10 Jan How to love your artworks

Collecting art can be the beginning of a life-long romance. And like the best romantic encounters it needs nurture and some attention. So, here are a few guidelines to always remember in this love affair.

Where to hang your artwork

Artworks generally need minimal maintenance once they are displayed or stored properly.

Avoid direct sunlight

Be sure to hang the artwork in the right environment. Your hanging location must be away from direct sunlight. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight will cause the colours to lose their brilliance and, may over time, lead to cracking and other forms of damage to the paint.

Avoid humidity

Moisture will weaken the adhesion of the paint of the artwork which could lead to cracking and loss of paint.  

It could also lead to mould growth on the canvas which eventually leads to the discolouration of the colours on the canvas.

Be boring with your environment

When your painting is hanging, seemingly peacefully, the different parts – the canvas, the paint and the frame – are expanding and contracting continuously at different levels. The more stable the environment, the less the expansion and contraction and the longer your painting will last.  An air-conditioned environment with a stable temperature and humidity range helps the painting. Massive changes in temperature and humidity will create a lot of stress and lead to cracking and flaking of the paint.  An air-conditioned environment keeps the painting insulated from these extreme temperature changes.

TLC – Artworks need attention

It helps to occasionally inspect your artwork. A cursory look can tell you if there’s any problem and you can deal with it early. Paper artworks hung in an environment with too much moisture will start to show signs of moulding. Inspecting the artworks from time to time will catch those sorts of problems early while they are still reversible.

Watch out for dust

We generally live in a dusty environment so dust will always be a problem. You should dust your paintings occasionally with a soft cloth to avoid a build-up of dust. Once every few months is usually fine. The painting should be positioned, upright at a forward angle when dusting so that the dust falls away from the surface of the painting.

Keep painting surface away from pressure

You want to make sure that you don’t lean any objects on your paintings. This can happen quite easily in homes. The pressure of the object leaning on the canvas will eventually depress the canvas and damage the paint.

Hands off

As much as possible, use gloves when handling your artworks. Paintings are not brittle, but dirt and oil from fingers can impact on the lifespan of the painting.


Bronze sculptures need a ventilated area away from excessive heat and humidity. Bronze sculptures, like most sculptures, tend to be easy to maintain. Any occasional dusting with a dry cloth or a soft shoe brush will suffice. Avoid cleaning with a damp cloth or water though.

Here’s to a long -lasting love affair with your art collection.

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