There are a huge variety of paintings. And their prices are also significantly different. It’s one thing – a cheap reproduction in the frame, which you were presented for the third place in any photo contest or checkerboard tournament. And quite another – the work of a famous artist, which costs several thousand dollars, purchased at an auction or an antique, old canvas. Some of the paintings are priceless. For example, your best work, if you are an artist.
Such valuable paintings require special conditions even at home – the microclimate is important. They mustn’t be placed close to the sources of heating and windows, high humidity can damage them too. These are the vagaries of expensive things! You should take into account all important aspects when these works of art need to be transported to a new location. It is easy to spoil a valuable thing with one careless movement. Therefore, it is better to attract professionals to such a difficult task as carriage of paintings. The main thing is to correctly prepare works of art for transportation. Packaging not only protects the painting from accidental damage, but also avoids the sudden changes in temperature and humidity during transportation. It protects the work of art also from dust and sunlight. Especially all these factors are unfavorable for paintings made on paper. A weak spot of the canvas is a mechanical damage. Canvas can break because of careless touch, pushing and hit. It can lead to a dent, a scratch, a damage to a layer of paint. It is recommended to transport the pictures separately from frames, in special containers. However, they are packed in paper and in a dense fabric – the material should be “breathing”, covering the top with a layer of air-bubble film. However, this should be done so that the packaging materials do not touch the painting. It is little easier to handle with baguettes and frames. They must be packed in an air-bubble film and transported in an upright position, ideally in boxes suitable by size. Pictures can be transported either in the frame or without it. To compactly pack the picture in the frame, it should be wrapped with a plastic wrap that will provide protection from friction with packaging and moisture. The frame should be closed with air bubble film or foamed polyethylene, which is used as a substrate for the laminate. Then the picture should be put between two sheets of solid cardboard, cut according to a size of the picture with a margin for the thickness of the frame, the edges of the cardboard should be folded and fixed with adhesive tape. Instead of cardboard, you can use hardboard, plywood or fiberboard.
If the picture is on a stretcher, it should also be packed in a plastic wrap first to protect it from moisture and contact with the packaging, then put an air bubble film or foamed polythene on the paint layer and also put it between two layers of cardboard, hardboard or plywood. Afterwards fix it firmly by adhesive tape.
Paintings without frame
The packaging of paintings without a frame must be made in a completely different way. To wrap the canvas, you need a plastic pipe with a diameter of about a hundred millimeters, which you can buy at any construction store. The pipe should be cut to the size of the canvas, twist the picture into a roll, so that the paint layer is out, and gently put the canvas into the pipe. The old canvas can be covered with gelatin and a tracing paper. The space inside of pipe must be filled with soft packing material in order to prevent the picture from crumpling under its own weight. The edge of the pipe in which the picture is laid should be covered with a thick cardboard and fixed with adhesive tape or covered with special plugs.
Much more difficult is the case with paintings that are museum exhibits and representing cultural and historical value. It is very difficult to transport art objects, since it is necessary to take into account the state of the paintings, to choose the way and type of packaging, the vehicle they will be transported competently. Also we have to take into account the climatic conditions in the way, in the place where the pictures are taken out and where they are delivered. Quality packaging of paintings for transportation provides them with protection from dust, moisture, temperature changes and other unfavorable conditions. Before the transportation of paintings, the restoration commission should evaluate the possibility of their transportation.
After a thorough inspection, a list of works of art to be transported, which is signed by the members of the restoration commission, is drawn up. Pictures painted in oil or works of tempera painting with a damaged paint layer can only be transported to restoration workshops. Packaging of paintings and their delivery to the destination should ensure the full safety of the paintings. The most important requirement, which is presented to the packaging of valuable paintings, is the creation of an optimal temperature-humidity regime comparable to the conditions in which the picture is kept constantly. It is very difficult to do this if we take into account the difference in climatic conditions between the place where the paintings are sent and the place where they will be delivered.
The pictures must be packed in special boxes or containers in such a way that they do not come into contact with other objects, they should be protected from mechanical influences and, if possible, try to prevent pictures from vibration during transportation. All these factors can adversely affect the state of the paintings, so it is very important to approach the choice of packaging materials and the way of packaging. During transportation, as well as when packing and unpacking pictures, you need to handle them as carefully as possible. To prevent condensation, which can irretrievably destroy the linen, all packing materials must first lie in the room in which the packing of paintings will be made, at least two weeks. After the painting is transported, it is necessary to leave it for a day in the room in which they will be hung. During the loading of pictures into the vehicle, vibration and sudden movements should be avoided, which can destroy the paint layer. If the transportation of paintings occurs in winter or just in cold weather, it is necessary to choose a package that provides high thermal insulation. In conclusion, you can use such packaging materials as air bubble film, corrugated cardboard, dense wrapping paper for transportation of paintings. If the canvas is transported without a frame, a tube of the appropriate diameter should be selected for it, on which the canvas is wound up in a colorful layer – the coarser the canvas, the larger the diameter of the pipe. Then pack the roll into a special tube, which does not allow dust and moisture to go through.