Whether you are a burgeoning art collector or an experienced connoisseur, you need to take all the necessary steps to safeguard your newly acquired assets. The minutiae of protecting an art collection may seem tedious, but it’s essential to prevent damage or loss due to the elements, poor storage, or theft.
The following are several methods art collectors can use to keep their art in pristine condition:
- Avoid direct sunlight. Sunlight exposure can bleach anything given enough time. Avoid displaying art in places that have frequent direct sunlight.
- Use UV filtering acrylic glass. Exhibiting an art collection is a significant part of the joy of owning it. Individuals that don’t want sunlight to limit their art display can use special acrylic glass to frame and protect it from damaging UV rays.
- Control temperature and humidity. Indoor environmental factors like room temperature and humidity levels affect the longevity of the artwork. Water in the air and certain temperatures can damage artwork over time. Ideal conditions to maintain the art’s integrity are temperatures between 69 and 75 and humidity levels between 45 and 55 percent. Artwork stored outside of these parameters may crack, warp, turn yellow, or grow mold.
- Avoid touching unframed art. Dirt and natural body oils can corrode paint over time. Touching, prodding, or stroking can also damage delicate artwork.
- Use proper cleaning techniques. Framed art is easy to clean with a microfiber cloth and an ammonia-free glass cleaner. However, art collectors should never use cleaning products on unframed art. Harsh chemicals can damage, erode, or destroy paint. Instead, use a soft feather duster to rid any unframed art of dust and debris.
- Store artwork properly. As an art collection grows, it may become impractical or impossible to display all the pieces at once. Using a storage facility can help keep the pieces safe from damage and theft. However, some storage facilities aren’t suitable for fine art pieces. Some may sit too close to potential sources of damage, such as along the coast in a flood-prone area. The best facilities for storing artwork use racks to keep artwork off the floor, use temperature and humidity controls, maintain a thorough inventory, and train staff on how to handle various types of art.
- Invest in insurance. While preventing theft and damage are preferable, insurance can help recover any losses that may occur despite best efforts. Homeowners’ and renters’ insurance policies don’t provide adequate coverage for valuable artwork, and collectors need specific policies to protect their art assets. Maintaining a thorough inventory that includes the valuation of worth, description, and high-resolution images of the items is particularly helpful when recouping losses.
Art collectors can either ensure their pieces individually or invest in a blanket policy. For individuals with extensive collections, policies for every piece aren’t practical. Windermere Insurance Group understands the nuances of protecting valuable art collections. Contact us to discuss your coverage and address any gaps to minimize the risk to your art collection.