How to Properly Care For Your Art Collection

Owning an art collection can be a very expensive endeavour, due to how valuable the pieces can be. Artwork made up of every size, shape, material, or paint type have specific care procedures that you must undertake if you want to own a collection that will last for years. Often, this is not a high upkeep job, as they will only require a limited amount of maintenance in order to remain in good condition. This is your helpful guide to impressing your peers with your flawless art collection.


A Range of Services

Perhaps you have a distinctly large art collection, and you’re running out of storage space in your home or studio. Perhaps you are wanting to move your artwork across the country and need help fast-tracking this process to transport and store your art safely as it makes this daunting journey. If this is the case, enlist the services of professionals who understand the intricacies of art storage. These professionals can help with transportation, shipping, installation, packing, and much more. In short, they will be able to go through the process with you to make it a smoother and less stressful endeavour. This is particularly helpful for gallery owners.


Suitable Upkeep

Artwork can take many forms, which means that they have different needs in terms of storage. For example, hand painted sculptures are likely to be showcased as display pieces in your home, and luckily only require the occasional dusting to maintain its appearance. These art sculptures are ideal for those who are not wanting to engage in specialised upkeep when caring for their art, and prefer to just dust it off as part of their usual cleaning routine.


Maintain Longevity

For more traditional (painted) art pieces, there are consequences for not storing the artwork adequately that usually result in shortening the lifespan of the piece. Sunlight is an enemy of art, as the UV rays eventually destroy the quality and the pigmentation of the paint. To prevent this happening to your collection, it is highly recommended that you avoid hanging the pieces in direct sunlight altogether. However, if you have your heart set on it, then you could alternate the art pieces in your home to avoid being in sun for too long, or perhaps add a protective layer to your windows to reduce the chance of permanent damage.


Specific Requirements

Sunlight isn’t the only nemesis of art; a humid environment has proven to be just as damaging. While the sun tends to fade out the piece, high amounts of moisture can cause issues such as bending, cracking, or splitting the art. It can even lead to mold growing, which is an unpleasant thought for such a valuable and well-loved collection. By monitoring the temperature in your home, you should be able to regulate and control this potential issue. Museums and galleries have regulations in place that manage the amount of water in the air.


How to Clean

Making the decision to clean your artwork does not mean simply whipping out your household cleaning products and scrubbing them down. It is a more delicate process than that, especially as standard cleaning products contain chemicals that will stain or wear away your paintings. They can even change the colour of the piece. Instead, you have the option of using a soft brush to very gently wipe away any dust, or even using saliva through a cotton pad to lightly pat the area of the art that needs cleaning. This is dependent on the medium of the painting (acrylic, oil, etc), so ensure that you research beforehand so you do not make an error of judgement.


Getting Professional Assistance

It can be a devastating feat to attempt to care for your artwork, make a slight error, and have the whole collection ruined because of it. You may find it less daunting to enlist a skilled conservator who has the experience of restoring artwork to ensure that your pieces do not lose their historic and artistic properties. They can offer treatment for almost all issues, including paintings that are torn, stained, cracked, and flaking.


Final Thoughts

An art collection can be a special, private, and intimate thing that has been built up over years of hard work, searching, and expensive costs. Because of this, it is in your best interest to make sure that, from the moment of purchase, you are taking the time to care for the artwork to the best of your abilities. As mentioned in this article, art does not generally require massive amounts of maintenance- the problem usually begins when the amount of time the piece remains untouched becomes longer and longer, until finally it is left sitting with a build-up of issues that could have easily been managed earlier on.