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Now that you've invested in a piece of artwort, there are several things to consider in order to maintain its beauty and condition over time.

 
Care of Originals Paintings
Watercolor originals should be framed and behind glass. Gouache I have seen presented both behind glass and not, and although I am unsure whether the original is protected enough without glass, I prefer to see it that way. The option of UV-protected glass may be something to ask your framer. Keeping the glass and the frame dusted is always a good idea.

Acrylic paintings with their non-porous surface do not need to have glass, and oils should not be behind glass as they have to breathe. Lightly dusting the surface is OK and does prevent build-up.

All art should be kept out of direct sunlight, and in a room where the humidity levels do not get very high. Fluctuations in temperatures should be kept to a minimum. In addition, extremely low temperatures will crack acrylic paintings, so winter shipping should be done with care.

Care of Prints
Even if the utmost care has been taken in purchasing a print with a high quality printing process and museum quality framing was used, a framed print placed in poor conditions can be ruined. Direct sunlight interacts with the image’s ink and may bleach it or "blue" it. Humid conditions can promote the growth of mold, subsequently damaging the paper and frame. Too dry conditions can also make a wood frame shrink if it was framed in a more humid climate. After all this, what conditions won’t hurt a print? Good prints are actually fairly durable if framed properly (see Framing) and placed out of direct sunlight in moderate conditions with the humidity below 50%. If the print is kept unframed for a period of time, dust is an issue. A print should, at a minimum, be sealed from dust with a cover that will not chemically react with the inks. For a collection of unframed prints, professional print storage cabinets are available (some even with fancy climate controls) although unless you live in extreme conditions (the Antarctic or the heart of the Amazon would qualify) such extremes may not be necessary.

With care, a print can last many decades.

Care of Sculpture

Depending on the material, type, and method of display, sculpture requires a different approach to maintaining.

The best way to preserve a sculpture in its original form is in a clear casing. this keeps dust off the surfaces and minimizes the chance someone knocks it over or latches onto it with a loose piece of clothing.

Sculpture designed for the outdoors, (ex. garden), for example, is typically designed to weather with the elements. Part of the beauty of an outdoor sculpture is the patina and natural corrosion it develops over time. Metal sculptures such as bronzes should be cleaned with a fine artists brush or a lint-free cloth to avoid abrasion damage. Refrain from using cleaners and/or solvents.

More delicate sculptures require even more delicate maintenance. A fine artists sable brush does well in cleaning detail without inflicting damage. Again, refrain from using cleaners and/or solvents, or even water, particularly if the piece is painted.

 

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Nature Art | Wildlife Art
Original Painting

"Expired"
By Linda Herzog
20 x 16
oil
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Original Sculpture

"Teaser"
By  Karryl
10 x 14 x 5 (inches)
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