialogue between the ELY team and the Smithsonian conservators. ELY installed the artifacts at the Anchorage Museum in 2010. Artic Studies Center.pdf

Name: 

Dinosaur Mysteries

Services: 

Mountmaking

Client: 

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

For the reinstallation of this permanent exhibition on dinosaurs, ELY fabricated more than 300 brass and steel mounts and installed the artifacts, ranging from a tooth 1/8 inches long to a Triceratops skull over 5 feet tall and weighing 1,800 pounds. Several complex mounts were required to articulate partial skeletons, including feet and skulls. Also included in the exhibition is the Fossil Wall, an aesthetic display of 100 fossils, each individually mounted on a vertical surface. The renovated gallery opened in July, 2011. Dinosaur Mysteries.pdf

Name: 

Exquisitely Evil: 50 Years of Bond Villains

Services: 

Mountmaking

Client: 

International Spy Museum

ELY mounted and installed a diverse collection of James Bond movie props, from a bullet necklace with diamonds to a 10 foot komodo dragon climbing down a wall, for the Spy Museum in 2012. The exhibit includes over 40 flat documents and books, ten mannequins, as well as model helicopters, a jet and a shark head suspended from the ceiling. One of the more challenging objects to mount was a deteriorating rubber octopus that required a mount supporting the length of each arm and cradling its heavily weighted head.  Exquisitely Evil- 50 Years of Bond Villains:Spy Museum.pdf

Name: 

Anacostia Community Museum UBUHLE Women Exhibit

Services: 

Mountmaking

Client: 

Anacostia Community Museum

ELY won the contract to mount 37 beaded artworks to rigid panels or tacked to stretcher frames for the exhibition Ubuhle Women: Beadwork and the Art of Independence. The exhibition highlights the work of Ubuhle Beautiful Beads, a community of South African women artisans who work to achieve economic stability for their families while stewarding traditional skills through their crafts. ELY provided custom built stretcher bars and panels and stretched and installed the artworks.

Clients

Through the African American Lens

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Library for the Study of George Washington

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association

Golden Eagle Pilot House

Missouri History Museum

Jefferson and Slavery at Monticello: Paradox of Liberty

National Museum of African American History and Culture

Sant Ocean Hall

National Museum of Natural History

Samurai: The Warrior Transformed

National Geographic Museum

Dinosaur Mysteries

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Age of Mammals

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

Arctic Studies Center

National Museum of Natural History, National Museum of the American Indian

George Washington and His Generals

Mount Vernon Ladies' Association

A Son and His Adoptive Father

Williams Center for the Arts Gallery, Lafayette College

Sports: Breaking Records, Breaking Barriers

National Museum of American History

War Stories: Reporting in the Time of Conflict 

Newseum

Our Lives: Contemporary Life and Identities

National Museum of the American Indian

Walters Art Museum

Mountmaking, Permanent Collection

Resistance, Creativity and Survival

Anacostia Community Museum


Spy Treasures of Hollywood: Highlights from the Danny Biederman Spy-Fi Collection

International Spy Museum

The Allure of Pearls

National Museum of Natural History

The Public Vaults

National Archives and Records Administration

Reach Out

How can we meet your museum or collection needs?

Contact Us