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OPTIMAL CONDITIONS & SAFEGUARD PROTECTION FOR YOUR WORKS OF ART

Caring for relative humidity, temperature, light/ultraviolet radiance adds to longevity of your artworks!

Optimal conditions for storage of works of art are given when following values prevail during all season :

Form of work / Material Relative humidity in % Temperature in C / FH Illuminance in Lux
Optimum for most materials 45 - 50 +20 / 68 Varies,Stability is best for all!
Oil and Acrylic Paintings on wood or canvas 50 - 65 +20 /68 150/200 max.
500 short term
Works on paper or parchment 45-55 +/-5 degrees +20 / 68 50-100
Photographic material 35 - 45 stability! +20 / 68 stability! 150 - 250 stability!
glass, painting on glass 40 - 55 +20 / 68 250
Textiles 45 - 55 +20 / 68 50 - 150
Ivory, bone, leather 45 - 60 +20 / 68 50 - 150
Stone, ceramics 20 - 55 +20 / 68 250 if painted
Metals 20 -45 +20 / 68 Almost irrelevant
Design / Plastic Objects 45 - 50 stability! 150 - 250
Furniture (wood) 55 stability! +20 / 68 stability! lacquered or fair wood and inlays (Ivory, metal etc) : 150 / 200)

All art materials need a specific climate to prevent from fast aging and damage

Art objects made of metal, ceramic, stone and glass materials are not light-sensitive themselves, but they need a low relative humidity, if appropriate < 45%.

Stretchers of paintings usually tighten and expand a little in changing climate, so make sure they wan't lead to damaging the paint surface.

Works on paper can withstand only little light/ultraviolet radiance; like paintings they need a relative humidity of 45 - 55% and temperature should not exceed 20 / 68 FH. As with photography : special framing helps to avoid the diffuse of pigments; always use acidfree photo-mount

- lf you collection includes different materials like furniture/design, paintings, works on paper. photography. metal sculptures etc., the climate should be geared to the most sensitive material.

- No direct sunlight; don't let too much ultraviolet radiance attack your art objects! Northerly light, UV-absorbent glazing, spotlight with UV filter will help.

- Store light-sensitive works in appropriate darkness, but not less than 5 LUX to avoid blackening or “fall-out" of some ancient types of paint; whilst occasional presentation of light sensitive artworks on dark rather than light walls makes them ‘readable’ even in low illuminance.

- Only present works of art on outside walls or in stairwells if their rear side sufficiently is insulated against dirt, dust and diffuse of humidity from walls.

- Always provide for unhindered back-ventilation of an art object, but avoid draughts. "Normal" air contains pollutants : you can see microdust on surfaces with help of a UV-lamp; one recongnizes sulphur dioxide by “tarnishing” of silver etc. All you can avoid by proper "housekeeping" for your collection.

- Pests (mould, insects, rodents) unwillingly may have invaded your collection: they like growing during Inappropriate storage conditions : too warm, too moist, no ventilation; regular checks prevent from nasty surprise and regret.

- Look for traces of woodworm under and within your antique furniture; avoid to place them on floor heating; fill water (and lavender blossoms) in a bowl to keep a certain humidity within cupboards or put the bowl under the chest of drawers; in case they are heavily filled with your silver cutlery or linen, rub some soap under the drawer sashes to smoothen the pull and push of drawers.

- Keep all your collectibles clear of radiators (dust). fireplaces and candles (soot). Works of art suffer irreversible damage if they are stored unpacked in acidic papers, cardboard or stored in bubblewrap foils or in impregnated textiles or in case the paint of storage racks contains adhesives or solvents : this will shorten their lifetime by chemical reactions resulting in suddenly accelerated deterioration of different materials due to their often aggressive inherent properties!

- For artwork exposed at public space, especially small size artwork, please make sure they are mounted firmly on the wall, floor or display table in case of being stolen or an accidental drop.

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