Relocating your Art Collection

Are you moving? Lending art? Do you need to relocate your collection? Here are 5 tips for how to ensure nothing falls through the cracks:

1. Catalog it

Cataloging your art collection is the most important step to ensuring every piece is accounted for during the relocation. You can catalog simply within a spreadsheet, or by using an online collection management system. This catalog should be updated regularly. An art advisor can help with this task, which can often become overwhelming.

2. Pack and Ship Right

Enlist professional art packing and shippers that are insured and licensed.  A transport team will have the expert knowledge for best method and material for each particular item and their trucks are usually equipped with climate control. Make sure to write a contract and a time schedule.

3. Insure it

Make sure your art insurance coverage is extended during transit. Art claims occur most commonly during transit. In these vulnerable moments, it is essential to make sure you have coverage on your valuables and ensure valuations are updated, so you can rest assured that if anything happens, you will receive compensation. To learn more about options for insurance, contact us!

4. Study Customs and Legal Procedures

If you are shipping art internationally, it will need to go through customs, as all items do. Customs officers will treat art as any other commodity, measured in weight and price. Depending on the country, there will be differing requirements for paperwork, but forms you may encounter can include the Export invoice, Trade Tariff Commodity Codes, Custom Declaration forms, and EORI number export forms. If you need help navigating this process and the various forms, please don’t hesitate to reach out!

5. Condition Reports

A condition report notes the condition of the art piece to keep track of the changing physical condition of the artworks and their attendant structures (e.g. frames, pedestals, supplies for hanging, etc.) Condition reports safeguard against future deconstruction of the work and help to cover liability for damaged work. This is particularly important on high valued items. A condition report should be taken before the item is packed and again when it is unpacked. This will help mitigate discrepancies in case something occurs in transit. Here is a template you can use.

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