Starting A Private Art Museum/Collection: Tips For Beginners And Greenhorn Collectors
Art can be incredibly valuable. It can also be a way to make a statement, decorate, and invest in the dreams of artists whose work you really enjoy. If you want to start your own private art museum and/or collection, the following tips will help you display the works you have amassed while simultaneously protecting them for years to come.
Use Soft True-Color Lighting
There is lighting, and then there is museum lighting. For all two-dimensional art, you should only be using museum lighting. This is light that helps enhance the true colors of each piece while avoiding any glaring light that could be damaging to the pieces via heat from the bulbs or blue light, which can devolve the color schemes in a piece. Shop for lighting options that provide just enough light to see each work of art, and ask about bulbs that provide true-color radiant light.
Sunlight damages a lot of what it touches, and art is no exception. UVA and UVB rays, combined with the heat of direct sunlight day after day, can cause colors to fade and certain types of paint (e.g., oil, acrylic) to crack. If you have ever walked through a public museum, you may have noticed that paintings by old masters and new artists alike are never placed near windows or in the path of direct sunlight. Make sure your private gallery follows suit.
Control the Humidity Levels
Again, the humidity levels in a gallery can preserve or destroy works of art. Too dry, and the paint cracks and flakes off the canvas. Too humid, and a layer of moisture collects on the surface of the canvases, which is very bad for oil paintings because it can cause the linseed oil in these paintings to mold. For works on paper, such as pastels or watercolors, too much moisture in the air can create moisture ripples in the papers. Additionally, humidity levels may vary during the seasons of the year and the location of your private gallery. In general, optimal humidity levels fluctuate between thirty and seventy percent. If you want an exact humidity level in your gallery, talk to professional public galleries in your area to see what setting they use and what is, in their opinion, the best humidity levels.
Place More Valuable Pieces Behind Glass Cases
If you invest a big chunk of change into an artwork that you think is an original Degas, Rembrandt, or Pollack, place it behind/in a protective glass shield/box. The box/shield will protect it until you can have an expert test it, look at it, and verify if you found a golden treasure. Continue to encase it this way to protect it against anything else that could damage it and reduce its potential worth and against theft, since most of these cases can be locked (e.g., the famed Mona Lisa is housed in such a case).
Locate and Hire an Art Restoration Expert Who Can Clean up the Works Annually
Despite your best efforts, paintings will accumulate dust and/or crack ever so slightly. That is why public museums hire art restoration experts. These experts spend countless hours cleaning, maintaining, and repairing paintings so that the works will last decades to centuries more beyond the present day. It may be difficult to find such an expert initially, but once you have found and hired him/her, make sure he/she is scheduled to return annually to clean the paintings and look for small signs of damage (and no, you cannot simply dust or use ammonia to clean the paintings!). This service will not come cheap, but it is vital to keeping any art collection in a private museum from deteriorating over time.
For more information, reach out to a museum such as Art Privee.