(above, Gari Melchers, Joan of Arc, oil on canvas, 30 x 23 inches, Indianapolis Museum of Art. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons*)
While we do not conserve art objects, there is a plethora of information which may be of help to you:
From Traditional Fine Arts Organization:
The American Institute for Conservation is a professional membership organization for conservators. Accessed 2/22
The Foundation for Advancement in Conservation publishes resources for conservation professionals. Accessed 2/22
The Polk Museum of Art says: "We all know that light makes colors fade, but it also deteriorates the materials used in a work of art or an antique. Keep sunlight exposure to a minimum by closing the drapes when you are not at home. Having your windows tinted will not only prolong the life of you art, it will also, in most cases, lower your energy bill. Avoid placing art in rooms with fluorescent lights. Fluorescent lights give off a lot of UV (Ultra-Violet) light which is especially destructive to the colored pigments and dyes used in art, fabrics and upholstery. " and "Temperature and humidity are the other major environmental factors that can lead to the destruction of art and antiques. In most instances, Museums try to maintain a temperature of 70º degrees and 50% humidity. This is ideal for most objects. At higher humidity levels, metals begin to rust or tarnish and mold begins to grow above 65%. At lower levels, paper becomes brittle and fragile and furniture joints may begin to loosen. Keeping your air conditioning on in the summer and using a humidifier in the winter (depending on the part of the country you live in) will go a long way to preserving your art." Accessed 2/22
Save Your Stuff provides Scott M. Haskins, Preservation Specialist, Collection Care Tips, a free multimedia E-book about preserving and protecting collectibles and memorabilia. Accessed 2/22
The Upper Midwest Conservation Center explains the conservation process for various media. Accessed 2/22
The February 2004 issue of The Forbes Collector reported: "...consider the extra costs fund managers will incur in adequately storing, conserving and insuring the art. [Philip] Hoffman contends that his Fine Art Fund will hold these costs to a total of 2% of an investor's total contribution." Serious collectors need to budget for the ongoing costs of maintaining a collection. According to another article in Forbes magazine, (see the revealing June 16, 1997 article "Eternity is Delusional," by Doris Athineos) a conservator will write a report on a work's condition, propose treatment if needed and estimate cost and time for about $250 for each work of art. Conservators also render opinions on authenticity of art works.
On the topic of art storage, in a 6/14/07 article in the Wall Street Journal titled "Off-the-Wall (Storage) Sites for Art," author Daniel Grant says: "According to Tim Dietz, vice president of the Alexandria, Va.-based Self-Storage Association, the industry began in rural and suburban America, "clearing out stuff from the garage and making room for the car, or clearing out a bedroom so someone could sleep in it," eventually making inroads into cities over the past quarter-century. Fine-art storage has been principally an urban affair, and with it has come issues of environmental controls and enhanced security. The Self-Storage Association has no industry definition of some of the terms individual facility owners use -- "climate-controlled," "true humidity controlled," "museum-quality controls" -- and Mr. Dietz stated that "the courts are establishing the meaning of these terms." One of those courts, the Ohio Court of Appeals, ruled in April 2006 that the owners of a storage facility in West Geauga fraudulently represented their site as "climate-controlled" to a man who found his stored furniture and collectibles damaged.
An Ounce of Preservation: A Guide to the Care of Papers and Photographs, Craig A. Tuttle, 1994 (116 pages)
The Care of Prints and Drawings, Margaret Holben Ellis, 1995 (253 pages)
Care of Photographs, Siegfried Rempel, 1987 (184 pages)
Allworth Press has a helpful book titled Caring for Your Art: A Guide for Artists, Collectors, Galleries, & Art Institutions, 3rd edition, by Jill Snyder.
Matting, Mounting, and Framing Art, Max Hyder, 1986 (142 pages).
Dr. Mark Sublette, owner of Medicine Man Gallery in Tucson and Santa Fe, has a channel of YouTube online videos on topics relating to Native American baskets, weavings, pottery and carvings. Titles regarding authentication including:
In April, 2009 the Indianapolis Museum of Art announced the launch of ArtBabble.org, an online community created to showcase art-based video content. The site allows visitors to explore works of art online through a collection of interviews with artists and curators, original documentaries and art installation videos. Incorporating cutting-edge technology, ArtBabble features high-definition video, full text transcription of all the videos on site and interactive features including viewer feedback and video sharing. One of the topics covered by ArtBabble is "Conservation."
Basic Art Handling: 15 minutes 1988."Have you ever pondered the proper procedure for moving a large sculpture from one place to another? Do you know the safest way to store paintings and prints? These and other art-handling questions are addressed in this videotape, produced by the Gallery Association of New York State. Professionals and private collectors answer questions about preserving precious objects, and a professional conservator demonstrates techniques designed to make art handling safe and effective. Recommended for classes in conservation and art handling, as well as for use by professional organizations." (Quotes are courtesy the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
The Getty Museum as of April 2005, provided videos including: Conservation: Paintings (4:50); Conservation: Works on Paper (5:05); Conservation: Antiquities (5:10), and Conservation: Decorative Arts (5:17).
Monterey Museum of Art and Fine Art Conservation Laboratories presented as of July 2011 "Cleaning a Painting by Armin Hansen From The Monterey Museum of Art" a 03:44 YouTube video by Scott M. Haskins.
Smithsonian Videos presentes the 04:04 video "The Art and Science of Conservation: Behind the Scenes at the Freer Gallery of Art," featuring staff of the museum.
Return to Resources for Collectors, Life Long Learners, Students and Teachers of Art History
*Tag for expired US copyright of object image:
Links to sources of information outside of our web site are provided only as referrals for your further consideration. Please use due diligence in judging the quality of information contained in these and all other web sites. Information from linked sources may be inaccurate or out of date. TFAO neither recommends or endorses these referenced organizations. Although TFAO includes links to other web sites, it takes no responsibility for the content or information contained on those other sites, nor exerts any editorial or other control over them. For more information on evaluating web pages see TFAO's General Resources section in Online Resources for Collectors and Students of Art History.
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