Art Conservation Tips: Is Your Collection Safe From These 7 Hazards?

Gallery Staff Carefully Inspecting Painting

How Safe Is Your Art Collection? Art collecting can be a fun social hobby, a beautiful way to acquire assets, or a way to support the art community and preserve history for generations to come. For some of us, surrounding ourselves with fine art is a pleasure in itself. Imagine if the assortment of one-of-a-kinds and limited editions you’ve collected were damaged or lost due to totally preventable hazards.

We’ve put together 7 of the most common hazards to art collections of all types, along with tips and tricks for caring for your collection. But first, let’s learn a little more about the conservation process.

What Is Artwork Conservation?

When you think of art conservation, museums may come to mind. Conservation is a way to accurately preserve a piece’s appearance and history. The work is protected, and efforts are made to protect it from future deterioration.

Sculptures, paintings, and antiques must be conserved by museums and galleries, but so should you.

Art Conservation Vs. Restoration

The goal of art restoration is to make an object look as if it once did or return it to its original state. So, newer materials or replacement pieces may be used even if they were unavailable when the original object was created. Conservation, on the other hand, aims to preserve a piece as it is.

7 Hazards For Art Collectors To Watch Out For

Whether you are conserving or restoring the pieces in your collection, the hazards that can cause damage are the same. Knowing what to watch out for is a great first step in protecting the beauty, craftsmanship, and history in your care.

  1. Collisions & Punctures
  2. Non-Archival Materials – Yellowing & Darkening
  3. UV Light – Fading & Deterioration
  4. Heat – Fire Damage, Contracting, Tearing
  5. Rodents
  6. Insects
  7. Moisture – Mold, Warping & Buckling

Tips For Keeping Your Collectibles Safe

Art conservation techniques will include how you handle, display, and store your collectibles. You can take the greatest care in choosing the backing and frame for watercolor, but if you hang it in front of a window, it can still get ruined.

  • Use museum-quality glass when framing paintings or photographs.
  • Choose only acid-free, archival-quality papers, mounts, and glues for framing.
  • Make sure the method you use to hang artwork supports the piece’s size and weight.
  • Keep sculptures secure in high-traffic areas with barriers or supports.
  • Avoid hanging canvas paintings or paper works in front of windows or near fireplaces.
  • Dust frequently and invest in pest control.
  • Rotate the works you have on display.
  • Ensure that all storage spaces are climate-controlled.
  • Avoid wrapping paintings in plastic for storage.
  • Consider consulting a professional conservator for personalized advice.

Learn More About Caring For Thomas Kinkade Paintings

The Art Consultants at the Thomas Kinkade galleries of California will happily guide you through the framing process of your Limited Edition painting purchases. We can also advise you on hanging and lighting your collection to ensure the best display and protect each piece for generations. Stop by and see us in Carmel, Placerville, or Monterey today.