You can be an art collector or someone who just possesses some valuable works of art. There might come a time when you need to store your pieces of art, maybe because you are moving houses, or renovating your home, or because you want to free up some space. Whatever be the reason, it is imperative that you know how to get art storage done in the right way, to preserve these valuable pieces.
Art storage is not just about wrapping up the works of art in bubble wrap and stacking them in a corner. The temperature, the type of wrapping used, and other factors are things you need to know before you can relax about art storage.
Art Storage is a Necessity
Art storage is not just about freeing up some space. Some pieces of art can be damaged just by being on display for a long time. The paint starts to crack and fade, and the frame begins to wear away or start getting rusted. This is why even big art museums never display their work of art for more than a year at a time. Art storage is a must if you want to keep your pieces of art in good condition.
Where to Store Art
The first thing to consider when going for art storage is for how long you want to store it. This will decide the type of storage facility you need to use. If you are just renovating your home and want to swap a few pieces, then you can do it at your home itself, as long as you can control the temperature. For serious art collectors, a professional art storage facility is the best option. These units allow you to set the temperature.
The gallery where you buy art from can advise you on where to store them as well. They would be aware of the art storage facilities available and the services provided.
How to Prepare Art for Storage
Before you send your art to the art storage facility, you need to get them ready. Clean the pieces thoroughly before you pack them up. Use a microfiber cloth or a dry and soft paintbrush to dust them off. For wooden frames, you can use a quality polish to spray the wood with. Polish sculptures and metal frames as well.
The next step is to pack the pieces of art properly. The type of packing depends on the amount of protection they need.
Use cardboard corners to protect the frame corners and then use bubble wrap or similar padded wrapping to wrap the entire work. Secure the wrapping using string or tape. To protect the work further from moisture and dust, put it into a plastic bag or wrap it in plastic sheets. Then place the artwork into a box of the same size approximately.
Rolling up unframed paintings might be easier, but it is not recommended. Rolled up artwork may develop cracks or creases if left for too long. The best method to wrap up the canvas in glassine, which is air and water-resistant packing material and then place the artwork between two sheets of another durable material like cardboard or foam. You can add an extra layer of protection by putting it into a plastic bag and tying it up before you pack it away in a box.
Sculptures and Other Oddly Shaped Artwork
The most common packing material for art storage is bubble wrap. Use multiple layers if the piece has many edges. Secure the bubble wrap in place with tape and then put it into a box, filling the extra space with newspaper or other waste paper to protect it from breakage.
After you have packed it properly, remember to document the pieces and position them correctly in the art storage facility. Check on them regularly so that you can identify and mitigate any possible harm. Art storage, if done correctly, will preserve your works of art for a long time.