Caring For Your Collection
Art insurance companies commonly offer suggestions like these for protecting and preserving your artwork:
- At the time of acquisition, gather as much information about the object’s condition as possible.
- Avoid direct sunlight; to illuminate works, use diffuse northerly light, UV-absorbent glazing, and spotlights with UV filters.
- When placing works on outside walls or in stairwells check if their reverse side is isolated against dirt, dust and humidity.
- If possible, allow space for some back-ventilation behind artwork.
- Never store art in acidic papers (most cardboard is very acidic).
- Keep artwork clear of radiators, fireplaces, candles, heaters and moisture sources.
- For bronze sculpture, the most delicate part is the patina. For cleaning it use a dust rag, soft shoe brush or duster.
- Store photography in acid-free paper enclosures, not in plastic.
- When having works framed, request acid-free materials and ensure the framer leaves ample separation between the artwork and both the frame and glazing.
- If your collection includes a variety of materials the climate should be controlled to protect the most sensitive of them.
- Have your works appraised regularly to maintain adequate amounts of insurance coverage and to have proof of their existence and condition in the event you need to file a claim.
- Optimum relative humidity for most materials is 45-50% and optimum temperature is 20°C/68°F.
Notes on Charitable Contributions
- If you made total noncash gifts over $500.00 for the year, you must complete and attach the most updated version of IRS Form 8283, Noncash Charitable Contributions, to your tax return.
- If a single gift or group of similar gifts was valued at over $5,000.00, you must also get a formal appraisal of the item from a qualifying appraiser as defined by the IRS (the cost of the appraisal itself is not a charitable contribution but can be deducted as a miscellaneous deduction on Schedule A).
- To maximize your deduction, the donation must fit the rule of “related use” which means the object(s) must involve a related use of the receiving organization. If the object(s) doesn’t, the donation may only be deducted on a cost-basis (what you paid for it, not including any appreciation or depreciation in value over time).
- You must own a work of art for at least 12 months before claiming a tax deduction for donating it.
Condition, Condition, Condition
- You’ve no doubt heard the old real estate adage about value being all about “location, location, location.” In art it’s “condition, condition, condition.” Take care of your artwork if you want it to hold or increase its value.