Caring for Accessories
If you have some precious
art you want to protect, and you want to keep it looking new, here are some
important tips. First, you should check their locations as there are many things that can harm art: heat, humidity, air pollution,
fingerprints, improper handling, storage, direct sunlight. Here's how to avoid these typical pitfalls.
No. 1 on the list is the weather. Relative humidity is the measured amount of moisture present in the air at any given temperature.
Some areas of the globe are more prone to humidity than others. I live in Southern California where it is considered desert. Our levels
of humidity are very low compared to other parts of the country, like Florida. We worry more about dehydration, which causes things
to become brittle, shrink, flake, crack and split. The warmer the air, the more possibility of moisture
existing. This causes mildew, mold and fungus. No matter where you live, these two extreme climates can wreak havoc on artwork,
sculptures and just about any craft.
Light can also damage art. For years I had a beautiful limited edition work of art over my fireplace. It never received direct light,
just indirect light. I had another print exactly like the framed one stored away in an acid-free container. After a few years, I decided
to change out the work of art but reuse the frame. I was astonished at how "yellowed" my framed work of art had become, while the
work in storage remained in mint condition.
Discoloration is a common problem for artwork, even if it is museum mounted (meaning, framed so that anything touching the art is
acid-free). Prolonged exposure to a hot, intense lamp can be damaging. Strong light can even cause cracking or flaking due to the
overexposure to the heated source.
You can change the moisture content of the air in your home by using air conditioners, dehumidifiers or humidifiers. This will help
you counteract the majority of your temperature problems. Ceiling fans are another great aid to preventing harm to artwork because they
circulate the air.
But always remember: never hang a work of art on a wall that gets direct sunlight. It will instantly fade and be ruined for life.
As for storing art, lay them flat. If original work, place acid-free paper on each side. Do not use tissue paper.
Quick Links to April Issue
Barbara Jennings is the West Coast Pioneer in Interior
Redesign and has been in the redesign/home staging market since 1986. She is
author of 9 books on interior decorating subjects and her most recent one,
Home Staging for Profit, is a tutorial for those wanting to start their own
home staging business.
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