The buyer’s guide to caring for artworks

Congratulations on the purchase of your new masterpiece! You are now the owner of a 100% original artwork and you’ve made an Aussie artist truly happy. To keep your artwork looking good, here are some simple tips for handling it, showing it off and keeping it clean.

1. Handle With Care


Picture: Keystone

The artist who created your newly purchased masterpiece put a great deal of care into making something unique and special for you to enjoy, so here are some tips on how to handle it with care:

1. Don’t touch the surface of the artwork without gloves. White cotton gloves are best as they don’t leave a residue. Note that even the cleanest of hands might leave residue behind!

2. If the artwork is large, get someone to help you handle, move, carry and hang it. Never try hanging large works alone – not only could you damage the artwork, but you might cause injury to yourself!

3. Some artworks might have fragile edges and corners. Protect these parts by padding them during handling, hanging or resting the artwork against hard surfaces. Try a blanket, bubble wrap or something similar that’s soft and will cushion the artwork.

4. If you need to pack and store the artwork without a frame, when moving house for example, try to use stable, pH neutral archival materials. Framing shops and art stores will have these types of materials.

2. Show It Off

Hanging Stephen Homewood

Art by Stephen Homewood hanged beautifully.

Where you display your artwork is crucial to keeping it in good nick and making it last longer. Here are a few simple tips to show your artwork off the right way.

1. Art + Sun = Fading

Do NOT hang your artwork in direct sunlight. It will cause fading really quickly. To be extra cautious, rotate it around different parts of the house, and give it some time in a dark space (or dark storage) every now and then, keeping in mind the storage tips given previously.

2. Art + Water = Peeling + Warping

Keep your artwork away from water, moisture, dampness or humidity to prevent peeling and warping. Bathrooms, garages and outdoors are a big no-no unless the artwork is specifically designed to counter the elements!

3. Art + Heat = Warping + Melting

Just like water, excessive heat will also warp and potentially melt some artworks. Hang your artwork away from fireplaces and ovens. Remember to keep heaters away from artworks as well.

4. Art + Love = Happiness Forever

Love your artwork and treat it with respect, show it off with pride to your friends, and let it make you think and feel.

3. Keep It Clean

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Grungle knows he’s not to touch his favourite Jac Clark masterpiece!

Cleaning art is easy when the artwork is a painting or a framed drawing. If your artwork is made from something a little different from the norm (think relatively new trends in contemporary art that use mediums such as urine and blood), let us know and we’ll contact the artist for some exclusive cleaning tips.

1. Dust it! Try not to let too much dust build up on the artwork. Remove any dust using a very soft, non-abrasive, lint free cloth. Paper towel, kitchen cloths and brushes will scratch.

2. Clean glass or plastic frames or panes with a soft, non-abrasive cloth and gentle plastic cleaner (instead of glass cleaner). Some plastic cleaners used for cleaning car interiors work perfectly – just make sure it’s not a polish! Spray the cleaner onto the cloth, not onto the artwork or pane, as it may cause moisture damage.

3. Pets and any other little animals that live at your house may take offense to your newly found affection for something other than them. Try to keep their claws, feathers, teeth, nails, food and dirty fingers away from the artwork – or your artwork away from them!

Thank you for supporting Australian art! We hope to see you back for more.

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The Wave Series Exhibition – Annette Spinks

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