Photo Contest Winner! December Contest Begins!

A amazing photo using specialized film with a custom acid free matboard

Our winner this month is Hank Webber, with this incredible photo titled “Overhang” in a custom matboard! The unique look of this piece is due to the infrared film Hank used. Combined with the custom v-groove mat, and it comes together for a stunning effect that made an impression on us. Well done! 

PRIZES The winner will get a $100 Matboard and More Gift Card.  

HOW TO ENTER Upload your photo of your art with our mats or frames using any social media network (TwitterFacebookInstagramPinterest) with #MBNMPhotoContest. We’re going to use this hashtag for ALL CONTESTS going forward, so you don’t have to remember a new one each month. Multiple entries are encouraged, especially on all of your social media accounts. For Facebook, make sure the post is marked public or post it to our Facebook page directly.  

DEADLINE Dec 28th, 2018.

Please contact us at to receive your gift card.

So Many Mats, So Little Time

So Many Mats, So Little Time

Berkshire, Decorative, Conservation. Our three main types of mats. Three is not so many choices, but it can still be overwhelming if you’re not sure what you need. So, we’re going to look at these mats, and give some advice on the best uses for each type. We’ll jump right in and start with the Berkshire mats.

Berkshire Mats

Lovely abstract art displayed with beautiful white matboards

The Berkshire mats are our economy mats. These are still good mats with vibrant colors. To look at them, you can’t really tell them apart from the others. However, over time, these mats don’t last as long. As such, we primarily recommend these for school projects. Teachers can place bulk orders if they want to give their students early practice when it comes to advanced framing. Or, uncut mats can be used in place of paper to make projects that will last a little longer. Likewise, up and coming artists who are still in school may find these mats a more affordable option than some of the others.

Decorative Mats

Some lovely photos displayed at home with an excellent frame and awesome mat

The Decorative mats are our most popular, best selling mats. They are flexible enough to work for most projects, but there are some things they are best suited for. One of the things these mats are great for is home display. These mats will last longer than the Berkshire mats, so they’re great for anything you want to keep around the house. We generally recommend them for most multi-opening designs. These mats also come in a larger variety of colors. We also recommend these for professional artists selling prints. The Decorative mats will last longer than the Berkshire mats, but their relatively low cost still make it an affordable option for anyone looking to hit the art shows.

Conservation Mats

A delicate antique map, displayed carefully with an acid free matbord to protect and preserve it

The Conservation mats are the highest quality mats we carry. These are 100% acid free, museum quality mats. You don’t get any fading or discoloration from these mats. The acid free nature helps protect the pieces, though it also brings up the price As such, we mainly recommend these mats or original artwork and delicate materials. These mats are ideal for old postcards and photographs. For the artists, these mats are best for any original works you really want to preserve. However, these mats are also great for home use- buy them once and you’ll never need to replace them.


I hope all that helps you understand our mats a little better!

Back to School… in Athens!

Rapheal's classic painting, a wonderful piece of art that could be framed

The School of Athens! A famous painting of a near mythological place. Raphael’s piece from the early 1500s is eye catching and enchanting. Featuring a large number of figures lounging about, contemplating, and discussing various topic. The painting is not historically accurate, nor is intended to be. Besides the use of some building techniques not known at the time, like the iconic arch, the figures in this painting are from many times and places. Of course, here in the modern day, we can mat and frame them any which we way like, something they would surely be jealous of.

Yes, that’s right. Many of the figures shown here in the School are not random faces. Though not all have been identified, and many are in dispute, there are a number who are clearly meant to depict certain people from history. The two most noticeable are Aristotle and Plato, the central figures of the painting. They are very interesting men, who represent two different ways of thinking about the world.

A morbid piece of classic art by Rembrandt that could use a matboard to perk it up

Broadly speaking, Aristotle was more of a scientist, shown above in a painting by Rambrandt. He was interested in finding rational, provable explanations for the world around him. He would look at things in nature and want to find out more about them, about ho they worked. He studied the four elements in an attempt to find out what the world was made of. He also wrote about storytelling, economics, physics, and government. Indeed, it was men like him who discovered the golden ratio, which is so helpful in framing, and many aspects of the design.  

Another classic piece showing Green history, which would look striking if displayed with a matboard and frame

Plato was different, more of a philosopher, shown partly in the painting above by Jacques-Louis David (who’s work we have looked at before), which is technically focused on Plato’s own teacher, Socrates. His studies overlapped Aristotle, in that he also wrote about the ideal forms of government and morality. But he worked with ideals, more based on theory than observation of existing ideas. His Allegory of the Cave is an interesting way of looking how the way the world is shaped.

Plato and Aristotle, as the central figures, represent the two very different ways of thinking about the word, which leads to one of my favorite observations about the piece. The actual historical figures in the paintings are on their proper side of the school. That is, the “scientists” tend to go on the right with Aristotle, and the philosophers on the left with Plato. This is more of a theory, since the identities of the figures aren’t all 100% confirmed, but I always thought it helped bring this piece together.