Artworks that are stored away for various reasons (one of which may be the requirement to store super fund assets away from home), need to be stored carefully. Artwork and Collectibles cover offered by Keystone, protects your precious items in the case of unforeseen accident, but if they are carelessly stored, they are more likely to encounter problems that are not covered.
Damage to artworks or collectibles can occur due to atmospheric effects, so storage conditions need to mitigate these. See also Wine and Spirits Storage. Damage caused by:
is not covered by Keystone unless these problems are caused by storm, frost or fire events.
Artworks must be kept at least 15 centimetres off the floor. Keystone’s policy will not cover repairs if damage occurs due to artworks being left too low or on the floor – damage such as flooding, mould, excessive dust, or abrasions. These sorts of issues may permanently affect value. Artwork is unique; it should be treated as special and irreplaceable.
General wear and tear are not usually covered by insurance policies. The same applies to artworks. If an art piece:
it is not covered for repair or loss of value. And this list is not exhaustive. Take steps to ensure atmospheric conditions are right for artwork, particularly in storage, so the above do not happen to special treasured pieces.
Storing Fine Art
“The primary aim of the NGV Conservation department is to preserve the Gallery’s collection to ensure future generations’ access to it. On a fundamental level, this entails slowing down chemical processes as much as possible by storing paintings in a stable environment and using best protective handling, framing and storage practices…”, National Gallery of Victoria.
http://ngv.vic.gov.au/explore/collection/conservation/ Frederick McCubbin The North Wind, Chapt. 8 Restoration and conservation of The North Wind, The ethics of conservation.
Professional art storage services are always the best place to go when storing artworks. The people caring for each piece are experts on all aspects of how to store a huge range of items appropriately and have the facilities to provide this. There are many helpful websites that can give some guidance on what to look for and consider when art needs to be stored, but here’s some useful tips:
There are important aspects to consider when storing fine art at home or in a storage facility:
Climate control is also very important to think about for many types of artwork. There are lots of commercial storage facilities available, but not many of them have climate control unless they are art storage specialists. The key problem for art is rapid changes in temperature or humidity. “The optimum atmospheric conditions for art storage are 21 degrees Celsius and 50% humidity.”, International Art Services.
Derek Smith, President of AXIS Fine Art Installation, who is an art storage expert in the USA advises, “while the age of your art is something to be considered, it’s better to live by the golden rule. Regardless of the work’s composition or age, you don’t want a change in humidity of more than 5% in 24 hours.” Artworkarchive.com
Artworks should never be stored on the floor. It should be suspended off the ground and ideally stored hanging up if space is available. If artworks do need to be stacked, store them like books, not piled on top of each other. Raising artworks allows airflow and protects against any potential for flooding.
Artwork should be stored in climate-controlled conditions as best practice, such as that found at art-specific storage facilities. Very few standard commercial storage facilities are ideal; they generally offer good security, but lack the optimal conditions art needs, particularly for long-term storage.