Services for Art Collections and Estate Planning

Why Do You Need A Conservator For Your Art Collection?

Art collections can easily fall into disrepair because of improper storage, display, handling and shipping.  In fact, the same types of damage that can befall individual works of art can also affect entire collections on a widespread scale, especially in art storage areas.  Examples of damage are:

  • fading and discoloration
  • cracking and embrittlement
  • acid burns
  • deformation
  • tears and holes
  • abrasions and gouges
  • loose and missing parts
  • mold and pest infestations

Damage to an art collection is caused or exacerbated by:

  • direct contact with acidic and other non-archival framing, housing and storage materials
  • direct contact among works of art in the collection, causing dents and warps
  • inappropriate light levels
  • falling art from common–but inadequate–hanging systems
  • unbuffered seasonal changes in ambient temperature and relative humidity
  • airborne pollutants such as dust, soot and nicotine
  • punctures and slices during shipping and unpacking, as a result of improper packaging and handling
  • dampness and cover for hidden pests in deficient storage areas

Lack of accurate inventory and condition records for an art collection can result in:

  • incorrect valuation
  • inadequate insurance coverage
  • misinformed budgeting, grant-seeking, exhibition planning, loan and transport
  • lack of an Emergency Response Plan, leaving collections vulnerable to natural disasters, like floods and fire, and theft

Public and Corporate Collectors:

  • Lack of properly formed policies for your art collection can prohibit sound decisions about new acquisitions and donations:
    • This can result in acquired property that is easily damaged or expensive to maintain and difficult to deaccession, sell or donate elsewhere.

Private Collectors and Estate Planning:  

  • Estate planning is essential for sustained legacy:
    • Not only are the individual art objects in your collection important, but the collection, as a whole, has meaning. 
    • Your collection and the manner in which you acquire it, live with it, enjoy and care for it is a statement about you.  Seek expert advice.

What Can Conservation Services Do For Your Art Collection?

  • Establish baseline inventory and record-keeping procedures, capturing vital information about each piece of art
  • Examine and document individual pieces in your collection or groupings of similar objects within larger collections, through written and pictorial means
  • Provide cost estimates for the preventive care, conservation and restoration of each piece, as needed
  • Examine display and storage facilities for archival materials, methods and precautions
  • Study current policies and procedures to tell you what’s working and what isn’t
  • Make recommendations for improvements that fit your working/living pattern, building and facilities, acquisitions and loans programs and budget
  • Create an Emergency Response Plan, in preparation for accidents and disasters
  • Create a graduated plan for achieving ongoing successful and affordable collections care

How Will Your Collection Benefit From My Services?

My art conservation services can leave your art collection organized, documented and stable, or with direction for achieving these goals in the future.