Correct art preservation protects against detonation and ageing, even when it is placed in a private home environment.

But how should artworks be transported? What's the optimal climate temperature? And how may you control told and discolouration?

Even experienced collectors get some things wrong in relation to managing pictures, sculptures and video formats.

Here are 9 common misconceptions when attempting art preservation.

ART PRESERVATION CHECKLIST

  • ​Take high quality photographs of the newly acquired artwork. This will make an optimal restoration easier in the event of damage.
  • ​Invest in a suitable crate for transporting the work.
  • The framing of artworks should be left to an expert.
  • Use a constantly running humidifier to create a consistent climate. If necessary, buy a hygrometer.
  • Buy replacement parts (e.g. light bulbs) in due time.
  • Unless the replacement of defective components is an explicit feature of the concept, material-dependent degradation should be accepted.

Art preservation is the technical term to that frequently calls for nothing more than sound judgment

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Collectors beware: it's not only contemporary art techniques or short-lived materials that present art preservation problems.

Conventional paintings and traditional drawings will sooner or later show signs and symptoms of deterioration when kept in an unsuitable environment.

Restorers and conservators are often called to action just when the damage is visible: fissures with a canvas, a discolored illustration or a crumbling sculpture.

It is then that the art collector concerned might ask himself if he could have prevented this deterioration.

In most cases, the answer then is yes.

Art preservation is the technical term to that frequently calls for nothing more than sound judgment.

Unfortunately, with lots of collectors it isn't just carelessness that crept directly into their practice, but additional harmful behaviors that can be the result of enduring misconceptions.

ERROR 1: ANYONE CAN FRAME AN ARTWORK

framing and art preservation

The issue often begins as soon as you consider how to display the artwork on your walls, you can't just place your newly acquired art piece to just any framing company - they will most likely do a bad job.

But what can go wrong whenever a drawing is framed?

Using double-sided tape is a prime example: adhesive tape contains acid which damages the art, and it is also tough to completely eliminate it without causing damage.

For that reason, art restorers instead use mounting hinges made from Japanese paper and wheat paste.

Mounts that go over part of the picture may also be bad because they bring about inconsistent ageing across various areas of the artwork. Another harmful art preservation practice is when picture is stuck directly behind the glass.

In case you don't know a professional frame builder who provides expert advice you are able to trust 100%, it is advisable to take your art to a restorer and initiate following that.

For advice regarding the maintenance of your framed artwork view:

www.johnjones.co.uk/education/how-to/

ERROR 2: BUBBLE WRAP PROTECTS

bubble wrap art preservation

Most injury to artworks doesn't appear in the framing process, however in transit it can appear when art collectors choose to transport their artworks with UPS or FedEx.

Ulrich Lang, the restorer and conservator who counts the Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt among his clients, sighs, “Many collectors spend over a quarter of a million on an artwork but baulk at paying €1,000 on a proper crate to transport it in.”

Lang frequently sees collectors who load their artworks among bikes and furniture when relocating.

Whereby some even feel comfortable transporting their precious possessions on the back seat of the car - besides, they did carefully packed their sculpture or painting in bubble wrap.

“Bubble wrap is the worst you can do,” Lang warns, “It contains plasticizers and imprints itself onto materials.”

Which isn’t the worst part: “A static charge arises through the unrolling of the bubble wrap. As a result it attracts dirt, which then rubs against the surface of the work like sandpaper.”

One of the most disastrous situations happen when these works, packed in airtight-wrapping, are stored for a long duration: where there is a threat of moisture-related damage like mold and mold stains.

Lang recommends, paper, cloth and cardboard, preferably acid-free, as a much more effective measure for storage.

For a recommended fine art shipper look into Fine Art Ship for your quote: 

www.fineartship.com/estimate/

ERROR 3: WASHING YOUR HANDS IS ENOUGH

washing hands and art preservation

Although the work may have arrived safely at your home, the risks has nowhere near been averted. A flat is not an museum, and isn't supposed to be one.

Within the rare case of perfect weather conditions, you'd probably must also ensure that your home was free of colored food and drinks, children and pets will have to re-locate immediately and your partner might need to be refrained from gesticulating through a helpful straitjacket.

However, the project isn't only threatened by from dark wine and felt-tip pens, but also from your hands of the owner - however carefully soft they might be.

Before you handle a thing of beauty, it is wise to put on a pair of gloves, two layers of washed cotton gloves to be exact, since disposable nitrile gloves transfers the hands warmth.

Learn how to handle art:

www.johnjones.co.uk/news/2013/08/handling-artwork-when-to-wear-gloves/

ERROR 4: CONSERVATION GLASS PROTECTS AGAINST YELLOWING

glass and art preservation

Many individuals believe when the picture is framed and additionally protected with conservation glass, then its properly safeguarded. However, this isn't the situation.

Conservation glass and adhesive UV sheets offer a lot of protection against color bleaching, but not against yellowing.

“Light energy leads to oxidation, even without UV radiation,” informs Ulrich Lang, “and light damage can’t be reversed.”

Needless to say, many collectors know that a work shouldn't be hung on a wall that receives a lot of sunlight, understanding that the comfy spot through the fireplace is a no-go.

It doesn't happen to everyone, however, that pictures shouldn't be hung on outer walls.

Here, the contrast involving the warm ambient air along with the cold wall can cause condensation - this could cause warping and, in extreme cases, mold.

And for individuals who don't want to eliminate outer walls as potential hanging spaces?

Wolfram Gabler, who is responsible for the art preservation of modern art in Berlin, recommends using a protective mount on the opposite side from the work, even on paintings.

An acid-free part of cardboard screwed on top of the frame not only lends a great amount of stability - enough to face up to an accidentally protruding elbow - in addition, it gives an air cushion and protects against dirt.

“Air contains aggressive materials that accelerate the ageing process,” Gabler says.

To learn more about protecting against UV light view:

www.johnjones.co.uk/education/how-to/protect-photography-from-uv-light/

Many collectors spend over a quarter of a million on an artwork but baulk at paying €1,000 on a proper crate to transport it in

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ERROR 5: THE AMBIENT TEMPERATURE IS DECISIVE

temperature and art preservation

What ambient temperature is ideal for art preservation?

The solution is 20°C, although inside a heated lounge this level is soon exceeded.

However, “temperature is ultimately not the deciding factor,” Wolfram Gabler says, “Many works consist of a mixture of different organic materials. They need a constant ambient humidity.”

The emphasis here's on “constant”. In the event you buy a room humidifier, it needs to be going 24/7 - even when you are away on vacation, otherwise there is little point.

All restorers would emphasize that nothing, nothing at all, is really as disastrous as being a fluctuating climate: poor but stable the weather is better than this.

For tips on how to care for art long term:

www.johnjones.co.uk/education/how-to/top-tips-on-how-to-care-for-artwork-long-term/

ERROR 6: ONE HOOK IS ENOUGH

hooks and art preservation

Even when hanging pictures, art lovers are also prone to mistakes. A picture frame should never be hung on a single screw, let alone a nail, even if it seems more convenient.

The ideal solution is two screws fixed into the wall with wall plugs. “And don’t use washing line or wire that is too thin,” Wolfgang Gabler warns, due to the danger of material fatigue.

A collector from London recently found out firsthand what this term means: As he was sat unsuspectingly with his family in the living room, they suddenly heard a huge crash.

Startled, they ran through to the entrance hall, where until that point a large oil painting had hung – fixed to the wall for twelve years by a thin wire. The work now lay on the floor.

Ulrich Lang also recently established that the classic place for a hanging a painting isn’t always the most ideal:

Wondering over thick encrustations he had the task of removing from a painting, it then became apparent that the owner had hung it directly above his couch, where two slobbering boxer dogs had regularly made themselves at home.

For a guide to hang artworks view:

www.johnjones.co.uk/education/how-to/a-guide-to-frame-hanging-fixtures

ERROR 7: DAMAGE CAN BE FIXED AT ANY TIME

art restoration and art preservation

“We’ll get that done at some point,” many collectors think when a cork pops off into a canvas or an artwork falls from a pedestal: a serious mistake.

Fissures can grow apart with age, whereas stains eat further and further into the surface, and don’t’ think about quickly wiping over a picture in the case of splashes.

Also avoid “housewives” remedies, such as the one that says bread can be used for cleaning the surface of a painting: bread is a food source for the micro-organisms that are present on the surface of the picture.

To restore your fine art paintings visit:

www.fineart-restoration.co.uk

ERROR 8: EVERY ARTWORK CAN BE SAVED FROM DETERIORATION

detoriation and art preservation

When it comes to materials, almost anything can be done in art today.

Artists make use of the most absurd techniques and tools, and while a lot of it isn't made for preservation, additionally, it can't be easily easily replaced - much like the lemon in Joseph Beuy's 'Capri Batterie'.

Of the subjects that cause such problems, they are rarely as spectacular as the tiger shark Damien Hirst preserved in formaldehyde in 1991, which unexpectedly began to decompose nearly 20 years later.

Exactly what is the right plan for the art preservation of works produced from perishable materials? To start with, find out if the degradation constitutes a natural part of the art.

Anybody who owns a chocolate or sugar arrangement by Dieter Roth should accept the reality that the project will organically age after a while - whether or not the process can be slowed up by conservational interventions.

Rubber and latex are also materials that have a limited life-span. According to Wolfgang Gabler, “Anyone who buys art made of perishable materials has to live with the fact that it will disintegrate at some point.”

So how would it be with technological devices and electronic equipment? How are you affected when slide carrousels, bulbs and projectors that are not available cease to work?

The perfect solution is easy: stockpile replacement parts from the very beginning.

ERROR 9: EVERYTHING WORKS FOREVER IN THE DIGITAL WORLD

digital art preservation steps

The case is much more complicated when it comes to digital storage devices.

It’s not only the many recording formats that have appeared and disappeared as technology has developed that cause problems for collectors and museums alike; current storage media also doesn’t last forever.

Ulrich Lang warns against depending on USB sticks over long periods of time, and advises against saving films on CD or Blu-ray:

“When electronic data is compromised, color and structure shifts arise – through further copying these shifts will increase,” he explains, and recommends saving the data in as uncompromised a form as possible.

Additionally, he advises transferring it every three to five years onto the newest system (currently LTO tapes), ideally straight from the original. Then recording should always be examined to check that no changes have crept in.

Copying the data as often as possible is something that Lang doesn’t see much point in: “That only serves to confuse,” he says.

He also sees no sense in the oft-recommended practice of freezing film material, as the thawing process needs to take place in a very slow and controlled manner.

Storing the material at ten degrees Celsius, however, is recommended.

Anyone who wants to live with art has to take many things into account and accept certain restrictions, and those who believe that all types of damage can be fixed are mistaken.

There are even cases in which each intervention makes the damage worse: not with all the will in the world could you remove a cola stain from a black Ad Reinhardt picture.

Ultimately, the following applies: living with art should provide pleasure and be stimulating, but shouldn’t degenerate into a constant stress over how best to preserve it. Collectors can decide for themselves which restorative principles they submit to.

Between the responsibility of preserving an artwork and the desire to lead a relaxed life in the presence of art, each individual must determine their own path.

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