How to Take Care of Your Art Collection

by Terry Miller 8 months ago in how to

Explore the basic tips on how to to take care of your masterpiece.

How to Take Care of Your Art Collection

If you collect art, you have given yourself a most exquisite gift. Art touches on diverse human issues and the availability of art in all styles and philosophical leanings means there will always be an artwork that will match a collector’s particular aesthetic. Art is gazing into the conscious and subconscious expressions of a culture and era.

Artists are great confessors and observers of the inner and outer world. Paradise, dystopia, humor, beauty, and sentiment are rendered on blank space for posterity and to fulfill humanity’s search for meaning. Art collectors should be a proud group because they have intimate communion with fine products of human ingenuity, genius, and passion.

Art transforms spaces and affects the ambiance. Art that has been passed down through generations is an heirloom and is particularly well-loved. Art can last for generations. Know how to preserve artworks and enjoy them for years to come.

1. Insurance

Artworks, particularly fine art, are valuable assets. Examine your homeowners’ insurance policy if it will cover your fine pieces of art. You can buy special coverage for any of your specific items not covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy.

Fine artworks accrue value over time but you have to invest in proper storage and maintenance. Be prepared for weather-related conditions such as snow and hurricanes which can dramatically affect temperatures. A heating and cooling company can give advice on how to insulate a room that holds fragile art. This isn’t the situation when you can repair the damaged artwork by yourself.

If your property has been subjected to strong hurricanes contact a water damage restoration company pronto so you can get rid of mold, water, and leaks in your home that can destroy your valuable art collection.

Art conveys eternal themes and you should be able to maintain and take care of your art as long as you can. Regularly examine your art collection for any signs of degradation so you can fix it quickly. Make sure your fine works of art are covered in your insurance. The pleasure that art gives can be understood over time as it adds beauty to your spaces. Seeing the images regularly and finally understanding the meaning behind artworks will find you transformed and joyful at its presence.

2. Framing

There are different standards for hanging artwork in paper and canvas. Works on canvas must always be hung and stretched properly in a frame to prevent it from creasing and sagging. Changes in temperature and humidity can affect the canvas which can contribute to slow degradation over time. Use proper framing for canvases to prevent shrinking and expansion of the paint layers which may result in cracks in the paint.

Works on paper must always have an acid-free carton mount. Artworks on paper must always be framed under glass to protect it. Valuable works on paper (most especially) must be framed with polycarbonate, a sheet with UV filters instead of plain glass. A polycarbonate sheet can keep the artwork from fading because exposure to harsh lights contributes to the degradation of the piece.

3. Hanging

Protect your artwork by hanging it in an area away from direct sunlight and humidity. Photo degeneration, in particular, is direct sunlight acting on the materials of the painting which causes gradual degradation. Subject your art collection to regular examinations to inspect for woodworms on the frame. Do not clean paintings with water or other cleaning materials because it can react with the chemicals in the paint. Only use a feather duster to remove dust on canvas paintings.

When does a painting need professional treatment?

There will be obvious signs that your painting will be needing professional treatment. Look for signs of cracks in the paint layers. In some cases, the paint may start to loosen and lift from the canvas. Waves or bumps that appear on your canvas mean it may need restretching. Examine the color tone of your painting. Paintings that have been varnished changes to a yellowish or brownish color through the years. For artworks on paper, look for yellow spots. These spots first appear at the back of the paper and are a sign of fungi.


Don’t forget about the pest matters. Here, pests like rodents or termites can be highly harmful for your collection. Both the frame and the canvas of your art piece are at risk of damage with these around. To avoid losing any pieces of your collection try keeping food and beverages out of your gallery or storage room.

When moving to a new place, you may want to hire a professional exterminator to regularly check the place for safety and take care of the pest problem. Be sure to check what kind of chemical they use as some of those may be harmful to the artwork as well.


The storage place where you keep your art collection should be no different from where you will eventually hang it. Keep the climatic conditions consistent. Transitions from hot dry attics, cold damp basements, to a room with temperate climate can have disastrous effects on your pieces. Consider a heating and cooling company to install equipment in your storage areas to keep from dramatic shifts in temperature.

Store your paintings off the floor to allow air flow and avoid water damage. Cover the paintings with cotton material since cotton does not attract mold. If possible, store your paintings with sachets of silica gels to prevent humidity. Insert carton or ply dividers between paintings to prevent pressure.

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