Protecting Artwork

Galerie Michael   •  Jan 18, 2018


Think of all of the greats of the art world, and of art history. Now think of what would happen, had we never seen their work because it had been destroyed before the rest of us even got a chance to see what they had to offer. Can you imagine a world without hieroglyphs? What about Japanese Ukyio-e? Though the incredible carvings on the temples in Thailand have survived the test of time, that doesn’t mean that paintings and sculptures will. It just means that they were very lucky! The elements are part of the world we live in. Wind, sun, dust, and moisture help us to live and to live comfortably, but they can be detrimental to the art that we hold dear. Protecting your art is protecting a legacy, and your descendants will be glad that you did.


Artists should always be aware of, or have easy access to, copywriting laws. While it is certainly true that your artwork is copyrighted when it is conceived, the road to protecting your work doesn’t end there. Intellectual property laws are the reason that you can paint, carve, or sculpt without fear of someone stealing your idea, but it is necessary to a step further. Registering your art with the United States Copyright Office is a process, but you may be able to find someone that can help you get through the process. Once that’s done, you can protect yourself with the right to take an unauthorized distributor to court. Everyone hopes they will not have to worry about this, but people unfortunately will get money where they can, and you might end up a victim of someone else’s scheme.


The need to lock your door at night is a reality in most parts of the developed world, but not everything is to be locked away and hidden. Art is meant to be enjoyed with your eyes and ears, and locking it away completely undermines the point of having it in the first place. Keeping your art secure behind glass is the best protection that you can give it from theft and the many materials that can be used to ruin it.


The sun is a wonderful and miraculous entity. In many ways, sunlight and water are the two things responsible for all life on Earth, and continues to create more than we can imagine. But the sun can also be intense, and damaging, lightening our hair while burning our eyes and skin. Even though the planet is wrapped in layers of air and simple elements that protect us from the most dangerous rays of the sun, art work has no such protection. Painting left in sunlight can fade, and crack. The same is possible for sun-exposed sculptures. To prevent this from happening, consider using LED lights in place of natural sunlight. While morning sunlight is sometimes lauded as the best light by which to create art, it can be damaging in large amounts, and you should put your art first.


Dust can sometimes contain abrasive fragments that can damage your precious fine art. Removing dust can be a process, but it is not difficult. Using soft cloths or soft bristle brushes is your best option. Avoid using cleaners, and if your painting is looking dull, consider calling an art restorer. They will have the tools to get your art looking like new.