Art Preservation: Ensuring Your Artwork Will Be Enjoyed For Years To Come

You have put a lot of work into your creation. A lot of feeling, energy, and effort. In a very real sense, your artwork is a part of you, and it should last beyond you. There is no one reason to create art. Some people create for the sheer joy of creation, some to spread a message, and some to inspire thoughts or conversations. Whatever your reason, you should make art preservation a priority, so that your art can be enjoyed and appreciated by those who follow after you.

What factors can harm my art?

Art should be displayed, enjoyed, and talked about. But in doing so, we place at risk the very thing that we value most. In addition to pollutants in the very air around you, there are the everyday hazards of water damage, direct exposure to sunlight, human touch, variations in temperature, and the natural chemical reaction of the very items that make up the work of art…there are more, but you get the idea. Museums pay thousands of dollars for environmental systems which regulate everything from temperature and humidity, to the amount of dust in the air. While you may not be able to care for your art in this manner, there are many ways to stave off the effects of time.

Modern technology is making art preservation easier

The challenge on how to preserve art has been around since the first caveman picked up a piece of charcoal. One excellent example of how preservation has changed is the ongoing process to preserve the Declaration of Independence. As the years passed, the ink on the document was fading, the paper was yellowing, and turning ever more brittle. In the 1950’s, a glass case was the best choice. In the 1990’s, NASA become involved in determining the best way to display this historic object and yet maintain its integrity. Today there are studies being made into the possibility of using nanotechnology to preserve and restore art.

Why art preservation is important

The word legacy is defined by Merriam Webster as “something (as memories or knowledge) that comes from the past or a person of the past.” Your art should be an enduring legacy. You were here, you had a voice, a vision, a passion. Preserving your art will allow your vision to be shared with the next generation, and the ones after that.

Imagine a landscape that was painted by your mother. It holds a place of pride in your home. It is her legacy to you. You value it not for its negligible monetary value, but for the love and passion it was created with. The fact that she took the time to share her inspiration, her thoughts and feelings with everyone who views the art is what sets its value. If it was damaged in any way, You would feel an irreparable loss. It cannot be replicated. Therefore, you should take every effort to care for it. In time it will become a legacy you hand down to the next generation, so that people who never knew her can share a part of her. Have a window, a glimpse into who she was and what she accomplished. That she was here. That she mattered.

Looking for some guidance on how to preserve an art collection?

Handling an artist’s works or an inherited collection can be a big task. Each collection is different and benefits from good guidance and proper care. POBA makes it as easy as possible. Contact a POBA Concierge representative if you need help with online and physical storage, archiving, cataloging, and more to preserve, protect, and promote an artist’s work or legacy.


Find more tips about art care from estate lawyers, gallerists, archivists, and other POBA experts. Check back often for updates, too!

Contact a POBA Concierge representative today if you need help with online and/or physical storage, archiving, cataloging, appraising and more to preserve, protect, and promote a creative legacy or collection.

Apply to display a creative legacy on POBA if you manage or represent a deceased artists works.

Enjoy the work of exceptional artists on POBA.

Questions? Contact us.