Whether you’re a gallery owner with rooms of pieces to show or a casual collector, proper art preservation is paramount to keeping your pieces on hand for years to come.
Here are a few ways to prevent damage and keep your collection safe in self storage so it will retain and/or gain its value over time.
1. Keep It Packaged and Protected
Even the cleanest of storage facilities are still not the Ritz so its important to clean your unit of debris and visible dust.
If you can remember how your art work was packaged when you received it at your gallery (or if its a personal piece, how the gallery packed it for you) try to pack it in a similar fashion. Typically, that means protecting edges with cardboard.
Also consider an investment in acid-free paper to place on both sides of the art piece. Acid-free paper’s make up is built to protect important documents and artwork during long-term storage.
Layer front and back with one sheet of acid-free paper and a few layers of cardboard to prevent direct damage or bending, before placing into a cardboard box.
2. Select Climate-Controlled Storage
Most art requires specific temperature and humidity levels to maintain proper preservation and will vary based on the material type and specific needs of your piece.
Knowing the various elements and materials that make up your artwork can be very helpful when selecting a storage unit. Typically, you should be looking for climate controlled storage that offers around 50% humidity and approximately 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Store It Upright and Give it Room
While storing your artwork with other items is fine, you want to ensure that its placement doesn’t accidentally put it in harm’s way.
Keep two major items in mind:
- Store it upright to avoid stepping on the item, or a crushing blow should any items fall onto the piece as you move items around in your unit.
- Give it room, and do not place any items on top of the artwork. This is especially true if the artwork was stored flat instead of upright, as the weight of additional items can damage the piece, and make unwanted indentions.
Planet Storage is familiar with the storage of art and has had many galleries and artists store their pieces here. Come check us out and see how we can help you 🙂