The Care and Keeping of Your Art
Today Art Consultant Kathleen Hamill joins me as a guest blogger with very helpful tips for the care and keeping art. Your home’s art should be personal, tell your story and make you smile every time you see it. That means you should to take very good care of it, right? Here’s what Kathleen has to say on the topic.
As an art consultant, I am frequently asked about the care and keeping of the art I sell. What are the best ways to protect your artwork and are there any practical tips? When you’ve made an investment in a piece you love, or an entire houseful, it is worth the extra effort to take care of it.
Paintings are delicate, organic objects. They are susceptible to light, temperature and humidity. You should avoid hanging paintings in a sunny room or in an area of direct sunlight to avoid discoloring and fading. If your sunny spot is screaming for an oil painting, you should consider placing the work under UV protected glass to preserve the paint.
Paintings can benefit from periodic light dustings. Use a soft, fine and dry brush to dust the surface of the piece. The frame itself can be cleaned with a slightly damp cloth.
Since they are susceptible to humidity and temperature, you should never store any piece of value, financial or emotional, in a garage, basement, or attic. The same is true for artwork in the kitchen close to the stove or in a bathroom, the moisture from the steam can ruin the work, especially works on paper.
As with paintings, works on paper should be kept out of direct sunlight and UV protected glass should be considered in the framing. You should also consider reframing any work on paper that was framed more than 15 years ago or so. We now have archival quality framing materials that help maintain the longevity of the piece. All works on paper should have acid free backing and matting. Non-acid free matting can actually chemically burn the piece and begin to disintegrate the paper. The glass should be cleaned with a damp cloth with just a touch of Windex if absolutely needed. Again, simply wipe the frame with a damp cloth.
Taking these few small steps can help ensure you are enjoying your art collection for years to come. Treat them with a little TLC.
If you need help finding the best places for the art in your home a design consultation may be a great service for you!
Kathleen Hamill is the President and Creative Director of K Hamill Fine Art & Design, a Baltimore-based, full service art consulting firm providing consulting, acquisitions, framing and installation for both residential and commercial clients. KH Art Consulting specializes in emerging artists with the goal of “Placing Baltimore Art in Baltimore’s Homes.”