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First in a Series on Enjoying and Preserving Works of Art

Works of art and collectibles beautify your home and life, serving as a continual source of contemplation and inspiration. They are important financial investments as well as a lasting testament to your interests and taste as a collector. Whether your passion is for paintings, prints, sculpture, furniture or decorative arts, your collections deserve comprehensive, museum-quality care. At Thomas & Associates, we've been helping museums, corporations and private individuals build and preserve collections with our decades of experience.

The following tips and methods will help you ensure that your works of art are protected, documented and displayed to their best advantage and enjoyed for years to come.

TIP #1: Be Prepared
Create a file and gather all the information you know about a piece: from the bill of sale, provenance, media and materials used, to the name and date of the artist/maker, dimensions of the work, and the details of similar works in other collections. Have your work of art or collectible photographed, appraised and insured. Keep your documentation in a safe place, perhaps with a copy off-site, in case of theft or emergencies.

TIP #2: Blinded by the Light
A bright alcove may bring out the hues of an antique watercolor, but it may also bleach those colors out of the work itself very rapidly. The effects of light can cause permanent darkening or fading of your piece. Always avoid direct sunlight when considering a place for paintings, drawings, photographs, or fine carpets and tapestries. Artificial light poses its own threats when small lights are mounted directly on picture frames. The visual result may be dramatic, but the light and heat from bulbs can cause serious damage. Framing and glazing works with UV-filtered glass or Plexiglas - and lighting them indirectly are best.

TIP #3: No Dust Storms, Cold Fronts
or Heat Waves

Hang works on interior rather than exterior walls and avoid displaying them near heat ducts, radiators and drafty areas. Works of art "breathe" like you do, continually taking in and releasing moisture. Drastic fluctuations in temperature and humidity can cause serious damage to works on paper, rare books and furniture glazes and finishes. Your ancestors' portraits may look grand above the library mantel, but your descendants will thank you for displaying them in temperature- stable, smoke-free environments.

Different types of art and collectibles from different periods have different needs. Let the experts at Thomas & Associates give your collection the detailed attention it deserves.

We can assist you with every aspect of your collection from advice on what to collect and how to begin; where to purchase specific pieces; how to frame, install and care for your treasures; or how to donate or leave works of art to museums.

Let us help
you create and preserve a legacy.

To learn more
about our museum-quality services for art collectors, call Geri Thomas or David Griffin at 212.779.7059.


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