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Proper Art Storage Drama – Landscape with Blue Flowers by Robert Wood


Captivating scenery with broad, flowing trees and colorful flowers.

This painting came into the lab because it contained several problems:

It had couple dents towards the middle and in the lower right hand corner.

There is a small tear.

Also it was cracking badly.

The dents and rips could have been avoided! This damage was probably caused  by storing it badly and obviously leaning things against it with no protection.

Is this anyway to treat or take care of a $15,000 painting???

or.. what if it was a painting of your grandmother? Would you have treated it differently?

As ugly as these problems are, the painting is not flaking or falling apart immediately. In other words, there is no emergency action needed to save the painting. So if are these problems don’t get taken care of right away, all will not be lost. Damage in the form of cracking is now in the process of forming and becoming evident.

If the painting were actively flaking (losing paint) then immediate action would be suggested. If there is enough paint loss, it could make the painting worth less (impact the value).

Let’s say you know nothing about art and you don’t want to spend the money to get it fixed…

  • Would you be tempted to throw this painting away??
  • Or would you sell it for a cheap price at a garage sale??

For instance, the original owner of this painting,  didn’t want to spend any money on this painting to fix it or clean it… so, therefore she gave it away. It’s worth about $10,000.00

What really happened to this painting by Robert Wood? The owner sold this painting, in its dented abused condition, for a fraction of its value because they didn’t know what to do with it.

Here are 5 tips to follow if you find yourself in this kind of situation:

  1. Ask an art appraiser about the painting. (Sometimes they will not charge for a verbal opinion if you do not require a formal appraisal (Also you ask an auction house for their opinion)
  2. Speak with an art conservator to give value/estimate for repairs.
  3. Ask the curator at a local museum for an opinion.
  4. Another suggestion would be, if you can read the signature on the painting research it, and you can find out interesting things. This artist, for example, would show up everywhere in a search. He was quite famous.
  5. DO NOT consult with art dealers right away until you get other’s opinions first. They will try to buy the artwork for as little as possible.

For $1,000.00 this painting can look as good as new, and should be worth the maximum amount of money after restoration.

If this were to be a family portrait the sales price may not be as important but its preservation would be more important than ever.

To keep these damages from happening, do not lean anything on the painting. Cover front and back with card box, or place in a cardboard mirror box. Do not store where the temperature gets too hot or too cold, or where it gets humid or moldy.

When you have a damaged painting, your home owner’s insurance policy may help you pay for it, and may even pay you for lost value. For more information about this, go to www.insurancepersonalpropertyassessments.com or call us at 805 564 3438

For great stories, videos and tips see www.tipsforartcollectors.org (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

Questions about preserving collectibles, letters, certificates photos? www.saveyourstuffblog.com (Free downloads, sign up for blog updates)

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