Artwork, especially paintings, are treasured by their owners for their monetary value, artistic features, sentimental value … or all the above. In any case, it’s important to carefully transport, store, and display these valued items. Be sure to follow these best practices.

Insurers and the finest art galleries recommend that you:

  • Hire a transportation company that specializes in crating, handling, and transporting works of art. Verify that they maintain the highest standards for service.
  • Engage a specialized, professional appraiser to document the condition of the artwork before they’re transported.
  • Don’t store unframed art long-term in tubes. Keep them flat, ideally in a solander box, and store them in a dry, dark location that isn’t prone to flooding.
  • Use professionals to hang your art using museum-quality materials and techniques.
  • Choose the display location carefully.
    • Avoid areas that may experience direct sunlight or high levels of heat or moisture. Ideal moisture levels are approximately 50%.
    • Consider whether the location is vulnerable to water leaks from pipes nearby, fire suppression sprinklers, bathroom fixtures on the floor above, or external flooding.
    • Don’t hang the art in high-traffic areas where they might be inadvertently jostled or damaged.
  • Consider protecting the art by framing it behind glass or lightweight acrylic plexiglass with UV filtering protection.
  • Don’t aggressively clean the art. Unless it’s covered by glass or acrylic, dry dust it only, using a feather duster or light brush. Never clean uncovered art with a rag since that could apply damaging pressure.
  • Be sure to use cotton gloves when touching the art and even the frame.
  • Be sure everyone who lives and works in the home understands the value of the art and the need to admire it without touching it.

Finally, be sure to obtain the right kinds of insurance at the proper levels for transportation, storage, and ultimate display. And don’t be afraid to ask your insurer for more information regarding any of the best practices presented in this article.

Whether you’re a framed art investor, collector, or simply an admirer, make sure your pieces are protected in every possible way for years to come!

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