Friday, March 21, 2014

Properly storing your art

Every week I get this question: How do I properly store my art?

Everyone knows the sadness that comes over them when they pull out that diploma they thought they had safely stashed away in that cardboard tube in order to frame it later on. It's now half yellow, half white, and irreparably curled for eternity.
Or the now leopard-pattern-spotted (foxed) print of Paris that you "safely" put away in between two sheets of cardboard in your attic or basement five years ago, hoping to frame it when you moved into that new house with more wall space.
Not to mention those irreplaceable family photos from the 70's, showing your parents in denim bell-bottoms and furry "fros" at some great outdoor festival in Colorado (I guess you just got a glance into my past;).
Once they're cracked and faded you'l never get those back. (The photos, not the parents.)

What could have prevented such malheurs?

Here's what I recommend (and it's so easy!):

-Go to your local art supply dealer.
-Purchase some acid free foam core and cut two pieces slightly larger than your art.
(Rag board will do, but it will bend more easily.)
-Purchase some glassine paper or acid free tissue.
-Cut your foam board into two pieces, approximately 1" larger than your art. 
-Fold the acid free tissue/glassine in half and insert your art in between. Then gently fold the rest of the tissue around the three outer edges of the art to safely encapsulate the art. Insert in between your foam board, tape the edges to hold the boards/folder together (NOT masking tape, preferably chose an acid free tape) and "Voila!", you can now store your art. NOT in your attic or basement where there is a lot of fluctuation in temperature and humidity, but in a dry, low-lit space or closet or, actually, underneath your bed is totally fine: wherever you have some air circulation to keep your art dry and unexposed to humidity (or gnawing pets - we've seen it all...).

If you are a print collector like me and you store a lot of art, invest in some acid free print folders/boxes. For serious moisture control, use some Silicone paper.
And for photos, you can purchase special acid free storage boxes. (Purchase all these here.)

If you encounter any damage from improper storage, we recommend consulting a paper conservator to repair as much of the damage as possible. Our favorite resident Charlottesville paper magicians are Robert and Martha Orton of Blue Ridge Book Conservation and I'm happy to tell you more about them and sing their praises, just give me a call or pop by with your art.

Oh, and I forgot to mention the best form of storage: 
Beautiful conservation-minded archival framing!
Not only are you storing your art or documents, you are enjoying them at the same time while they beautify your home and even turn some heads. 

See you soon, I hope this was helpful!
Shoot me any other questions you may have that we can share here.


c/2014 La Linea Bella ! Fantastic Framing & Art, Charlottesville, VA. 

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