An artwork can transform a room and set the mood for an entire interior design theme. As a focal point, it can inspire a traditional approach to room decoration or become the starting point for a contemporary style. The hanging of an artwork tends to be a precise and considered process. But once installed, some simple principles can prolong the life of an artwork by decades.

Gregg Sedgwick

Gregg Sedgwick, artist and founder of
Gallery One
shares some quick tips on the right way to take care of your precious artwork.

Keep an artwork away from sunlight
Direct sunlight can very quickly destroy any artwork. The most popular contemporary media is the giclée print. The inks used in this process are incredibly robust and will hold their colour intensity for 100 years if properly maintained. However, put a giclée in direct sunlight and the colours will fade dramatically. Always position an artwork away from direct sunlight and preferably in an area of lower light.

Moisture is the most damaging
Humidity is the single most damaging factor affecting artworks of all types. Paper prints, including photographs and silk-screen works, are particularly vulnerable. In climates in which humidity levels fluctuate dramatically (such as the Gulf region), the paper carrying the print will absorb moisture. The result is ripples in the paper and permanent damage to the piece. Always position an artwork in a closed room.

Glass can help
Air in our rooms is full of unwanted elements. Aerosols, cleaning fluids, cooking fumes and smoke waft around looking for a surface onto which they can attach themselves. Oil and acrylic paintings provide an attractive resting place – given their textured and intricate surface. Glass is an effective way of protecting the surface of a painting or a print. It prevents foreign bodies from landing on the surface and it also filters some of the influences of harmful light. The downside is irritating reflections and the loss of ‘connection’ with the texture of the artwork.

The peril of pests
Insects love the cosy environment provided by a framed artwork here, there is also a constant source of nourishment too. Woodworms, silverfish and termites can cause irreparable damage to artworks of all types. Check the back of an artwork and dust off any signs of infestation or nesting.

Store it safely Finally, if you are transporting an artwork or just putting it away for a while – art pieces should be packed in acid-free wrappings and stored in humidity-controlled spaces.