541-787-4395 kristen@kristenoneillart.com

Archival? How to tell if a painting is archival, what that means, and what you can do to protect your art investment.

How to tell if a painting is archival, what that means, and what you can do to protect your art investment. No one wants their beautiful relationship to dissolve into a mess before their eyes. You’ve fallen in love with a painting by an artist whose work is new to you. Will it last the test of time? How can you tell if it is archival? While nothing is guaranteed in this life, there are some simple questions to ask to get an idea of how “archival” a work may be. Before we get started a quick note about the term “archival.” It really should be more along the lines of “durable.” It has nothing to do with archives, except the fact that it might stick around in one for awhile… When we speak of archival supplies and techniques we really mean that the work will last a reasonable amount of time. We are always looking to see if the work will last longer than we do. My personal minimum goal is for my paintings to last over a hundred years. Oil Paintings Most of the older paintings you see in you see in an art museum are oil. (Acrylic painting didn’t come around until the mid 20th century.)  In oil paint the pigment is held together and turned from powder to a thick liquid with oil (linseed oil, poppy seed oil, safflower oil and walnut oil being the common choices). Over the years oil paint has been developed to hold up better over time. In the beginning of new oil colors development you see unstable colors and reactions, such...