The complications of packing fine art
Fine art does not mean pieces which were done by the old masters, any valuable piece of art can be considered ‘fine art” and it does not necessarily mean paintings alone, there are numerous art mediums. The one thing in common with fine art is its value, whether the work was done hundreds or even thousands of years ago or recently, fine art done by well known artists can be worth a small fortune. Museums, antique dealers and art galleries know that shipping art is something that is best left to professionals who know how to design shipping containers so that the object is received at the other end in the same condition it left.
Shipping anything takes skill but in the case of shipping art it is not only skill, it is specific knowledge of what materials are acceptable and which are not and can these materials be used in close proximity to the piece or are they only acceptable as shock absorbing material? In order for the piece to arrive safely, the selection of the correct materials is of primary importance. To complicate things further, many countries have specific rules on what packing materials can be used and enter the country unhindered.
To ensure that the shipment is packed correctly, museum directors, gallery owners, etc rarely attempt the packing themselves, this is left to those who understand the intricacies of art crating in Los Angeles. These companies and the personnel who work for them have specific experience in crating for storage of the piece or for transporting it. They know precisely how to protect the piece to minimize any damage during transit.
There are differences in the way art crating in Los Angeles is done based on the distance and the destination, as well as the physical size and value of the piece. In many cases the art is carried on vehicles that have soft ride characteristics as well as being climate controlled. As art is moved long distances the vehicle will be subjected to different temperatures and levels of humidity. These variables can have a detrimental effect on the work so the vans are designed to maintain consistency in the enclosed area. Even with all these precautions, curators, artists and owners will insure the work before it ships.