Category Archives: Art Collector

Guide to transporting large-format paintings

Generally speaking, moving to a new home is a challenging process, no matter how many possessions you have. However, moving with valuable and fragile possessions can be even more frustrating and stressful. Transporting your family’s art collection is no easy task because it involves careful and skillful packing, preparations, and planning. For this reason, we have written a guide for transporting large-format paintings so that you have a clearer idea about what you need to pay attention to and what you should expect once you start organizing your move. 

It is definitely true that large paintings, old photos, antique furniture, and decorative items all require special treatment during relocation. There are many things you can do to prevent damages made to the frames or the artwork itself. However, in case you still feel that the necessary ‘packing precautions’ may not be enough to keep your large format paintings secure, we strongly suggest you inquire about art insurance as a backup plan, just in case something goes wrong. 

Place the artwork into appropriately sized boxes.

The first thing you need to pay attention to is the size of the boxes and the paintings. In most cases, small and medium-sized paintings are placed together in large boxes. This is done to prevent friction and the potential shattering of the glass and frames. Therefore, the artwork and the boxes containing the artwork should be stacked and pressed together to minimize movement in the vehicle. 

When it comes to moving larger artwork, the best thing to do is pack each piece in a separate box that is only slightly larger than the painting itself. These specialty boxes have to be carefully chosen and purchased from the supply store well before your relocation. 

You should not improvise with boxes that are larger or smaller. Having a larger box leaves room for movement and potential damages, cuts, and shattered glass, whereas the painting may fall out of a box that is smaller than the painting. 

Tape the glass with an X

If the picture has glass protection, be sure to tape the glass with masking tape diagonally. This little trick will keep the glass in place in case it cracks during transportation. 

In case your large-format paintings are not framed or protected by glass, it is best if you wrap the front of the painting with several thick layers of plastic wrap, palette wrap, or any other wrapping material that will protect it from impact.  

How to wrap your large-format paintings with wrapping material

As we mentioned, you should wrap your artwork in thick layers of the wrapping material of your choice. But what is the best way to do this? Let us take a look. 

●     Cut two equally sized pieces of brown paper (should be larger than the painting)

●     Place the framed painting face down against one sheet of brown paper

●     Cover the painting with the second sheet of brown paper 

●     Tape down the ends of the brown paper together like a present

●     Wrap the packing tape around the painting on all sides

●     Place the painting in a box

Pro tip: add a layer of wrapping paper or shock-absorbent wrapping material

a woman packing a book with brown paper
Brown paper is malleable and firm enough to give support to your large-format paintings.

Be sure to use brown packing paper rather than newspapers or other types of paper that do not offer the necessary support. Newspapers are not large enough to be taped down and wrapped around large-format paintings, and they tend to leave print ink on artwork. 

As you can see, art should be handled properly, so if you are unsure whether you can pack and move your large-format paintings or art collectibles on your own, the best thing is to call in professional artwork packing and moving crews.

Check if the painting is moving inside the box.

Before you finally seal the box with tape, you need to give it a few gentle pushes so that you can estimate if the painting is moving too much inside the box. If this is the case, you can crumble some newspapers to create padding. As we said before, be sure to do so only if you have already wrapped the artwork in brown packing paper. 

Seal the box appropriately.

In our experience, it is best if you use specialty boxes to pack large-format paintings such as triptychs. Place the tape on both ends of the box. Of course, you should first seal the upper part of the box and then stand it so that you can tape the bottom end for additional safety. This can be a bit difficult if the painting format is extremely large, so be sure to have a helping hand nearby just in case.

a man taping down a moving box
Use wide, firm packing tape to seal the box in the end.

Label the box

It might appear to you that it is obvious which boxes contain your large paintings. Regardless, you must label the boxes clearly and appropriately since you can really never be too sure what people might do to the boxes if they see them unlabeled. 

So, note down that the box contains fragile or glass items with a clearly written, short word such as ‘Fragile’ or ‘Glass.’  Proper labeling is crucial.

Be careful when placing the boxes into the vehicle.

Moving truck

Be sure to check if the moving crew is placing the paintings on the side of the moving truck. This is where labeling comes in – the artwork must not be laid flat on the ground, which means you need to inform the moving crew about the size of the vehicle you need. You can also stack your artwork between heavy furniture and other large items to prevent them from moving. 

Keep in mind that when transporting extremely high-valued fine art, you may require a professional art shipper.

We hope this short guide to transporting large-format paintings helped you prepare for the big move with your art collection. Good luck!

Are Your Art and Collectibles Covered for Disaster?

Fires, floods, tornadoes, super-storms, and even man-made disasters like construction accidents can cause havoc to your home, gallery, or studio. Many are prepared with emergency plans and supplies but unprepared when it comes to keeping an up to date inventory on precious belongings, art, and collectibles in the case of a claim.

Trying to create an inventory after the fact can be just as stressful as enduring the event itself. Before starting an inventory, contact your insurance agent to ask what kind of documentation is required if you ever need to file a claim. It can be as simple as creating a spreadsheet and supplement it with photos and receipts, the more info the better. Keep a copy off-site or in your email and not near the location where the art is housed, this can be a lifesaver and prevent delays in getting the replacement value.

The most valuable tool in ensuring everything goes smoothly is having a knowledgeable fine-art and collectibles insurance broker to guide you in the process of managing your risk. Insuring art requires an experienced broker that knows how to navigate the often-confusing details of high-value insurance. At ArtInsuranceNow.com / Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. we know art, and what it takes to insure it properly so you don’t have to. We are your resource and can answer any questions you may have regarding the protection of your art, tools, studio space, or gallery.

Even if you never need to file a claim, an inventory pays off. A complete inventory can help you purchase the right amount of insurance and should the unforeseen happen, you can focus on rebuilding rather than scrambling for the details on what you may have lost.

Visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com to live chat with a professional or call us at 800-921-1008 to speak to a friendly voice that can guide you through the process of risk management.

 

Protecting your Art Collection

There are obvious dangers for an Art Collection. Fire, water, theft and even light is also a big threat, and the damage it can cause is irreversible. Even certain framing methods can destroy a work over time. What are the best ways to make sure your art is safe, secure, and displayed to its utmost advantage? ArtInsuranceNow.com has some helpful tips.

Thieves once robbed the home of an avid collector. The police asked for photographs of the stolen items but had to settle for dinner–party pictures in which several of the works appear incidentally in the background, often cropped and out of focus. This is not a good way to document your art.

You should continually evaluate your art collection, particularly when art values are high. Collectors should document their holdings and store the information (or a copy of it) off-site, not attached to, or near the works themselves. When properly insuring an item, the more documentation the better.

Technology can help organize your collection with easy to use inventory management software and apps. There is a variety of both free and paid “cloud” software (which means you can access it from any device anywhere you can connect to the internet). These applications can allow users to store an image of a work, as well as such information as price, appraisal value, purchase date, location, description, condition, and provenance. Collectors with many objects and multiple residences who don’t keep track of where everything is might not notice for months that something is missing.

Another way to protect your collection is to have a reliable alarm system for the art locations. From the stories we hear as a fine-art insurance agency, the amount of poorly maintained or even unused alarm systems at valuable properties is quite surprising. Also, if collectors get a series of phone hang–ups—six or more in a short period of time we advise you to call the police, because your house is possibly being cased. Crooks can be trying to look for a pattern to see when you’re home and when you’re out.

While there are many art heist stories to be told, transit and the environment remain the two biggest risks to works of art. We advise not to skimp when packing and shipping a work—and consider carefully where you display it. If you hang a painting in direct sunlight and it fades, most policies won’t cover it. Over 60 percent of claims are related to losses incurred in transit, including moving art around the collectors’ own homes. Bad packing and handling are avoidable problems and professional art packing and shipping have become more affordable.

No one wants to lose a piece of art but it happens, more often than we’d like to see so the best way to protect your collection is with due diligence and a fine art policy from ArtInsuranceNow.com / Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. We can guide you in obtaining the right fine art insurance for your unique requirements at great rates. For more info visit www.artinsurancenow.com and live chat with us, call us at 800.921.1008 or apply for a free quote below.

 

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Fine Art Storage: A Cautionary Tale

The continued strength of the contemporary-art market and the growing need for secure, climate-controlled art storage space is increasing as more and more art is created, purchased by collectors and acquired by museums.

Art storage facilities are supposed to be forward looking to make sure that property entrusted to them for safekeeping remains protected and unaltered while in their custody. Elements such as temperature, humidity, and pest control are vital to preserving artworks from any damage or total loss. Certain mediums like paper, canvas, plaster, metal, and clay are of course particularly vulnerable to temperature and humidity fluctuations. Yet sometimes things go wrong even with the best of intentions.

For example, a well-known storage facility received multiple lawsuits for damage, incurred during 2012’s hurricane Sandy. Ultimately, artworks in many studios, galleries, and storage facilities were severely damaged when Sandy, a tropical storm that was updated to a hurricane, hit the tri-state area.

In lawsuits resulting from those damages to art stored, the point of contention is the manner by which liability is allocated in storage contracts. Some contracts between the storage facility and its clients required clients to obtain an art insurance policy. In other instances, there may have been waivers of subrogation or a limitation of liability clause.

In addition to mother nature, accidents also happen, but not that often. A fire at Momart’s east London warehouse in 2004 destroyed hundreds of works by such noted artists as Tracey Emin, Damien Hirst, and Chris Ofili. A fire at Artex’s warehouse in Dedham, Mass., in 2005 destroyed and damaged many pieces. In 2004, Fine Art Logistics, a storage company in London, mistakenly left out for trash a 1984 sculpture by Anish Kapoor.

This is why it is so important to perform due diligence and speak with Art Insurance professionals like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. (ArtInsuranceNow.com) for a clear picture on insurance coverages, to allow the art owner the ability to make well-informed decisions on obtaining insurance.

Call us at 800.921.1008 to speak with an Art Insurance Professional and visit us at ArtInsuranceNow.com to apply for a free quote and live chat with an agent.

Art in Transit: Why we insure

The reasons for art being shipped varies greatly, a collector may move or place artwork in storage while their home is being renovated, they often sell artwork at popular art fairs and even lend pieces to museums.

A dealer or gallerist may sell artwork to a collector from out of town or even another country, the working artist sends their commissioned works to buyers, galleries, etc. Auction houses frequently send and receive works of art. There are many different reasons for art transit, including shipping art out of harms way in cases of hurricanes and wildfires.

Other than hauling that hidden ‘masterpiece’ in the attic down to the Antiques Roadshow, artwork should be handled with care, shipped by professionals, and most importantly insured.

Transit insurance is extremely important to the safety of your investment. If you have the opportunity to talk with anybody in the insurance world for fine art, most of the losses by frequency — something like 70% — are caused by damage while it’s being handled through transit. Even so, not all insurance policies cover works of art.

Standard homeowners insurance likely won’t extend to cover your art collection, which is why most artists, collectors, dealers, and auction houses purchase a stand-alone policy that often includes protection for new works while they are being shipped to your home or business but it’s important to speak to knowledgeable art insurance professionals like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. (ArtInsuranceNow.com) and understand what’s covered and what is not.

It is important to know that most transporters limit their liability and folks are often quite surprised at how low their liability is. So, make sure your insurance policy covers the work of art as it’s being shipped.

Whether buying or selling at art fairs be sure that your work or investment has the maximum coverage with minimal headaches by using the Trusted One Stop Art Insurance for the Art Community since 1949, Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. Visit artinsurancenow.com or call 800-921-1008 we can help you with all of your Art Insurance requirements.

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Art Collector’s Tips on Protecting your Artwork

As Art Collector’s, you have spent considerable resources and countless hours curating the perfect art collection the last thing you want is for that collection to be compromised due to environmental hazards or improper care.

We have some pro tips provided by one of the largest privately owned galleries in America on how to care for your artwork and retain its value.

1. AVOID OR LIMIT DIRECT SUNLIGHT.
Exposure to direct sunlight can fade the color of almost anything, including your new work of art. Avoid hanging your artwork anywhere where it will receive regular exposure to direct sunlight.

2. KNOW WHEN TO FRAME WITH ACRYLIC PLEXIGLASS, NOT GLASS.
What if you specifically wanted to hang that perfect picture in your sunroom? If you don’t want the sun dictating your design choices, just make sure that your picture is framed with a UV filtering acrylic rather than glass. It’s actually lighter than glass and will protect your art from fading or yellowing in direct sunlight.

3. PAY ATTENTION TO HUMIDITY.
The amount of water in the air can have a huge impact on the overall health of your art. Make sure to monitor the humidity level in your home and, ideally, keep it around 55%. (You can track your home’s humidity with a simple hygrometer.)

4. WATCH YOUR HANDS.
Always avoid directly touching your paintings or acrylic framing surfaces without wearing cotton gloves. If you do, you risk damaging them by exposure to your fingerprints and natural oils.

5. KEEP YOUR GLASS OR ACRYLICS SQUEAKY CLEAN.
When cleaning the glass or acrylic panel protecting your artwork, always use a soft non-abrasive cloth or microfiber towel. You should also consider purchasing an acrylic or ammonia-free glass cleaner.

6. DUST—DON’T CLEAN—YOUR PAINTINGS.
If you have a unique painting that’s not behind glass or acrylic, don’t use any cleaners or solvents on the surface to clean the painting…EVER. Instead, just lightly dust off the artwork with a soft feather duster or sable brush.

HOW TO PROTECT YOUR ARTWORK, IF IT’S UNFRAMED:

7. DON’T LEAVE YOUR ART IN A TUBE.
If you’re not ready to hang your art yet, definitely do not leave it rolled up in a protective cardboard tube. You always want to store your art flat. Acrylic paint or embellished paintings stored in tubes can become stained, cracked, or dried up if they’re left rolled up for too long.

8. KEEP YOUR STORED ARTWORK SEPARATED.
When you’re storing multiple works of art, always keep something in between each work while they’re laying flat. Place a 2- or 4-ply rag or conservation matboard cut 2 inches larger than the artwork in between each work. This will help protect the artwork from acidic damage, curling, and potential creasing.

9. STORE ART IN A COOL, DRY, DARK PLACE.
Pantry rules apply when you’re trying to protect the unframed artwork. The best way to avoid damage from sunlight, humidity, and temperature fluctuations is to keep your art somewhere cool, dry, and dark.

10. CONSIDER A SOLANDER BOX.
If you want to be sure that your art stays protected, you might want to invest in a solander box. These are acid-free print boxes with hinged front panels that can be purchased from conservation suppliers.

After acquiring Art, protection and conservation are important steps in keeping its value and beauty intact so you can enjoy it for many years to come, and pass it on to future generations.

Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. (ArtInsuranceNow.com) cares deeply about your collections, provides resources to help you mitigate risk and with our comprehensive Art Collector’s Policies, you can be assured that you have all the bases covered.

Give us a call at 800.921.1008 with any questions about your specific situation on how to properly protect your artwork. We can also be reached via live chat at www.ArtInsuranceNow.com or click below to get a free quote online with our user-friendly application.

 

 

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Join us at Tribeca Art + Culture Night!

ArtInsuranceNow.com / Bernard Fleischer & Sons, Inc. is proud to be a sponsor of the TRIBECA ART + CULTURE NIGHT

As leaders in Fine-Art Insurance, we understand the importance of art and that not only should it be protected, but it should be experienced by the public. Cities gain cultural, social and economic value through art. It reflects and reveals our society, adds meaning to our cities and uniqueness in our communities.

It is free and open to the public. The event presents a program of events like a FESTIVAL, showcases venues/organizations like an ART FAIR, unlocks spaces to the public like an OPEN HOUSE, and offers art-walks to showcase exhibitions like an ART NIGHT.

It is also an ART MARATHON. Attendees can choose their own adventure mixing exhibitions with workshops, talks, demonstrations, and performances. In just 3 hours, from 6-9 PM, visitors join together to attend a curator-led tour, learn a new skill in a creative workshop, watch a live dance performance, and discover the unexpected in a contemporary gallery they may have never found otherwise. TAC Night is an adventurous playground showcasing artists, performers, curators, scientists, chefs, wellness experts, musician, designers, authors, thought leaders, and makers.

 

The Art Police

Detective Don Hrycyk , LAPD Art Theft Detail, shows a fake Jim Dine painting, left, and a fake Renoir painting “La Loge (also called Au Theatre)

If you believe Hollywood’s version, the average art thief has many gadgets, scales walls, and dances through laser beam alarm triggers to steal Rembrandts and Renoirs. But when Detective Don Hrycyk of the LAPD Art Theft Detail solves an art crime, the guilty party is usually a trusted friend or business associate of the victim, not Tom Cruise in a catsuit.

The problem isn’t always smart criminals, Many leave themselves vulnerable to opportunists, with state of the art alarm systems that are never turned on, treasures locked away in safes with the combination left in an unlocked drawer nearby. Detective Hrycyk has seen it all.

The Art Theft Detail was formed by the LAPD in 1983 in response to a rash of unsolved High-value art thefts. It was a smart decision as they have recovered $122,999,616 in artwork since 1993. It is the only law enforcement unit in the country dedicated to fighting art crimes full-time.

They investigate by publicizing thefts and staying in constant contact with local galleries, museums, auction houses, and collectors. They tackle everything from phony estate sales stocked with fake antiques to consignment fraud, home burglaries, art-related insurance scams, and occasionally dramatic heists.

Picasso’s 1937 drawing “Faune”, for example, was recovered back in 2001 after a man tried to sell his $100,000 “ugly painting” to Christie’s in Beverly Hills. An alert appraiser checked the LAPD website, saw the stolen work and called the police. Turns out the thief was a chauffeur who had broken into the house of his movie-producer boss.

Sometimes it isn’t a very happy ending though, sculptor Kewal Soni had a break in and lost a $10,000 sculpture that he worked on for a year. The burglar then took it to a metal recycling plant and sold it as scrap for a measly $9.10. Although later the thief was caught and convicted.

The importance of insuring your art cannot be overstated. Art is a passion for most and when you love something it’s natural to want to protect it. Allow us to help by providing easy to understand comprehensive insurance coverage for your artwork.

Already covered? Let us examine your current Artist’s, Collector’s, Dealer’s, Conservator’s, Gallery’s, or Museum’s policy. Maybe you’re overpaying, under protected or have the wrong coverages.

Our policies have diverse coverages to meet the specific requirements of the Art Community. We help clients select adequate coverage and to help mitigate potential exposures, we provide recommended loss control procedures.

 

 

 

 

 

When Fine-Art Meets Comic-Art

The influence of Comic-Art

It’s a trend that’s reflective of our times, with the record-setting box office of Avengers: Infinity War at a total of $1,813,732,959 in only 4 weeks! Comics as an art form is hugely popular, and we want to help protect those collections.

Most people debate whether to go with a painting or a photograph when filling an empty wall space. But lately, people are turning to something that reflects their pop culture interests, opting for art that depicts superheroes both well-known and obscure.

The appeal of these characters has gone mainstream in a big way, ensuring that vintage comic collections will continue to increase in value. With this increased popularity, there has also been more interest in collecting original comic book art. A popular cover of “Amazing Spider-Man” #328 pitting the title character against the Hulk by Todd McFarlane fetched $657,250 at auction in 2012, and a Sotheby’s Comic Art auction fetched $4.1 Million in 2015.

With the increasing values of this American Art Form comes the increasing exposure to theft and loss due to fire, floods, and damaging weather. We at Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc. / ArtInsuranceNow.com provide Fine Art & Collectibles Insurance to give peace of mind to the avid collector and with over 60 years of experience under our belt, we can Insure your collection properly to fit your particular situation.

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Artwork in Transit; Managing the Risks

The top risks art collectors might face surprisingly doesn’t include theft. In fact, its art that’s on the move that poses the biggest risk. A large proportion of art claims are derived from transit losses. Private collectors enjoy lending, particularly as exhibitions in major institutions can increase value, that’s all very well until something goes wrong.

The movement of art is massive, now art is transported coast to coast, internationally or just to your winter home or local Gallery. When handling artwork, packing for transportation is a top concern for insurance carriers.

Many policies list as a condition, professional packing, meaning it must be packed as someone in the industry would pack it, safe, secure and protective from breaking if possible.

If you use a transportation service, either a fine art mover, a local mover, or common carrier, you must verify if they have or offer Insurance, what are their limits, conditions and the cost of the coverage. Insurance carriers differ and may have restrictions or limitations while your valuables are on the road, on a ship, or in air transit. The most common, efficient and safe way of moving art over long distances, domestically or internationally is by air transport, but it is very common to move the work yourself, so make sure your policy covers self-conveyance.

Some art transporting choices such as those offered by, United Parcel Service (UPS), DHL, Federal Express (FedEx), and other private art handling companies or commercial air freight carriers have limitations on coverages, territory, and deductibles. Keep in mind that while these are services used for fragile and non-fragile fine art, things happen within their control and outside of their control. Looking to your own insurance policy for protection is the right way to limit your financial losses and the quickest way to have the claim settled.

Artists, art dealers, and institutions use these Art transport services regularly, but Insurance, in particular, is the gray area in which most misunderstandings occur. Pay close attention to the bill of lading and understanding the fine print. The standard form limits the exposure of a claim on the art to weight, not value.

Our policies are written either as a schedule or market value less a percentage. Either way, your art will be protected while in transport. Caution, it’s important when securing transit art insurance to add extra days of transport for the unknown delays. Also note the declared value placed in customs forms or the bill of Lading is usually not used when settling a claim but look for wording which would specify to the contrary.

According to FedEx, “shipments (packages or freight) containing all or part of the following items are limited to a maximum declared value of $500: Artwork, including any work created or developed by the application of skill, taste or creative talent for sale, display or collection.

This includes, but is not limited to, items (and their parts) such as paintings, drawings, vases, tapestries, limited-edition prints, fine art, statuary, sculpture, collectors’ items, customized or personalized musical instruments, Film, photographic images, including photographic negatives, photographic chromes and photographic slides.

Any commodity that by its inherent nature is particularly susceptible to damage, or the market value of which is particularly variable or difficult to ascertain.”

According to UPS, articles of “unusual value” are prohibited from being offered for shipment. This definition explicitly includes “works of art.” As the November New York-based auctions ended and Art Basel Miami Beach began, for collectors buying and selling art no doubt demanded lots of their attention, they also should be thinking about keeping their art safe and properly insured as it moves between locations.

With the expansion of the global art market, risks increase. To discover a larger number of buyers, auction houses and art dealers often display art at multiple locations, including a growing number of art fairs around the world like Art Basel. The high volume of art exchanging hands increases the risk of improper handling and accidental damage and therefore increases the number of fine art insurance claims.

You should know where your art will be stored while in the possession of art dealers or auction houses. This is critical. For example, many consigned works were stored in art gallery basements in Chelsea during Hurricane Sandy, leaving many damaged. Art galleries may also store artwork at an off-site storage facility. Being notified before your piece is moved from one location to another is also a precaution and obtaining confirmation on how it will be packed and transported will help to ensure a smooth consignment process.

Don’t presume that the auction house, gallery owner, art dealer, or shipping company with possession of your artwork has insurance for its loss, theft or damage. It’s very important to have your own fine art policy. Collectors should always consult with an insurance agent. The agent can tailor a policy to a specific collector and discover any special provisions in the collector’s fine art policy.
No matter what risks they face, creating an insurance policy for an art collector requires one-on-one consultation since every art collection is unique, no two collectors are alike and no two collections are alike.

Collectors and their advisers would be wise to work with knowledgeable insurance brokers like Bernard Fleischer & Sons Inc.  that can guide you in obtaining the right fine art insurance for your unique requirements. For more info visit www.artinsurancenow.com and live chat with us or call us at 800.921.1008