Caring for your Art Collection
Our Guide for Handling, Hanging and Framing your Fine Art
When we care about something, we have to look after it; this is no different in the case of fine art. As exhilarating as it is to usher a new work home, there are a few things to consider before hanging it on the wall. To help you manage this and therefore safeguard it into the future, here's a snappy guide to helping you handle, hang and frame your collection.
When in doubt, handle with care. For works on paper, you may slide on some white gloves. If gloves are unavailable or make handling clumsy, the next best option is ensuring your hands are clean and dry. In terms of literally moving a work of art - be cautious and always use both hands. Try to bow the paper, not buckle it and always carry unframed paintings by the stretcher.
It’s all About the Frame
Straight up, professional framing is the simplest way to care for your collection. Make sure any works on canvas are securely stretched over a professional grade stretcher - otherwise, the image may distort. For works on paper, using an acid-free board is essential; doing so, reduces the risk of discolouration and fading. For those super serious about safeguarding their collection, UV protected glass is a good op.
The Right Climate
Works of art thrive best in habitats away from direct light and humidity. This means no sunrooms and no damp spaces like kitchens or bathrooms. Above heat sources, such as fireplaces, is also a no-go as discolouration and deterioration can occur. If you chose to illuminate a work art, avoid the spotlight hitting it directly. Instead, have it bounce off an intermediate surface, like a glass frame. And of course, invest in a secure and reliable hook, otherwise your new work may go down hook, line and sinker!
Keeping Your Collection Clean
Your collection will benefit from regular sprucing. Wipe your framed prints and photographs with a microfibre cloth and dust paintings. You should also limit the amount of cleaning liquid you use. For Art Glass (a premium anti-reflective glass) a spritz of water and wipe down with a microfibre cloth will suffice. Perspex glass on the other hand, only requires the microfibre cloth.
Storing & Documenting
If you find yourself needing to store your art collection, here’s our tip - keep it off the the floor! Not only will this foster airflow, but it can also help protect against the possible threat of water damage. Conservation grade cardboard should also be used to separate large works. In terms of covering the collection, a cotton sheet is preferable to bubble wrap.
Unframed prints and photo-graphics works ought to be stored flat, separated with glassine tissue and in a dry contained space. Perhaps pop in some silica sachets (found in shoe boxes) to soak up any moisture.
Our final tip relates to those with growing collections. It’s always a good idea to keep track of your collection with a record of what works you own and any relevant documentation, such as letters of authenticity, provenance and valuations. While this can be a physical file, the ubiquity of the internet means it doesn't have to be.
Not all collections require the same level of care. Despite this, being mindful on how you handle, frame and store your works will always be a fruitful investment. That way, generations to come can marvel over your collection.
For any queries on caring for collection, do not hesitate to contact us. We’re always happy to offer advice and framing services to ensure your collection is kept healthy.