Moving houses? Traveling with your art? Storing it to give way to a new piece? Art storage may be a good investment for you. May it be a painting, a collection or a relic, it seemed unnecessary to know how to store them properly at the time you bought it until it’s time to do so. Hence, the importance of knowing the best ways to preserve and protect them during events like this.
But from what?
Your artwork is at risk for rips, stains, fingerprints and unnecessary cracks. The common thing among all of these incidents is a person. Also, from mould, breakages and chemical reactions where the weather is the culprit. Now that we are aware that people and the weather could greatly damage an artwork, it’s easier to seal it from such culprits. So, here are the best ways to store your art:
WHEN PACKING FRAMED ARTWORK
To begin with, framed artwork should be cushioned with cardboard corners to preserve the structure and the frame itself. When you are initially picking a frame for the art, consider utilising some form of wire work as it has been found that 3d wire forming creates a strong foundation. Proper handling of artwork means lesser contact to the very canvas. Therefore, bubble wrapping the art could be a smart way of keeping it away from unnecessary indents. If the artwork came with its bag upon purchase, use that. Tape it or secure it with a string afterward. Wrap it in plastic once secured to keep it further away from dust and to seal it from moisture and mould. Around this time, fill in the gaps with a cloth or more bubble wrap to keep it stable as you put it in a box before storing it. It’s better to store it vertically to avoid it getting damaged, broken or distorted. If you must, store it on frames to keep it off the floor and from each other. Some canvases could absorb the dampness of your flooring, so it is also good if It is lifted from the floor.
STORING UNFRAMED ARTWORK
Before you are convinced that a tube would do in storing your painting in, hold that thought! Rolling your painting may crack the paint resulting in damage to your art piece. It is better to wrap it in between 2 sheets of slightly larger glassine first before wrapping it with sturdier materials like foam or cardboard. Glassine is smooth and glossy sheet of paper that could protect your art piece from developing mould and from unnecessary stains. It is resistant to air, water and grease.
TAKING CARE OF ART PIECES ENCLOSED IN GLASS CASES
Art pieces are meant to be flaunted hence; the glass cases are best for a type of museum display purposes. Now, the art pieces are more likely safe in terms of structure, framing and contact with anything. But it is best to check it for breakage as moisture may seep in through the broken glass. Depending on how the artwork sits secure in the middle of the glass case, do check the part that is in contact with the art piece. Felt paper may stick on the surface touching it if stored for a long time in warm conditions. Check or change it now and then. And when you are about to shut the glass door, make sure hinges do not impose indents keeping the glass case tight shut. More effort will be allotted for taking care of the glass case itself in terms of moving. Perhaps, it is better to have a cardboard box customized for it and that its labelled fragile. Do pad it with bubble wrap then tape it just right if you must. Taping it too tight might put too much pressure on the glass which could eventually lead to a break.
CONDITIONS WHEN KEEPING YOUR ART IN STORAGE UNITS
It’s important to know that artwork and art pieces need time to rest from being displayed over time. Paintings may start to fade or crack, frames start to deteriorate, and art relics lose luster. And this is the reason why art, specifically those that use paper like photography, are not put on display for more than a year each time. Also, in choosing storage units or rooms, be informed on when there’s ventilation, mould formation is expected. This doesn’t exempt art pieces and paintings most especially. The paint, even though believed to be dry, tends to absorb moisture and be crept of dust. So, choose storage units that do not have huge windows (though rare). It is also important that the temperature of your chosen storage unit may be controlled. Every artwork is advisable to be stored in a 70-degree Fahrenheit atmosphere.
Finally, whether you’re a collector or not, a museum manager or an art keeper, it’s important to keep a record of your art pieces. Label as you store. Prepare a thorough spreadsheet of the items stored, complete with an image and a description should be on record for each storage unit. This way, you know where you had kept them, what they look like before storing them and the time you have stored them for follow up cleaning or restoration.