Mat board

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Wah on Matboard
MFA# 1999.241


A stiff Paperboard, such as Cardboard, that is placed under or over a drawing, painting, or photograph to serve as a frame or provide a border between the picture and the frame. Mat boards are available in a variety of colors and surface finishes.  Some are laminated with Decorative paper or Foil.  Most mat boards are made from wood pulp, but archival quality Rag boards are also available. Newer versions are made from polymers, such as Polyethylene, that provide a rigid colored board.

Crescent RagMat; Dick Blick

Synonyms and Related Terms

mat; matboard; paperboard


Collection Risks

PIG (polyethylene) Matboard Safety Data Sheet: [link]

Resources or Citations

  • Rachael Perkins Arenstein, Lisa Goldberg, and Eugenie Milroy, ‘Support and Rehousing for Collection Storage’ In ‘Preventive Conservation: Collection Storage’ Lisa Elkin and Christopher A. Norris (eds.), Society for the Preservation of Natural History Collections, New York. 2019.
  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • The Dictionary of Paper, American Paper Institute, New York, Fourth Edition, 1980
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998