This post is part 2. See Art Collecting After You’re Out of Wall Space for part 1.
If the work isn’t always on display then you have to store it someplace. Find someplace in your house that you can do this.
- Temperature changes: you want to keep your artwork comfortable to prevent damage. Easy rule of thumb: If you would be happy it will be happy.
- Moisture: if there is unused space in your bathroom for instance, don’t use it for this. But perhaps you could move linens from your hall closet into the bathroom and use part of your linen closet space.
- Flooding: if you live in an area that could flood make sure that you don’t store art on the bottom shelf. Other precautions may needed.
Quick ideas of places you may have:
- Closets (hall, linen, bedrooms) check the top shelf. Sometimes there is a hard to reach area to the side of bedroom closest that works great and is out of your normal daily routine.
- How about behind a piece of furniture, such as an armoire, dresser, entertainment center? Just make sure you wrap them up first (see below). Larger paintings may fit under your bed.
Rotate pieces of similar sizes
For instance, if you have a 24” x 18” piece you can change it out for another 24” x 18” piece, then it’s hung at the proper height for its size. If you are unable to rotate piece of similar sizes think about ways to hide your adjustments (holes in walls).
Store them carefully and safely
It is preferred to leave a stretched canvas on the stretcher bars (the wood supports that keep the canvas taut). But, I do want to share this important information. If you are ever rolling an oil painting on canvas, it is paint-side out, not paint-side in. The oil paint stretches. If you roll it paint-side in then you are forcing it back onto itself and the paint cracks. Roll it with a piece of paper (acid-free) to keep the rough canvas side from rubbing the paint as it rolls. Store the rolled up painting in a cardboard tube to protect the outside of the roll and prevent rubbing.
A cheap way to store paintings carefully is with foam core and blue painters tape. This is my personal method. Cut the foam core to cover the entire front side of the painting plus frame. Then cut strips to cover the side of the frame. Cut another piece that covers the back. Use the blue painters tape to wrap the painting up into a foam core box. Use a marker to write which painting it is on the foam core. This system will allow you to store a painting on any side and to not have to worry about another painting jabbing it with its corner. I recommend writing which art piece it is on the side too, so you can see it on edge like reading the spine of a book on a bookshelf.
- Have exhibitions in your own home. Invite friends over for a dinner party or the ‘ol wine & cheese.
- Seasonal – for some reason I keep imaging Santa Claus paintings. But more realistically it could be themes that go with the season like “Springtime”. Or perhaps you want your brightest art up for the dark winter days.
- Autobiographical – In the movie High Fidelity this is how the main character organized his record collection. If you had a large collection, or perhaps international travels, this could be really fantastic.
The main point is to enjoy your collection. Don’t let your wall space limit your options. There is no need to pass on a new favorite!