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A guide on taking care of your art collection

When starting an art collection, it’s not just about finding the perfect piece and bringing it home. Collecting means knowing how to properly care for each piece so it will look brand new even after years of being on display.

This quick guide will teach art aficionados on how to take care of their collection of art:

Framing the artwork

A frame’s style depends on the specific piece of art and the overall design of the home. Pick a frame that is sturdy, has no gaps between corners and perfectly fits the piece. It’s never a good idea to cut an artwork only to fit it in a frame.

Some artworks like those on canvas should never be framed to allow them to “breathe.”These pieces experience subtle shifts over time due to changes in atmospheric pressure. Framing canvases under glass only traps moisture and disrupts the natural shifting of the painting.

Hanging the artwork

When displaying an art collection, always pay attention to the light, humidity, and temperature of the room.

Works on paper like photographs and textiles will fade, turn to brown or develop mildew when exposed to direct sunlight or harsh lighting. Exposing paintings to extreme heat, cold or smoke can cause cracks or discoloration.

Avoid putting art pieces in sunrooms, kitchens, bathrooms or anywhere with excess heat, cold, dryness, and moisture.

Storing the artwork

When some art pieces need to be placed into storage, these are best kept in dark and cool places like closets and temperature-controlled storage areas. Artworks put in attics, garages or basements may become damaged due to the dryness or high humidity of these spaces so don’t risk it. Also, remember to keep artworks off the floor.

Never cover artworks in plastic for extended periods of time. Cover them instead with cotton or microfiber sheets. Large art pieces can be wrapped in a blanket before putting them in storage. For smaller artworks, acid-free tissue paper will do and these have to be kept in a box.

When storing multiple artworks, put cardboard in between each piece to prevent them from leaning against each other. These should also be kept away from anything that could scratch or rip the surface.

Moving the artwork

Before traveling, each art piece should be wrapped and padded with thick cardboard on the front and back. Prints, meanwhile, should be laid flat during packing to lessen movement while on the journey.

Insuring the artwork

Fine art is a very valuable asset that accumulates value as time goes by. To protect this investment, it’s important to have them insured. Some homeowners’ insurance policies cover fine pieces of work while others require owners to have pieces specially insured.

When insuring works, remember to photograph the condition of the piece and include the following in the documentation:

  • Title of the piece
  • Name of artist
  • Dimensions of the piece
  • Method of framing
  • Original receipt of sale

Toronto is home to many great art galleries and museums. Discover real estate options in the city today! Give Cheryl Thompson and Linda McEwan a call at 416.419.1991 or send an email to cthompson(at)sothebysrealty(dotted)ca.

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