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Storing artwork

Storing artwork
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Operations - Store and Insure

Safe storage for prints, paintings and fine art photography

When art is your passion, either as a creator or as a collector, pieces tend to accumulate in your living space. When your canvases and sculptures get in the way of day-to-day activities – or ideally before this happens – it’s time to improve your art storage facilities.

How to display your artwork

Paintings hung on the wall are safer from bumps and knocks than pictures stacked in a corner – but it’s very difficult to enjoy artwork that is constantly in view; and too much displayed artwork may create a cluttered, crowded effect. By keeping a few curated pieces in sight and storing the rest you will be able to display them in a restful, pleasant way that sets them off to their best advantage. You can always rotate your selection seasonally or according to your mood.

But ‘cluttered’ is a look too!

If you think you don’t mind arty clutter, bear in mind that your pieces will suffer if they are poorly displayed. Pictures are more prone to damage if they are in the way of daily activities because they have been hung on an unsuitable piece of wall – in a damp bathroom, for instance.

Not only that, but poorly stored artwork is exposed to dust, sunlight and pests that can cause your irreplaceable pieces to deteriorate, reducing their value and making it impossible to display them or enjoy them.

How to store artwork

Different art mediums have different storage needs, of course. Get it wrong and you will have pictures with paint fading and cracking. This sounds ominous, but all it means is that you can’t go far wrong if you aim to avoid bright sunlight and extremes and fluctuations in temperature and humidity when storing art. This means that attics and cellars are not ideal places to keep paintings. Concrete floors and walls should also be avoided as they attract damp. Extreme dryness may be harmful to some types of art, so bear this in mind when you make plans to store paintings.

A climate-controlled storage unit is a good start. You can buy racks for storing paintings, and it’s worth investing in good quality packing materials.

Enjoy your stored art

Even if you don’t intend to display your stored artworks for quite some time it is important to inspect them regularly. This will give you an opportunity to check for deterioration or damage, and it will allow you to take stock of what you have. You may find yourself falling back in love with a piece, or you may decide that it is time to sell some of your collection.

How much is it to rent a storage unit?

The cost of self-storage varies according to where you are in the country and what facilities you need. For storing artwork – particularly if they have a high value, either financial or sentimental, it is definitely worth paying for climate control and security enhancements. See our post about costing up storage for more information. And don’t forget to insure your artwork. You may need to get your paintings and sculptures professionally valued for insurance purposes. The Fine Art Trade Guild has some helpful advice on valuing artwork.

Once you know what you’ve got, get in touch with Store and Insure to find out how we can help with insuring your stored artworks.

Safe storage for your canvases

Carefully stored your artwork will continue to give pleasure for years to come and may even prove to be a good investment.