Art Care Affair - how to look after an art piece
In one of our previous posts, we talked about selecting a painting for a gift. However, what happens if you receive an art piece as a present? How to look after the artwork?
Although, this topic is huge: it is covered by thousands of books and even Univerity courses preparing experts for museums and galleries, there are few simple steps you can take to make your environment welcoming for paintings.
Think about location. It is critical to decide where you want to hang the painting and not just from an esthetical point of view. Prevention of damage is your best strategy. That is why consider a spot without direct heat, dirt or smoke. They affect chemicals in the paint and cause a color change. So placing your art above the fireplace which is frequently used is, probably, not the best idea. An exception is an electric fireplace which doesn’t emit fumes or smoke and has no hot surfaces exposed.
Another environmental factor to consider is humidity. Moisture weakens the adhesion of the paint layers and causes a paint loss. Low or high humidity (or especially a rapid change of humidity levels) can also impact painting wood, ruining it’s texture and turning an even surface into ‘waves’.
UV light also impacts the art by discoloring dyes used in paints. Eventually, a paper becomes yellow, ink fades, a canvas breaks down… Protect the art by using UV-filtering glass (DEN-glass) and use shades on your windows. However, there is also art which will never go under a glass, then avoiding exposure to a daylight is the only solution.
Once a good spot was found, make sure you have all tools needed to hang the art. Often times paintings come already with ropes, metal strings or other parts to help you mount it on the wall. If it’s not the case – it will be better to spend some time researching what is the best way to hang your painting based on its size, foundation (canvas, wood etc) and weight. Alternatively, you can just lean your precious gift against the wall creating an experimental room decor.
Once the art is up, it will be important to develop a habit to dust it regularly with a natural hair artist brush (provided there is no flaking paint or surface damage). And if you need to move the masterpiece, deal with one object at a time and, ideally, use soft clean gloves to prevent unnecessary fingerprints and dirt.
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