Art pieces, much like people or plants, need special care to remain vibrant and intact. If you possess delicate artworks, these insightful tips will help ensure they stay pristine and maintain their value for future generations.
Whether you're a casual art enthusiast or a seasoned fine art collector, the aesthetic and emotional significance of art cannot be understated. In our ever-changing world, where nothing remains static, safeguarding our artistic heritage is paramount.
Art collections often symbolize significant financial investments. Masterpieces by acclaimed artists fetch astronomical sums at auctions, while works by budding talents can appreciate over time. Hence, it's vital for collectors to practice rigorous care and preservation for their treasures.
Neglect or improper care can drastically diminish an artwork's market value. So, if you have or plan to obtain art pieces, paying heed to the right environmental conditions and maintenance practices is essential.
This article highlights the primary environmental factors to consider when displaying or storing art. We will offer insights on handling, conservation, and display techniques. Let’s unveil the secrets of art preservation!
Setting up the proper conditions
Light, temperature, humidity, and pollution can damage art over time. To keep your art in good shape, it's important to understand how these factors affect different types of art
Art is meant for admiration, yet excessive exposure, especially to direct sunlight, can fade and permanently damage some pigments and materials. The cumulative effect of light on art means certain materials absorb radiation, emphasizing the need for its limitation.
Control lighting intensity and radiation based on the unique materials of each piece. Durable materials like stone or metal withstand more intense lighting, whereas mediums like watercolors or engravings are more light-sensitive.
Art should never directly face sunlight. If your art space is luminous, consider UV-filtering coatings on windows or UV-protective films for glass. With artificial lighting, ensure there's no drastic temperature shift. Although pricier, LED and optic fiber lights are ideal for art displays.
Temperature and humidity
Extremes in temperature and high humidity can jeopardize delicate art pieces. Ideal temperature for art spaces hovers between 68 to 72°F (20 to 22°C), maintaining a relative humidity of 40% to 50%. Specific requirements vary based on the artwork's material, its present condition, and past environments.
Inspect room enclosures and address any thermal insulation or moisture issues. Avoid positioning art near heat sources. Avoid excessive ventilation during rainy days. If feasible, invest in a dedicated climate control system for your art space. Alternatively, consider devices like humidifiers, dryers, or thermos hydrographs.
Airborne contaminants pose threats to art. Dust and environmental microbes can lead to damaging chemical reactions. Oil paintings, in particular, are susceptible due to their greasy nature. Ensure regular cleaning, using soft dusters or cloths. Store pieces wrapped to prevent damage and keep magnets or electronic components at a safe distance. The most pressing concern, however, is pests. Ensure proper conditions to prevent the growth of harmful microorganisms and protect from external threats like insects or rodents.
Security & risk mitigation
Even the most skeptical of art collectors should prioritize the physical safety of their collections. Protect against unforeseen events like fires, thefts, or floods. Implement measures like movement sensors, fortified doors, and fire alarms. Consider fireproof window panes, albeit pricier.
Better safe than sorry: best practices for self-managing your collection
Handle with care
Handle artworks with utmost care. Always keep hands clean and dry. Handle paintings by their frames, and consider lint-free gloves for sensitive pieces. Use acid-free packaging for storage and employ carts or padding for moving larger pieces.
Maintain an inventory
Documenting your collection is crucial. This aids not just in security but also in tracking the condition and any treatments of the artworks. Periodically update a photographic inventory to ease identification in cases of theft or damage.
A piece of history in our hands
Art preservation transcends aesthetics or financial considerations. It's about revering history, celebrating artists, and ensuring that the essence of each piece endures. By embracing these practices, we partake in preserving the timeless saga of artistic expression.
At The Art Dome, we empower you with the knowledge to champion the beauty of masterpieces across generations.