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Caring for Your Fine Art Purchase

Here are some helpful hints to keep your purchase looking as good as the day you bought it, even years from now.

Handling: Unframed pieces should be handled as little as possible. Make sure hands are clean and free of grease, lotions or moisturizers. Never, ever touch the art surface with wet hands. Unframed art can be protected best with rigid mylar sleeves for storage.

Storage: Unframed art can stay rolled in the shipping tube for a few months. For longer storage, invest in an acid free opaque plastic tube with end caps, or look into light-proof flat boxes from an archival storage company.

Protection: Well-preserved art retains its value better! Insure your purchase against accidents (especially water damage) with your renters or homeowners insurance. A small investment now may prevent a big loss in the future! Keep a copy of your Certificate of Authenticity with your insurance company. Use our website to keep track of the current value of your art. Inform your insurance company of any changes to the value.

Framing: Most framers are aware of the importance of using preservation-quality materials. Ask for acid free mats, museum mounting, and consider UV glass for the best possible light protection. In some cases, extreme temperature or humidity differences create the need to have your framed art restretched, or ironed and re-set into the mats.

Uhl Studios frames our pieces in Plexiglass because it is less prone to breakage during shipping. We prefer non-glare UV glass, as it is less prone to long term scratches. Investing in switching from plexiglass to UV glass is not a bad idea, as it will also protect your art from light damage! Plexiglass has a magnetic quality that attracts dust. When cleaning plexiglass, use plexiglass cleaner (not glass cleaner or other detergents) and a soft cloth. Common glass cleaners and paper products can scratch the surface of the plexi glass.

Protection from Light: Please do not hang or store your art where sunlight can affect it. Ultraviolet light is one of the biggest reasons that art fades. Light damage is cumulative and irreversible. Close your blinds or curtains during the day to minimize exposure. Consider having your art framed with UV glass. It is a bit more expensive, but worth it in the long run. If you display many pieces of art in your home, it may be less expensive to have your windows covered with UV film.

Extreme temperature and humidity: Display or store the art in areas that the temperature does not change drastically from hot to cold. A bad place to hang valuable art would be over a fireplace! Temperature and relative humidity should remain constant. Climatic fluctuations cause expansion and contraction, which can lead to structural damage in paper or canvas, weaken the attachment of media (which looks like the paint is cracking), and cause distortions such as rippling of paper. Do not allow heating or air-conditioning vents to blow directly on stored or displayed art. If you are located in a humid or coastal area of the country, make efforts to reduce the amount of moisture in the air where your art is stored or displayed. This can be accomplished with a portable de-humidifier. If you are considering long-term storage of your art, invest in a climate control room system.

Pollutants and particles: If you live in an urban area, you know exactly what surface grime from exhaust looks like. And those of you in dry, dusty areas of the country know just how often you need to dust. Make sure not to forget the art! Art behind plexiglass or glass can be gently wiped with a damp soft cloth. What about those unframed pieces or pieces with no glass? If you can keep them AWAY from exposure to dirt, dust and pollutants, that is the safest way to protect them. A portable air cleaner can be used to attract and trap dust particles. A little surface dust can be gently brushed off with a dry cloth, but anything that “sticks” might need professional cleaning.

The Giclée Process
Glossary

 

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