PROTECTING NEW ART PURCHASES
How to Protect Your Art Investment
When purchasing art, consider the following related to your purchase. Make sure that you receive a full and detailed receipt,
documenting each artwork purchased. Take care to protect your artwork from damage while transporting it to your home or office.
What are your plans for the artwork and where will it hang? Is the artwork automatically covered by your insurance or do you need
to contact your insurance company? What are your responsibilities as an art owner? This page provides you with
information and tips that will help protect your art investment.
Documentation from the Gallery
- Bill of Sale
You should always receive one, and keep a copy with the artwork.
- Letter of Authenticity
Be sure that you receive one, especially if the piece is part of a limited edition.
- Artist Resume and Biographical Information
Always maintain current updated information about the artists whose work
your have purchased.
- Artist Statement
If practicable, attach artist information - such as contact info and and
artist statement on the back of the artwork.
- Type of artwork
Even though it may seem obvious, ascertain whether the work is and original, limited edition,
or reproduction and ensure that its status is reflected accurately in the
Letter of Authenticity.
- Special Care and Handling Instructions
Learn - preferably from the artist or gallery how to protect and care for your artwork.
- Meet The Artist
Openings are a good place to meet the artist. It is always fun and rewarding
to establish a personal connection with the artist. You might also take the artist to dinner
or drinks, or invite them to your home to see their work on your walls.
- Gallery and Artist Mailing Lists
These are easy ways to follow artists' careers.
Transporting Artworks Home
- Car / Van / Truck
Make sure you have a vehicle large enough to get the artwork home.
- Supplies Needed
Cardboard, blankets, and bubble wrap can be used to protect the artwork.
Don't forget packing tape to secure the bubble wrap around the object, and
ensure that the tape only touches the bubble wrap; not the artwork.
- Transportation Insurance
Do you have insurance while the artwork is being transported home?
- Gallery Advice and Recommendations
The gallery is the best source for recommendations about shipping choices.
- Art Transportation Companies
You will find this type of art service in large cities.
- Crating and Packaging Services
Make sure the services are experienced in correctly packaging and protecting artworks for
Always ask the gallery if it has a service it routinely uses, as this would
be the best bet.
- Federal Express and Other Carriers
Be safe and go with a trusted carrier like Federal Express.
- Archival Framing
Make sure your artwork is framed and protected with archival framing.
- Glass or Plexiglass?
Glass breaks, but it's easier to clean and take care of.
If the artwork is expensive; however go with the added safety and protection of Plexiglass.
Hanging or Storage
- Where to Safely Hang Artworks
Never hang expensive art over a fireplace.
Always protect artwork from heat and direct sunlight.
- How to Hang
Use the appropriate type of art hanging device. Go with a professional
service when the artwork is expensive.
- Type of Hangers Heeded
There are special types of picture hangers for artworks; the gallery
should be able to give you information about the best type.
Professional framing stores and shops sell hanging devices.
- Professional Installation Services
These are usually available in large cities; galleries can give you a
- Storage Options
If your walls are already covered with artworks, you may need to store the
artwork you've just purchased - at least temporarily.
Be careful with wet basements, and always keep artworks three inches off of the floor.
Ensure that the temperature and humidity of the storage area is stable year-round.
- Artwork Details
Document your artwork fully: include size, current condition, type of artwork.
Also, makes notes about any identifying numbers or markings on the artwork
and make sure you know the correct title and date of the artwork. How was it framed
when it came to you originally; and what is the prominent
subject matter of the art?
- Photographs of Artwork
Digital cameras work well; make sure to photograph from different angles.
- Artwork Information and Records
Keep in a safe place that is also in a separate building from the artwork
itself (in case of fire). A safe deposit box is a good option.
Documentation to protect includes the bill of sale, artist statements,
appraisals, articles about the artist, etc. All should be kept together in a safe place.
- Books about the Artist
Purchase copies of all publications related to the artist, as some may go
our of print, be printed in limited runs to begin with, or otherwise later
be very difficult or impossible to obtain.
- Types of Insurance Coverage Available
Ask you insurance agent or the gallery you are purchasing from.
- Homeowners vs Other Types of Coverage
Homeowners policies frequently cover art but check with your broker, you
might have to list your artwork as a separate item.
- Current Insurance Information
Keep you insurance company updated with current artwork value.
This should be done yearly or whenever the value of the artwork changes.
- What Insurance Companies Pay?
Are you protected from damage or loss due to an earthquake and water damage?
- Partial or Total Loss.
Will you be covered for the full value of the artwork or only
a partial value?
We'll be adding additional insurance information in the near future.
Keep in Touch with the Artist
- Loan Artwork to the Artist
Someday the artist might want to borrow your artwork for a major retrospective.
- What Galleries Represent the Artist
Know the names of other galleries selling and representing the artists works.
- Artist Mailing List
Contact the artist and ask to be added to their mailing and email list.
- Artist News and Articles
Learn how to use "Google News Alerts" for information about the artist.
When You're on Vacation
- Artwork Storage
You might consider placing the artwork in storage if you're away for
long period of time.
- Cover the Artwork
Ultraviolet light is one of artworks biggest enemies, covering it helps
keep it from fading.
- Professional Appraisals
You will need one when selling or donating the work to a museum.
Where to find Professional Art Appraisers
- Finding price information online
The Internet will direct you to artist information, search for the artist
name on Google or Bing.
Look for the artists website, next check for galleries representing the
- Auction Price Results
There are several companies that provide major auction results.
One of the largest online price resources is:
Other Information on Collecting Art
Art Collecting Tips
Collecting art for love and profit is one of life's great pleasures.
Where do you start? When should you buy? Here're ten tips to help you get you
started collecting fine art.
Buying Fine Art Online
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