Are you an avid art collector in Massachusetts? As your collection of paintings, sculptures or drawings grows, you’ll want to keep them in a secure art storage facility. Your assets require protection from many agents of wear and tear, including hostile weather. Especially here in MA, it’s critical to consider how temperature and humidity fluctuations can damage your various forms of art.
Here are some recommendations for choosing a storage facility for your artwork to preserve both its financial value and aesthetic beauty.
Select Storage that Specializes in Fine Art
Not all storage services cater to the specific preservation and safety considerations that fine art demands. It’s important to choose a facility that is designed and built for artwork storage. You may want to start by researching preferred facilities and confirm that they have the right features to keep your valuable possessions in pristine form for as long as possible. At a minimum, the right facility for storing art should have features like:
- Appropriate environmental controls
- A robust security system
- An emergency plan
- The personnel handling and caring for your fine art have the necessary training and expertise
- Elevator and loading docks should be designed to handle your specific art forms
The Facility Should Have Climate Controls
A facility with climate controls can help protect your artwork from damage due to fluctuating temperature and humidity. In Massachusetts, it can get too hot during summer or extremely cold during winter when temperatures can drop to 16 degrees Fahrenheit or even lower. Some facilities use HVAC systems and other environmental controls to keep storage room temperature warm and humidity levels about 55 %.
Climate controls can protect your pieces of fine art from the following:
- Uncontrolled moulding: It can cause irreparable damage to artwork in storage, such as canvas, art paper, and paintings.
- Cracking: Any sudden fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause your artwork to crack and lose value.
- Warping: Wetness and high humidity levels in the storage room can cause artwork to bend, twist, and lose shape.
- Rusting: High humidity levels and extreme heat can cause metal or metal-framed artwork to rust and corrode.
Physical Security and Features
You want your artwork protected against theft and fire damage while in storage. Typically, a storage facility boasting fire-resistant construction would be ideal. Also, ask the service providers if they have access to a central station fire and burglar alarm monitoring system. Similarly, 24/7 surveillance with security cameras reinforces a facility’s physical security.
Find Out if Your Insurer has Vetted the Art Storage Facility
To ascertain that a specific facility is good enough to store your pieces of fine art, find out what your insurer thinks about it. You can ask your insurance agent or broker to give a professional opinion about the facility’s art preservation and safety features. If you’re unable to find an appropriate storage facility on your own, consider asking your agent for recommendations.
Verify the Reliability and Professionalism of the Staff
You’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing that your expensive pieces of art are in good hands if the staff handling them are professionally trained. Therefore, the people taking care of your artwork should have the expertise to handle a variety of art forms and media. If necessary, find out if the facility’s management vets each staff member before hiring. Reliable art storage facilities should have a monitoring system in place to track the movements of employees taking care of your art collection within the building.
These are useful suggestions for choosing a secure and trusted art storage facility. Your artwork is highly valuable, which is why you may want to give it an extra security layer—insurance coverage. For more information about coverage, open our personal insurance page. Contact CAV Insurance on 781-237-4107 for all of your insurance needs in Wellesley, Needham, Brookline, Massachusetts.