Wednesday, March 10, 2010

How to Take CARE of Your Fine ART

I went to an art lecture last night by a local conservator in my city , and she gave some wonderful , helpful tips on how to conserve , or protect , your fine art. She mainly spoke about art that is on paper, such as drawings, pastels, watercolors , etchings, etc. But the tips she gave us, also apply to oil paintings. So I am going to give you her 5 TOP tips for taking care of your art , with random comments by myself as well.
Here goes:
  1. Use your air-conditioning and heating system in your home or office to maintain a STABLE environment for your art at a temperature between 60-70 degrees with a relative humidity level between 40-60 %.( My comments: being in the Deep South of the United States is a killer with the high humidity we have , buy a dehumidifier if you have alot of expensive artwork to protect.) Also a no-no, is hanging art in your bathroom or kitchen area. Bathroom being the worst . Uh-oh here for me as I hang paintings and prints in our bathrooms.Plus I have many prints in my kitchen , will have to figure out if they are worth NOT leaving to the next generation.
  2.  Keep your Art out of drafts and away from air-conditioning/heating vents and open FIREPLACES that are in use. That means no expensive painting directly above a working fireplace, because of the heat, and the soot and smoke.
  3. Keep Art out of direct light, especially SUNLIGHT, but also artificial light can fade a painting and prints. Hang art in shaded spots, if you need lightening, use recessed lights in your ceiling and not picture lights over paintings. My comment, if you use picture lights, use low heat bulbs, do not leave them on for long periods of time. Also she recommended rotating your art in your home, like museums do to limit their exposure to light ).
  4. NEVER hang art on damp walls , never store in basements or attics or garages. ( I think most people know this if they collect art, but it is very common for the average person to store grandma's painting in the attic, it destroys a painting ! Store in inside closets, room, even under your beds ). Also try not to hang art on EXTERIOR walls of your house, because of the temperature changes are more drastic , than inner walls in your home.
5. Use only 100 % cotton rag paper-also known as museum mounting-to mount your paper art. Only this kind of paper is acid-free. You may also ask your framer to SEAL the back of the painting or print, and use more expensive UV protective glass as well. 
Some of these may be difficult for some people to do, but if you are able to at least not store art in your attics, basements or garages, that would be worth reading this.
Good luck !

" Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, Because we have trusted in His Holy name.." Psalm 33:20-21