At some point in your life you may need to transport a work of art from one location to another. For many people this can be a stressful time because they just do not know the best way to handle this. Below are a few ways that one can safely transport a work of art.
The Long Haul:
You have a work that needs to be moved across the country – what do you do?
1. The first thing you can do is to call a ‘Fine Art Mover’. There are shipping companies that specialize in the packing and transportation of ‘works of art’. These firms will come to your home, properly package the work and deliver it to its destination. You may even be surprised at the cost … since the work will be consolidated with others headed in the same direction, it may cost only a few hundred dollars to move a large piece from one coast to another. It is important that you find a reputable and reliable firm, so ask your local galleries for some references.
2. If the work needs to be moved quickly and it is not too fragile, you can have the work professionally packed at a local ‘packaging shop’ and then ship the work through an overnight delivery firm such as FedEx, UPS or DHL. However, as they say … less is more! What I mean by this is that the less time a work is in the hands of one of these firms, the more likely it is to arrive in good shape. Each of these firms offer different shipping options: “Overnight”, “Next Business Day”, “2 Day”, “3 Day”, etc. We have found that the safest way to ship is through one of their ‘overnight’ services and unless a work is going to be delivered on Saturday, please do not ship it on a Friday; since it will only be sitting in a warehouse for most of the weekend.
3. If you are handy, you can purchase the needed packing materials, wrap the work, box it up and ship it. If you go this route, please refer to Volume 28 of our Newsletters for the proper way to wrap a work of art. Once it is wrapped, then you need a box that is large enough not only for the painting, but for extra cushioning that needs to be added to the front, back and the 4 sides. It is recommended that you have at least 1 inch of padding on the front and back, and 2 – 3 inches on each side.
The last item that needs to be addressed for The Long Haul is insurance. Most Fine Art Trucking firms will offer transit insurance, but it is often expensive. If you have no alternative, then it is advisable to insure it with them, but please check with your insurance company first. You may find that if the work is scheduled on your homeowner’s policy, it may be covered while in transit. As for insuring the work with one of the Overnight Delivery services, it is important to read their list of exclusions. Most of them do not cover ‘works of art’ and if you put a declared value in excess to $100 they will charge you approximately $5 for each $1000 of coverage – so an item worth $25,000 will cost you $125.00 to insure. The only problem is that if there is a loss, the company will most likely refuse to pay because ‘works of art’ are included in their list of exclusions. So in essence, you are really paying for something you will probably have little chance of collecting.
The Short Haul:
You need to move a work of art a short distance, let’s say from you home to your office, what do you do?
1. If the work is very large, heavy, or fragile, I would suggest that you hire a professional art mover to do it … most charge by the hour. Again, if you go this way, call your local galleries and see whom they use.
2. If the work is something you can handle and it will fit in (not on top of) your car or SUV, then you can easily move it yourself. The first thing to do is measure the outside dimensions of the work (after it is wrapped – again please see Volume 28 for the correct way to wrap a work of art), then measure the truck, back seat, or cargo area in your automobile to make sure it is going to fit. Next, clean out the area of that there are no sharp objects and the work will lay flat. Then place the work in the car and off you go. I want to stress that the work should fit in the car and not on top of it … the wind from your drive (not to mention the sun) can have a devastating effect on the work.
It is advisable to check with your insurance company to make sure you are covered while moving the work yourself. As I stated earlier, you will probably find that your insurance policy will cover scheduled works of art that you move yourself, but please make sure.
If you take a little care in preparing the work for the move, it should be an easy and uneventful experience.
In Volume 27 we announced that the gallery would be creating Internet based Checklists for both Emile Munier (1840-1895) and Louis Aston Knight (1873 – 1948). We are not only pleased to announce that the Emile Munier site is now live, but that Catherine Divry (Munier’s great great-granddaughter) is helping us with this project. We hope you will all take a moment to have a look – www.emilemunier.org.
The site features a Catalogue of Works, Biography, Historical Photos & Commentary, Exhibitions & Timelines, Input Sheet, and Bibliography. Each week we add some new information about the artist’s life or work. It may be as little as a name that was missing in the provenance of a particular painting, or it could be the addition of a group of recently uncovered paintings.
The research for a catalogue raisonné can take as long as 15 years and until the book is published, there is no way to know exactly what is happening. This site will give you a window into how a project like this is handled and you will be able to see, through continuous updates, how one compiles all available information on a particular artist to arrive at the finished project. I know that many people find it hard to believe that it could take so long to complete such a project, so the best analogy I could come up with is to imagine that you are flying high above the earth with a 10,000 piece jigsaw puzzle … the box opens and the pieces are scattered across the globe … now wait 50 or more years and then try to find all the pieces. It will be a long, time-consuming project and in the end you may never find them all.
Please check the site from time to time to see how we are progressing. Of course, we welcome anyone with information about the artist or his work to contact us.
Gallery Updates: This month we have uncovered important documents that will fill in some of the blanks in our research re: the Julien Dupré catalogue raisonné … we are getting even closer to its completion!
We have also added some new works to the web site by Julien Guay, J.O. Banks, Sally Swatland, Heidi Coutu, Édouard Cortès and Antoine Blanchard.
Virtual Exhibitions: This month we have added three works to – Rehs Galleries: A Visual History … Anna Airy’s The Little Mirror - a fabulous still life by this important Modern British artist; Julien Dupré’s La rentrée au Village – a spectacular work and one he chose to exhibit at the Paris Salon in 1895; and Albert Rigolot’s Soleil Levant dans la Brume – a serene misty morning landscape that the artist exhibited at the Paris Salon in 1913. Direct links to the images are as follows:
Since our last newsletter we have sold a number of important works by many of our favorite artists. Most of these works have been added to their respective Virtual Exhibitions; among them were: two important Paris Salon paintings by Julien Dupré; one of the most spectacular Ridgway Knight paintings, featuring his model Maria on the garden terrace, that we have had the pleasure of offering (actually this work was sold last month, but we forgot to mention it – sorry!); a wonderful early work by Édouard Cortès; a fabulous gouache by Galien Laloue; two great landscapes by Louis Aston Knight and a large still life by Eugene Henri Cauchois.
Next Month: I will begin a short series on – Selling a work of art.
To subscribe to our monthly Comments On The Art Market newsletter, click here.