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Any lover and collector of art will do his or her utmost to protect the art collection taking pride of place in the home.

Not only is artwork a major investment these days, it is also an essential part of the fabric of any home. It is very rare that you find a home with no prints, sketches or paintings on the wall, not to mention sculptures and models adorning mantelpieces and sideboards.

For these reasons, it is vital that collectors take proper care of their artwork and endeavour to make sure that no piece is degraded in any way, shape or form.

There are a number of ways that you can keep your artwork in perfect condition, but careful planning is required from the outset. It is important to put a strategy in place to protect your artwork before you even bring it home from the gallery or fair.

There are certain measures that you need to put in place, such as placing strategies to avoid any hazards that may turn into situations that leave the art damaged. For example, if a glass screen does not protect the shelf on which a model is to be placed, it may be wise to purchase a case in which to put it before it is actually placed upon the shelf.

The majority of measures that you should take concerning the placing of your artwork are common sense really. For example, you should not place any art in the kitchen or above a fireplace because the heat, steam and fumes can cause untold damage.

You should also avoid smoking in the vicinity of your artwork because this is liable to cause irreversible staining. Similarly, placing art in direct sunlight can cause it to fade, and this would instantly be noticeable to the untrained eye as well as other collectors. If you have pets or young children then artwork should always be kept out of their reach so that no accidental damage occurs.

The placement of artwork, as you can see above, can be extremely hazardous so it does require serious thought. It may be necessary to try a piece out in a few places during the first day that you own it so you can make an on the spot assessment of where its permanent home should be.
When you do buy the art in question then you should always ask the attendant that oversees your transaction whether or not any special measures need to be taken in order to preserve its condition.

Some galleries actually hand out care leaflets when a sale goes through, whilst others may have extremely knowledgeable staff that can give you hints and tips that they have picked up over the years. There are also various publications that you can purchase to give you a good grounding in the care of artwork. You should read at least one of these if you are an art collection beginner.

The final thing that is essential in the preservation of you artwork is actually the cleaning regime that you have. It goes without saying that you should avoid using furniture polish and other similar oily substances in the vicinity of your artwork because that can cause irreparable harm.

However, it is essential that a certain level of care be administered to regularly maintain it. For example, all sketches, paintings and prints should be framed wherever possible, and all sculptures and models should be encased in a protective cover.

Although advice is usually specific to the nature of the piece and the materials present in its composition, it is fairly safe to pass a dry and clean cloth over all artwork from time to time to remove any dust build-ups. Dust can be just as harmful to art as any chemical, so it is essential that it is removed.

The golden rule of caring for your artwork is to always ask for help whenever you are unsure. Always think carefully about what you are doing and do not take the art for granted. One moment of foolishness can work out to be extremely expensive!

Until next time..

Cynthia Goranson

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