What Is a Gallery-Wrapped Canvas? (The Meaning of Gallery-Wrap Canvases)

What Does Gallery-Wrapped Canvas Mean?

When you see canvas wall art online or in stores, you’re most likely looking at a print or painting on a gallery-wrapped canvas.

A gallery-wrapped canvas is a canvas fabric that has been wrapped around the sides of a wooden frame (called stretcher bars), with the staples or tacks hidden on the back. You can see examples of gallery-wrapped canvases on Amazon.

What Is the Difference Between a Gallery-Wrap and a Stretched Canvas?

A gallery-wrapped canvas is a type of stretched canvas.

Before gallery-wrapped canvases became popular, the staples could be seen on the sides of the stretched canvases. But with the introduction of gallery-wrapped canvases, the staples were placed behind the frame where the viewer of the artwork could not see them.

There’s a common misconception that the difference between a gallery-wrap and a standard stretched canvas is that the gallery-wrapped canvas has sides that are 1.25 inches or more. But that’s not true!

Even the standard stretched canvases, which are typically 0.75 inches thick, are gallery-wrapped canvases if the staples or tacks are hidden on the back.

The depth of the stretcher bars has nothing to do with whether or not a stretched canvas is gallery-wrapped or not.

Is Gallery Wrap Better?

Usually, yes. Gallery-wrapped canvases typically are better than stretched canvases with staples on the sides.

Gallery-wrapped canvases have a clean, finished look and can be hung without framing. This type of canvas is also easy to care for, as it does not require glass or matting.

Gallery-wrapped canvases also allow for the artwork or photo to be painted or printed on the sides of the canvas since there are no staples.

A gallery-wrapped canvas print with the image on the sides (iCanvas) does tend to have a more complete look. It helps to create a cohesive design and can make the print appear larger than it actually is. However, if not done correctly, it can be distracting and take away from the overall look of the print.

Without the image on the sides, a gallery-wrapped canvas print can have a cleaner look. The focus is entirely on the image itself, which can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on your preferences. If you want your print to be the center of attention, then this is the better option.

Here’s an example of Society6’s gallery-wrapped canvas print. The sides of the canvas do not have the image and are left white.

High-quality, giclee, gallery-wrapped canvas prints from Society6 – Product Video

Gallery-wrapped canvases are an excellent option for both artists and photographers who want to display their work in a professional manner.

Can a Gallery-Wrapped Canvas Be Framed?

Gallery-wrapped canvases have a clean, elegant, finished look without the need for a frame. However, some people prefer to add a frame to their gallery-wrapped canvas for aesthetic or practical purposes.

There are a few things to keep in mind when doing so, however.

  • First, the depth of the frame should be greater than the thickness of the canvas; otherwise, the frame will protrude from the front of the canvas and ruin the clean lines that gallery-wrapping provides.
  • Second, make sure to use hardware that won’t damage the canvas when attaching it to the frame. Nails or tacks can puncture the canvas and cause problems down the road.
  • Finally, take into account the fact that a framed gallery-wrapped canvas will be slightly heavier than an unframed one; this may need to be taken into consideration when hanging it on a wall.

The frame that is trending right now for gallery-wrapped canvas art is called a floating frame (Amazon). This type of frame adds a nice finished look to canvas art, while still allowing the edges of the canvas to show.

Overview: What Are Gallery-Wrapped Canvases?

A gallery-wrapped canvas is a type of stretched canvas used by artists that wraps the canvas fabric around the stretcher bars on all sides. The finished product has clean lines with no visible staples or tacks, making it ideal for paintings meant to be hung without a frame.

Gallery-wrapped canvases are popular among artists and online marketplaces like iCanvas, Society6, and Redbubble because they provide a clean, beautiful, and polished look. They are also easy to hang without a frame, which can save time and money.