How to Care for Your Artwork
Art is an object of beauty and can be a tremendous storehouse of value (both spiritual and monetary). Art can be passed down to your heirs or donated to your favorite public institutions to be appreciated long after you've gone. These are merely some of the reasons to take special care of each of the artworks in your collection.
When it comes to material, not all artworks should be considered equal. It is important to note the types of artwork you have and how to care for them. Today, we'll give you some quick and easy ways to effectively keep your art collection looking it's absolute best.
You, The Collector
A great deal of joy and satisfaction comes with owning an original work of art; however, with it also comes a great sense of responsibility. A collector is the ultimate custodian of art. It is the collector's duty to insure proper care of the artwork in their collection; not only so that it may maintain it's original condition and artist's intent, but so that it may increase in value and be enjoyed for many future generations to come.
Various Types of Art
There are many different kinds of art (for example: oil, acrylic, watercolor, ink, gouache, sculpture, drawings etc.) and rightly so they all require individual attention. Lets take a look at the different types of artwork and how to give them the individualized care they need.
Oil paintings are strong. The pigmentation hardens over time and often will be varnished making it extra resilient, however occasionally they will get dusty and need special care to help them look their best. Keep oil paintings clean by wiping them gently with a damp cloth. Because the oil is impervious to water, you won’t damage your artwork. It's best to hang oil paintings away from moisture or direct sunlight as it may cause harm to the condition of the artwork.
By contrast, acrylic artworks should be dusted lightly with a soft brush. Acrylic is a water-based pigment and could be damaged with moisture or water. Also keep the pigments looking their best by hanging away from direct sunlight.
Watercolors should be framed with UV protection glass to prevent any damage from moisture or sunlight. Getting a watercolor wet will result in sever damage to the pigmentation and could potentially ruin the artwork. Once a watercolor is framed, it will be easy to care for. Using a damp cloth (with glass cleaner), wipe away any dust visible on the glass and frame. It is not recommended to spray the cleaner directly on to the glass or frame as it could seep in to the artwork and cause irreversible damage.
Drawings & Limited Edition Prints
Although much depends on the type of paper used, works on paper are generally more delicate than works on canvas and should always be framed behind glass if they are to be displayed. Also, try to avoid hanging drawings and prints in direct sunlight or in settings that are very humid. These conditions can cause your artwork to fade or ripple. If storing works on paper, keep them in a portfolio, away from moisture or direct sunlight.
Bronze and other types of metal sculpture is virtually indestructible yet should still be well cared for. Metal sculptures are resistant to the elements and may be kept outdoors. To clean, use a damp cloth. For certain metals like bronze, gold or silver a polishing compound may be used. Plaster or wooden sculptures should be kept indoors and not exposed to moisture or water. Use a dusting brush or dry towel to clean these types of sculptures.
Make it Last a Lifetime
Caring for your artwork properly will not only maintain the original condition and maximize the lifespan of the work but will also give you, the collector, a greater sense of fulfillment and appreciation for the amount of love and care that went in to creating the artworks you greatly admire.