To Preserve Your Art Collection
It's important to look after your art and preserve it for years
to come. Inuit Art comes in many forms so its vital to know
the best way to look after each particular piece.
Inuit stone sculptures can be large and heavy, or light and dainty,
either way, avoid displaying such sculptures on high shelves or
pedestals. Instead, choose a low shelf or surface to display them
on and minimise the risk of them ever falling from a height. For
the same reason, avoid displaying near doors or air vents or anywhere
it could easily be knocked to the floor. Stone is a durable art
material so can be kept in direct sunlight and fluctuating temperatures
are not that much of a problem. Inuit carvings are often referred
to as soapstone carvings, but they are made from a great
variety of different stones, often dependant on the region the sculpture
was carved in. Stone is durable but can be easily scratched and
damaged so when moving it around, remove all rings, watches, necklaces,
belt buckles and other jewellery. Stone sculptures made from soapstone
will need to be handled with slightly more care than carvings from
harder types of stone. Wear non slip gloves such as latex gloves
to support it and keep it clean. Use a soft cloth to keep it free
from dust and if your sculpture has a lot of texture and crevices
use a paintbrush to dust away any dirt that has become embedded.
Drawings and Paintings
Prints should be displayed away from direct sunlight
or artificial light. Light can fade pigments and cause paper and
textiles to discolour or become brittle. Choose a location with
a steady temperature, so avoid hanging near radiators and windows.
Humidity can be very bad for this type of art so avoid bathrooms
and kitchens. Consider having prints professionally framed. Conservation
Level Framing helps to preserve artwork by protecting it against
mould, insects, heat and humidity, light and UV rays, and air pollution.
Bone and Antler Sculptures and Jewellery
It is very important that these pieces are kept away from doorways,
radiators, windows, anywhere that there is likely to be rapid or
varied fluctuations in temperature or humidity. Ivory in particular
is very sensitive to changes in relative humidity. In changing humidity
ivory swells and shrinks, causing potentially cracking and warping.
Display these pieces far away from any potential spills. Bone and
antler are quite porous, and absorb dirt, dust and liquids easily,
if they come into contact with coloured materials they are likely
To clean these pieces, lightly dust with a soft brush. Ivory is
not as porous as bone and antler so can be lightly washed with cotton
wool, a little water and mild soap. But it is still quite porous
so after rinsing, ensure the surface is dried within 15-20 seconds
using some more cotton wool. Never soak bone or ivory in water and
if you notice your bone or ivory yellowing, dont worry this
happens naturally and adds to the piece.
For Inuit art with fur elements, insects are the biggest threat
to preservation of this type of art, if this becomes a problem for
you, freezing the fur is an effective way to combat this.
Your Art and Yourself
The value of art is rocketing, and in this period
of economic uncertainty, art is seen as an attractive investment.
When buying, make sure you are supplied with a certificate of authenticity
and make sure you buy from a reputable source. Verify the seller
and if you have any doubts you can search stolen
art databases to ensure any potential purchases are legitimate.
Unfortunately, art is increasingly catching the attention of criminals,
the FBI estimate a worldwide loss of up to $6 billion annually from
art and antiquity theft. Personal collectors should consider ways
to increase the security around their art purchases and make sure
their home contents
cover their collection. Art is unique in that valuables are
displayed and not locked away. A balance between display and security
has to be found. With paintings and prints the method of hanging
can help secure it. Prints can be fixed to the wall using an interlocking
hook system that makes it difficult to simply lift it off the wall.
This also protects it from earthquakes and accidents.