Heart for Your Art: Protect Your Art Collection Like a Pro
December 3, 2018
An artwork is no decoration. It tells a story, invites conversation, and gives a glimpse of the owner’s character. It is just as alive as you are: when uncared for, it will age faster and live a shorter life. Sometimes we don’t bother putting more artworks at home thinking that maintenance is a burden. But don’t fret. Treat your art collection like they would in a museum with these tips.
Display and Storage
Don’t buy more art than you have room to display. We know how addicting collecting art pieces can be but remember that artworks need space to be fully appreciated. Once you’ve acquired paintings and photographs, frame and hang them on all that is free from direct sunlight because the radiation causes cracking, fading, and discoloration. Using plexiglass frames is highly recommended for their durability and UV ray-filtering properties, think of it as sunscreen for your paintings.
Aside from heat, abrupt and regular changes in temperature and humidity are also damaging to most artworks. Keep them in an enclosed area with a temperature not exceeding of 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If it can’t be helped, store pieces in an acid-free environment. Don’t stack paintings, instead let them stand in a row like books on a shelf. Experts also warn against wrapping paintings as they can trap humidity.
Include paintings in your daily dusting routine. Don’t use water and other cleaning solutions on them as they’ll instantly (and obviously) ruin the paint. Don’t forget to clean the frames as well, bearing in mind the best ways to clean glass, wood, and metal frames. Every month or so, check the backside of photographs and paintings for possible damages.
For sculptures and antiques, wipe them with dry microfiber cloth often and immediately wipe away spills. Then, at least once a year, give them a good polish with wood or metal polish, depending on the material. In case you detect damages like cracks, chipping, or molding, do not experiment with restoration. It might do more damage than good, seek a professional’s help immediately.
Inventory and Appraisal
If you have accumulated a good number of expensive artworks, better keep track of them. After all, protecting your art collection also means protecting your assets. Making an inventory can be as simple as taking photos of your artworks then noting their price and condition.
Lastly, have your piece of art appraised. Do it every three to five years for insurance’s sake, especially when the work is damaged, or before getting rid of it. Ever heard of stories where paintings bought in flea markets turn out to be worth millions? Some of them are actually true, and through appraisals you will learn and have a new appreciation for your artwork’s real condition and value.